Friday, 7 October 2011

Sam and Dean Spudchester….an excellent adventure!

Today Jensen and Jared’s bodyguard, Clif Kosterman (@bodyguard4JandJ) tweeted a shot of Sam and Dean Mr Potato Heads.

MY Sam and Dean Mr Potato Heads! Or Sam and Dean Spudchester as I christened them.

I had them especially made. A set for myself and a set for Jensen and Jared, which I posted to Vancouver to the Supernatural production offices.

But how did the Spudchester project come about?

Well, you see, I collect Mr Potato Heads. The character kind. Like Luke Frywalker, Optimash Prime, Tony Starch, Taters of the Lost Ark…you get the picture…no….well here’s a picture!

Earlier this year I did a promo shoot where I had to have a puppet created of one of the characters in the show. My Art Director suggested someone up in Brisbane (I’m in Sydney) to do the work. She did the most amazing job. The wardrobe was identical to the character’s right down to the tiniest details. This got me thinking…..

For a long time I’d wanted a Sam & Dean Potato Head to add to my collection. I’d looked around at different dolls clothes and tried to think of ways to create them but always hit a dead end. It’s just, I can’t sew! Now all of a sudden I had someone in my professional circle that specialised in making tiny little clothes! So I contacted her, Beck is her name, and asked if she’d be interested in a special personal project for me, I wanted a set of customised Mr Potato Heads. When she stopped laughing she said sure, send through the details. So I sent through these shots of Sam and Dean with an explainer, as I assumed she’d have no idea who they were.

WRONG! She and her husband are massive fans of Supernatural! She was instantly on board and not just because her husband thought it was the most awesome idea ever.

First step was to source 4 Mr Potato Heads, which proved easier than we thought! Beck’s local K-Mart happened to stock them, so I sent off the money and she went and bought 4. I wonder if the checkout chick looked at her weird?

Next stop was getting the wardrobe right! I’d been pretty specific around what I wanted the Spudchesters to wear but being as the clothes were so tiny, the material had to be very fine, this caused a couple of problems. The jeans were the first hurdle, they couldn’t be real denim, but denim looking material, but it was how to get them on that caused the headache. Mr Potato Head has no legs! So after a bit of chat back and forth, Beck essentially made a skirt that she stitched down the centre to give the appearance of legs!

Dean’s t-shirt and over shirt and Sam little blue plaid shirt and jacket weren’t too much of a problem, though Beck had to go find a scrap of the specific blue plaid for me because I insisted it be blue and she didn’t have any on hand!

Then came Dean’s jacket. Problem. Leather is too thick to sew so small. The hunt was on for something that would work. We talked through different ideas but Beck kept coming up empty. At one point it looked like it was going to have to be brown material, but I just couldn’t have that! So I went out one weekend to scout around. After an exhaustive search of various op shops and material stores, I settled on a cushion cover! It was brown pleather; very thin…would it work….could it work? I popped it in the post and sent it off to Beck with my fingers crossed. Success! The pleather cushion cover was perfect.

Next hurdle? The hair! I raised the fact that I didn’t think they could be bald, really, no way right? I’d looked at a brown woolly material for Dean’s hair and knew that it would work. But Sam’s hair? I mean Sam’s hair had to be epic!

First thought was really thick wool….nah, that didn’t look right. Then I had an idea for a dolls wig. So I searched online and looked through hundreds of dolls wigs but couldn’t find anything that was right. They were too long, or two small or two curly. I got in touch with Beck again and told her I was thinking about dolls hair for Sam but wasn’t having much luck, so off she went in search of the perfect doll. Apparently there are a lot of naked Barbies in Brisbane by the way! Disappointment. No luck on the dolls hair, so we were back to the wool idea again. But then, at the last moment, when we had just about given up hope, Beck came across an old wig. A real one. A real one big enough to supply hair for 2 Sams. She attached it as an experiment and sent me a shot. After I stopped screaming with laughter I was sold! It was a little light, but had some great gold brown tones that we both agreed could pass for Sam’s hair, plus it was long enough to stick behind his potato ears!

Of course, Dean had to have an amulet, so I ordered a couple of those and then the Spudchesters were pretty much done, except for one very important thing. Weapons. Dean had to have a silver gun and Sam had to have a demon killing knife. Do you have any idea how many tiny weapons are available on eBay? After pages and pages and stores and stores I came across a place in Hong Kong that supplied exact replica weapons 1/6 of the actual size. I discovered the normal, GI Joe style weapons, were 1/8 of the actual size, which was too small for Mr Potato Head’s hands. So the 1/6 discovery was a real moment! Then I found they stocked a cool silver gun and a knife that really did look like Ruby’s knife! I felt triumphant! So I ordered 2 of each and awaited their arrival.

In the meantime, Beck posted down to me 4 fully clothed Spudchesters that were just awaiting amulets and weapons!

When the mail arrived from Hong Kong, oh my goodness, I couldn’t believe how perfect the little gun and knife was. But getting them to stick to the Spudchester’s hands didn’t prove as easy as I thought! After quite a bit of super glue and a period of time where I was also stuck to Sam Spudchester, I managed to get the weapons in place.

There they stood, the completed Spudchesters, in my kitchen, grinning at me like crazy. I can’t even tell you how happy I was. They had taken around 4 months from my initial concept to completion. The only thing left to do was send them off to Vancouver, so I gently packed them up, addressed them to Jensen and Jared, c/- Clif and sent them to the Supernatural set with the following note….

And today, the tweet with my Spudchesters! First a duck nation photo with the Spuds lurking in the background and then their very own photo. I was so happy to see they got there safe and sound! I really hope everyone got a kick out of them.

My set of Spudchesters will be coming with me to Chicago Con to be signed by the boys; on the back of their jackets is what I’m thinking. If I can, I will also try and get them into my J&J sandwich shot.

So that was Sam and Dean Spudchester’s excellent adventure. A trip down the coast of Australia and half way across the world. But it’s not over yet. Stay tuned for the next chapter, when my Spudchesters come face to face with their real life doppelgangers! I seriously can’t wait!

The Spuds did indeed come to Chicago and they did indeed have an excellent adventure!


  1. Haha, they are as cute as they are silly. I can see why they make you happy. Love the little outfits.

  2. They are very silly! I'm glad everyone is getting a kick out of them :)