We originally came up with the Squash-Plush idea whilst watching the opera. It was La Boheme, I think. We were doodling away, and right there in the middle of the crescendo, wham!... a doodle of a squished raccoon. The first Squash-plush design ever. A macabre designer teddy. At first we weren’t too sure what people would think, or whether we’d be carted away to Arkham Asylum. We told a bunch of like-minded friends- Ted Bundy, Eddie Gein, Gilles de Rais- and surprisingly they all seemed to like it.
After a while things seemed to snowball. We designed the prototype Squash-plush teddy in Spring 2005. The actual design was based on the creator’s Mother-In-Law’s dog. In the early stages of the design process we dissected hundreds of raccoons before we got it right. The benefits of this hands-on approach are hopefully quite clear: the guts and organs are all anatomically correct. Everything is as it is in a real raccoon.
After a few approaches to traditional teddy makers and a few incensed knock-backs, we finally found someone to make it. A sweet old granny from Derbyshire. Luckily she had quite a sick sense of humour. A bit too sick. A few months later we got the prototype back.
The original prototype didn’t have a tyre mark on it. And there were a few extra bits and bobs we’ve added since. Like the bulging, blood-shot eye, the squidgy blood and guts, the zip openings, and the flattened body. We added some extra bead stuffing as well to give the teddy more weight. Tweaks here, and tweaks there, and four more samples later we’re finally pleased with the Squash-plush toy. It’s just how we imagined it.
After this we started on the other designs. Grind the Rabbit, he’s the next squash-plush teddy. Puddle the Vole, he’s a flattened door mat. Splodge the Hedgehog, he’s a mousemat (we call it a Mousesplat). He also appears in key ring form. Smudge the Squirrel. He’s a hot water bottle. Pop the Weasel. He’s a door wedge. His eye pops out when you push the door on top of him. Pulp the Badger. He’s a pencil case. And so on. These are all in the pipeline, and should be raising their battered heads soon.