Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Build-A-HOCKEYBEAR Workshop

I am not a big fan of Build-A-Bear Workshop. Building's just not my thing, you know? Building is the thesis, HOCKEYBEAR is the antithesis, and ruins are the synthesis. It's all about the Hegel. I am rather annoyed that Build-A-Bear does not offer zoologically accurate stuffed bears like Wild Republic does, but as an anthropomorphic bear myself, I can't get too upset about that. I made my peace with them when I discovered that they have USPS as an option for shipping online orders, and thus, unlike many companies, do not charge outrageous fees for shipping to Alaska.

In a world full of Tom Gholstons, Gary Bettmans, fake Grimlocks, and giant ducks, I can't help but feel protective of the tiny humans that are not yet ready to face all the scary things in life. However, even HOCKEYBEAR cannot be in all places at all times, taking care of the tiny humans. So, for the times when I can't be around, I have the next-best solution for the tiny humans: stuffed HOCKEYBEARS of their very own!

Here's a polar bear that came from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. He's hanging out with his penguin buddies and beloved Russian children's character Чебурашка (Cheburashka). A-DORABLE.

Now here he is, transformed into a fearless, destructive, HOCKEYBEAR! He's ending a game of Monopoly the way every game of Monopoly ends, with a flurry of rage and chaos!

You too can make a HOCKEYBEAR for yourself or for your tiny human. We'll show you how, after the jump!

The most important item is the sunglasses. Build-A-Bear comes in handy here as the nation's foremost supplier of stuffed animal apparel. While you're getting the sunglasses, you can also pick up a - sigh - "Lil' Almond Cub" as your stuffed nanook. However, any stuffed polar bear of similar size will do.

The hockey stick and puck you can purchase at Build-A-Bear are plush and therefore useless for smashing things. To build a real HOCKEYBEAR, you need a real puck and stick. Get yourself a regulation 6 oz. hockey puck and a set of Avery 22830 circular labels. Using Avery's online tool, you can print out logos for my favorite hockey team (Alaska) or my favorite foot-ball team (Michigan).

If you want to make your own logos, make sure they are at least 750 pixels a side. BE WARNED: if you use the logos of any of the following teams, you will not be making a genuine HOCKEYBEAR:
  • University of Alaska at Anchorage
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Miami University of Ohio of Oxford, Ohio
  • University of Notre Dame du Lac (Notre Dame de Namur University is O.K.)
  • Any Canadian Hockey League team except Windsor
  • Orlando Solar Bears (if you use their logo, you will be making a solar bear)
The last step to building your own HOCKEYBEAR is the stick. The simplest option is to purchase a miniature hockey stick, but if you live in a less civilized area, mini sticks may be hard to find. In that case, pick up a stick of balsa wood 18" x 1" x 1/4" and cut it into two pieces, one 13" long and one 5" long. Cut a notch out of the 13" piece so that the 5" piece can be inserted at the proper angle. Use wood glue to stick them together and you've got yourself a stick.

The stick must then be converted into a laser hockey stick. The simplest method is just to wrap it in silver duck tape, but, for maximum shininess, I recommend applying several coats of silver paint, followed by a coat of silver glitter paint. This is how HOCKEYBEAR made the stick pictured above - my bear paws aren't optimized for paint brushes so the glitter was a bit uneven. I was going to rampage Blick art materials for this inventory oversight, but I made enough of a mess trying to navigate their narrow aisles.

Once you've got your bespectacled bear, his puck, and his stick, you have the basic HOCKEYBEAR to protect you or your loved ones from horrors! But that's not all! You can get more accessories for your HOCKEYBEAR, including:
Once you or your tiny human has a stuffed HOCKEYBEAR, hours of fun, imagination, and controlled destruction are bound to follow!


SyracuseWolvrine said...

Hey, don't knock the Solar Bears! We Floridians are just happy to have something, since it doesn't look like Stevie Y's Lightning will be taking the ice anytime soon ...


I have no problem with my cousin the Orlando Solar Bear but, if you use his logo, you end with a Solar Bear, not an Alaska HOCKEYBEAR. Both are excellent gifts for young humans though.