It all began when user @bootyslime, a.k.a. “the korns,” tweeted a series of pictures showing an unidentified commuter on a New York City subway sitting cozily next to a bizarre plush toy that looked like their mutant offspring. The weirdest part isn’t the doll itself (it’s actually cute, in a freaky kinda way), but the fact that both the “baby” and its “parent” are wearing matching outfits.
this dude sat down & pulled a fucking goblin in a matching outfit out of the nike bag pic.twitter.com/HUL3lxNz40
— the korns (@bootyslime) March 6, 2018
As the tweet began to circulate, other users speculated on the origin of the so-called “goblin,” and a large portion of commenters concluded the doll was actually a “WerePup” — a fanged and hairy variation on those ultra-realistic “reborn dolls” (which are in themselves horrifying enough… maybe even more so).
“I can recognize my work,” Eriksen told Slate. “I’ve run into instances where people were actually copying my designs or using my company name and things like that. That’s not one of the knockoffs, so to speak.”
Eriksen’s WerePups became a hit at horror conventions, especially after genre icon Robert Englund posed for promotional shoots with the dolls, and shock-rock legend Alice Cooper has even incorporated them into his act.
The “goblin” seems to be a similar but otherwise unrelated design, though Eriksen claims to know the person behind this particular style.
When asked why an adult would carry this creature around and dress it in coordinated outfits, Eriksen claims it’s “very common.”
“I have a network of some of my closer clients,” she says, “and they like to carry them around and they talk about the reactions they get. They’ll bring them everywhere from the supermarket to the movie theater.”
The artist’s greatest reward, however, is that brief initial moment when onlookers think the monster-babies are alive.
“That was one of my favorite, favorite things,” Eriksen says. “I find it so wonderful and fascinating and I’m grateful for the fact that I could do that, manage to make something that’s obviously not a real creature, but for just a minute, somebody thinks werewolves are real.”