Dragon-Con is over for this year, so the urgency to work on costume related projects is now gone. I needed something light and easy to work on this weekend, so I decided to make a re-creation of one of the little bouncy toys that can be seen happily hopping away at Ripley’s station on the bridge of the Nostromo. Now, when I say it can be seen, I really mean it can just barely be seen, heavily covered in shadow. Luckily, there are others who are seemingly just as obsessed with this movie as I am who have posted decent pictures of this little guy. If you are interested in seeing these pictures you should check them out over on this thread at the Propsummit Forum. If you scroll down a little bit, you can see a picture of Ripley’s station and her Hoptimist sitting on top of her monitors.
Amazingly enough, these toys are still being made! I had to order mine from RoyalDesign.com. I picked up the Blue Hoptimist Bumble. There are others that look very similar (the Baby Bumble in particular, but it is too small), but to match Ripley’s I needed the one with the open eyes and long legs. I had actually ordered one quite some time ago, shortly after completing the Drinking Birds. Shipping took a little bit of time since it actually came from Europe. In any case, all that is required to transform this toy into something resembling the version seen on screen is to sew up a nice little hat.
The hat itself looks like a simple cone shape that is simply flopped over toward the back of the head. It looks very much like a sleeping cap to me, so that is what I am calling it. To determine what size to make the hat, I placed a circle template over its head until I found the diameter that would make the hat sit about where I felt it should. I settled on a bottom diameter of 3-3/4 inches. I kind of guessed at how tall the hat should be and made the height 1-1/2 times the diameter. This worked out well, as the pointed tip fell pretty much exactly where I wanted it when flopped over. Anyone who is interested in making my version of this hat can download my Hoptimist Sleeping Cap Pattern. I didn’t use anything fancy for the fabric, just a simple white cotton muslin. Sewing the cap was easy, with just one seam to stitch and then running a hem around the bottom edge. Finally, the hat is held in place with a couple of tiny dabs of hot glue.
This was a quick little project, which, now that it is complete, will go to join the other toys and props I’ve made in the curio cabinet.