My Giant Zeliboba gets a Giant Upgrade


Jun 4, 2017
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(About him and how he used to look before mid-2023)

What other gift fits best for a magical creature you're madly in love with for over 25 years than a giant upgrade, practically to the level of his TV look? :big_grin:
At first, when his faux-leather sneakers started to peel in 2020, I was thinking of finding someone to replace only them, and leave the rest of Zeliboba as is. Then happened an interview with Mr. Christie, which showed just how many mistakes the first maker and I happened to allow in Zeli's design. With most of my fanon details scrapped, the plan was to rebuild his body as close as the orginal designer intended to (leaving the coat removable anyway: I knew it was a part of Zeli's anatomy and will view it that way, but it being removable for his toy form simply eases his maintenance a lot).
In 2021 I found just the right toymaker who, this time, also lived in Russia, had a huge experience in restoring vintage and old, well-loved toys (as well as creating soft toys from scratch by herself). And, after nine smaller commissions as a proof of her skills, I trusted my Zeli to her entirely.
In mid-2022, we started to stock up on materials for him (I provided money, the maker choosed supplies). In April 2023, Zeliboba reached her workshop, and got disassembled for a check-up and update.
The semi-ready, removable, fabric sneakers were made by the previous maker and meant to get enforced later.

(The "sans-coat" sketch is mine - a kind of a mix between how his body looked on a small plushie by TYCO (golden yellow under the blue coat) and GUND (entirely blue with golden limbs) plus a single bright orange flap serving as a "fiery belt".)

ProstoMashino is the nick of the previous maker (Maria Kerch, who also goes by ProstoMashinoPuppets); Altaimishka is the brand (and, in some socials, username) of the current maker Julia Romanova. Zeli ended up being sort of a collab project between them: during rebuilding, all the important stuff Maria originally used to make him got cleaned, reattached and decorated even more (e.g., added organza, some mohair on eyebrows, four thin golden strands on muzzle that originally are present on his TV self). Pictured are his headshots in Julia's workshop.

With a finished body and previous (fanon) arms. Roly-poly guy :big_grin: There's a fluffy collar on his body, decorated with organza fringes and misc blue fur tufts. The "belt" is smooth and yellow on the inner side.

Sending me Valentine greetings with new arms and hands:

Moar roly-poly roundness (seriously, I was almost expecting him to rock and chime like one, but knew the bare leg skeleton is just under the cover):

Mr. Christie said "no paws", so I thought, when Zeli needs some other footwear than sneakers, they turn into soft boots (that, in his toy version, are simply hidden under the sneakers most of the time). I wanted them to be also white, decorated with blue embroidered pattern, and feel as if there are paws underneath. All of that the maker pulled off amazingly, plus added the knee pads on legs (hidden under the fur).

By now, he himself is pretty much ready, only the sneakers and ears left to improve some more! Coat and ties will take up HOPEFULLY till the end of this year. For now, here's some close-ups and full-body shots from his birthday photo session:

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