Bigfoot. Nessie. The Jersey Devil. They’re all known as Cryptids, a blanket term used to encompass all legendary creatures that don’t actually exist, despite millions of people suspecting and believing that they do. Not to be a buzz kill, but though I am somewhat of a budding Cryptozoologist in my own right, the sad reality is that these mythical beasts of ancient lore are as fictional as Freddy, Jason, and Michael.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not fascinating to study them and read up on alleged eyewitness accounts. There’s just something endlessly intriguing about the idea of real-life monsters roaming around in our world and breathing the same air we breathe, which is why so many people have dedicated their lives to finding them. But despite some pretty convincing photographs, no real evidence has ever been found.
Many companies over the years have brought the likes of Sasquatch, The Loch Ness Monster, and The Mothman to our toy shelves, but artist Jean St. Jean hasn’t exactly been happy with those collectibles. The sculptor, who has had a lifelong passion for Cryptozoology, noticed a lack of serious collectibles based around the world of the Cryptids, and so he decided to take matters into his own talented hands.
“Until now, serious crypto toy lines were as rare as the creatures themselves,” St. Jean notes on his new toy line’s official website. “Creatureplica is allowing me to approach this line with a level of attention to detail, sculptural refinement and authenticity that hasn’t been given to the topic before. [My action figures] aren’t going to look like the typical versions of cryptids that are generally thrown out there.”
Set for release in January/February of next year, and now available for pre-order, the first wave of toys in the Creatureplica line includes four different action figures, selling directly through St. Jean’s shop for $34.99 each. True to his original mission statement, the 9″ figures are based on folklore from the areas where each of the creatures originated, and he incorporated elements from actual eyewitness reports.
Let’s dig in!
You can’t have a line of Cryptid toys without Sasquatch/Bigfoot, who is unquestionably the most well-known of all the monsters. Though most Bigfoot toys depict the creature as an angry beast, Jean St. Jean doesn’t view him that way, which is reflected in his sculpt. By studying the iconic Patterson-Gimlin footage, as well as various photographs that many believe to be real, he has depicted Sasquatch as he would probably appear if you were to come across him out in the woods. Variants are forthcoming.
Whereas Bigfoot is native to forests in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, a similar monster known as the Yeti/Abominable Snowman calls the Himalayas home. The Yeti’s white fur allows him to blend into the snowy mountains, and if the sculpt of this one is any indication, St. Jean isn’t convinced that the so-called Snowman is as friendly as his brown-furred counterpart. In fact, it looks like he’s ready to rip your head off and decorate the snow with your blood. Fittingly, the figure stands atop an icy base.
Louisiana folklore would have you believe in the existence of the bloodthirsty Rougarou, a creature that is often depicted as having the body of a human and the head of a wolf. Yes, Rougarou is basically just a fancy word for werewolf, and in St. Jean’s mind, the hairy beasts walk around on two legs rather than four. With a single shred of clothes hanging off his shoulder, indicating that the monster was once human, this figure comes with a forest base as well as a human skull accessory. Guess he got hungry.
Rounding out the first wave of Creatureplica figures is the HorrorHound, a monster that avid Cryptozoologists likely haven’t even heard of. Why’s that? Well, it’s because this one isn’t actually a Cryptid but rather a mascot for the same-named magazine. Jean St. Jean partnered with HorrorHound for this special offering, and the beast comes with his own origin story. In so many words, he was a U.S. soldier that the Nazis experimented on during World War 2, turning him into a dog-like zombie creature.
Head over to Creatureplica to learn more about the monsters and place your pre-orders!