A few weeks ago, I learned that John Kassir, the voice of The Cryptkeeper, was performing the voice of Elliott in the remake of Pete’s Dragon. Being a lover of most things dragonish and also someone who is deeply sentimental over the original Elliott, I was a little skeptical about this remake. Now, the more I see trailers, the more positive I feel about the film and I think I’ll take a gander at it in the theater.
What also gave me a push was when Kassir posted on Facebook about a stuffed toy Elliott, (including a photo).
It is offered at Build-a-Bear stores.
Oh. My. Stars.
I was hoping to ask for Elliott as a Halloween present (since I treat Halloween a bit too much like Christmas) but I finally couldn’t stand the suspense. Plus, I wanted to visit Yankeee Candle to see their new Halloween offerings, and both stores are in the Mall of Georgia. Because the Mall is overflowing with tons of other strip malls outside of it and traffic is insane, I really had to prime myself, gather snacks, fill up the car, and take serious time out of a day off to go there, kind of like planning an expedition to Everest. Anyway, once I got there, I was not disappointed.
First, I might as well cover the Yankee Candle visit. Now, I need to let y’all know I don’t do candles. I have a houseful of kitties so safety is always an issue with anything you light on fire around here. In addition, the damned things are always scented, which I suppose nowadays (especially at Yankee Candle) is the point. But scented things almost always give me a headache and I make no bones about it. Occasionally I will take a whiff of one that I like that isn’t too strong and may be actually pleasant, but still, most of them knock me on my ass and I can’t take it. So no candles please.
Now, all the little silly accessories that YC sells that GO WITH the candles? Now, we’re talkin’!
So, having taken my photos, I hiked on up to Build-a-Bear. The store has changed much and is much more cramped and dark than the very open floor plan it used to have, but at least what I desired was right out front:
He was wonderful. Of course he bore little to no resemblance to the computer-generated toy pic on the store’s website, but I have long since learned to never expect a plush toy to look just like its catalog photo. He was still adorable and so delightfully hairy and green, and because of this, he did have a striking resemblance to The Shaggy Beast, which I have covered here.
So I looked through the pile of “skins” in the bin below him. If you don’t know how BAB works, they have an area with all the available bears and other toy animals lined up. You pick a “skin” of your chosen one–the skin is basically an unstuffed stuffed animal– and go to the stuffing station. The staff member stuffs it for you, letting you decide if you want the toy to be a mooshy or firm, and you get to put its little fabric heart inside. Then the staff member stitches it up and you can even dress your new friend in specially made shirts and outfits and so forth. Finally,you can make its birth certificate and then pay for it. You’re given a box that looks like an animal carrier in which to take your new bear or other animal home. Great fun for kids. And large children.
I sorted through multiple Elliott skins until I found one in which the eyes were well-centered and the little mane of fur on his head really stuck up straight. Then I did the whole doodah process listed above, sans birth certificate and box, and left with my new aquisition in my arms. But not before snapping a few more pics:
They have a pretty cute Chewbacca and a Wicket the Ewok as part of their Star Wars line.
But I just about lost it upon seeing their How to Train Your Dragon line. I had remembered they were bringing out Toothless a while back, when the second movie came out, but I had no idea that some of the other dragons were made, too. I didn’t get a pic of her, but they have Stormfly the Deadly Nadder, and this wonderful thing…this thing on the right…the HIDEOUS ZIPPLEBACK, BARF AND BELCH! They’re my favorite, can you tell? And I don’t usually buy licensed things. Even if I do, I tend to rename them and give them their own personalities. (I definitely did that with my Breyer horses long ago—my Breyer Black Beauty was named Dynamite and had quite the harem of willing plastic mares.)
Barf & Belch and Stormfly are currently on sale, which probably means they aren’t terribly popular, poor little guys.
Also of interest were these monsters with interchangeable limbs, called “Mixters”. Kinda cute. But none have one eye.
So I left with my darling Elliott(with a new name in the making), but looks like I’ll be back for more. 🙂