Evolution of Erik (with bloopers!)
Naturally, during production, the Erik plush did not come out exactly as planned on the first try. Or the second. Or even the third. Here is the evolution of what happened when we sent El's final sketch to a plush manufacturing company in China (including all the bloopers that occurred along the way).
|Draft #1: If at first you don’t succeed... This very first draft from the factory is not so affectionately referred to by Chérie as "Dr. Seuss Erik" because it's just too darned cute in that "a page right out of Green Eggs and Ham" way.||Draft #2 from the factory. Oh dear. This will never do. Don’t look now, it’s “Short Erik.” Chérie's sister-in-law comments he looks a bit like a monkey. Whatever the case, it's not right. And did anyone wonder why his opera clothes and mask are GRAY?|
|Draft #3: Now we’re getting somewhere! After looking and looking at the incorrect Eriks for a long time, El and Chérie finally managed to convey to the factory that ERIK IS SUPPOSED TO BE YELLOW! After that amazing brreakthough, let’s just call this “Yellow Erik.”||Draft #4: What the...? Chérie photographed her Universal Pictures version of Erik and asked asked to make his ears look like that ones. Something was lost in translation and “elf-eared Erik” was the result. The project was almost abandoned.|
Draft #5 In desperation Chérie contacted a 2nd company only to find that they used the same factory! Even so, this is better than Draft #3. We call this “Not that bad Erik.” In this round we learned that the reason they were reluctant to make Erik's arms "floppy" was it would make it hard to get his coat on and off. It hadn't even occurred to us than anyone might want an undressable Erik. (Should it have?)
Draft #6: We convinced them that the ever-reclusive Opera ghost wasn't going to be comfortable taking off his mask, let alone his jacket. Now Erik's arms hang limp as requested. With the seamstress's hand as a reference, Erik doesn't look big enough! Oh dear. Back to the drawing board (er... sewing machine)! Also his eyes are misplaced, his forehead is too large and his ears look strange.
|Draft #7: This is a 19" version of Erik, so he's 12" tall sitting. Making him larger overall enabled us to have them add more detail to the face and improve the shape of the head. We still don't have the embroidery on his face or the hair on his head, but for the most part, he's done correctly.||Draft #8: This is Erik with the hair added. His face was not yet embroidered at this point, so we did not bother to show him from the front. From the front, this version looks exactly like the one before it. This Erik is basically approved, pending embroidery, which appears below.|
|These are the final corrections to Erik's face to give him the perfect sad smile. The view on the left is a draft and the markings in red on the right are El's corrections for the factory.|