Shelby Martinez-Mathews on Designing the Invincible Sequid Plush
The Sequids are back – in plush form! We chat with the woman behind the invasion.
Sunday, June 23, 2024

Upon making their screen debut in Invincible’s first season, the Sequids have conquered the hearts and minds of fans everywhere. Now the creepy soul-sucking critters have arrived in the form of adorable plush toys. Available now in the new Skybound Store, they’re perfect for planning your next alien invasion, or cosplay outfit. We sat down to chat with the person who designed this enticing collectible: Skybound Brand Manager Shelby Martinez-Mathews. Here’s what Shelby had to tell us about the making of the Invincible Sequid Plush!

What do you think accounts for the popularity of the Sequids?

I think a lot of factors go into it. Pop culturally, aliens have always been very prevalent. Nothing is more iconic than a Xenomorph, and the Chestbursters. So when it comes to aliens, the parasitic or mind-controlling seems to be a consistent theme in sci-fi. The Sequids hit that niche where it's not your standard kind of threat, the big-eyed, green, humanoid-looking creature. The Sequid scratches that itch, where it’s something that's hard to fathom and even more terrifying.

Sequid Plush Photo 1

How did the innovative new Sequid Plush come to be?

I've always liked plushies. I make plushies on the side for fun. I did cons and everything, predominantly dragons, because I like dragons. When I was 12, I taught myself how to draw, and I've always had an interest in what makes a plushie a plushie. Because you’d seen them at Walmart or in a claw machine, stuffed animals. But I'm like, “How do I make that? How do I make something cute? How do I make this 3D item that's cuddly and adorable?”

When it came to doing new product for the Skybound Store, we were like, “What could we do?” I wanted to do a plushie. So of course the immediate thought that comes to mind is “Let's do Mark, let's do Omni-Man, let's do Eve…” And I'm like, “That's gonna be a default that a licensee is probably going to do. But what's something we can do that's a little bit more…not only applicable to a plushie, but a little bit hilarious at the same time?” Then the Sequids came to mind because the plush is about the scale of what an actual Sequid would be. So implementing it into a plush wasn't difficult, because it's just a little brain and three tentacles. Now, suddenly, not only is it possible to have a plushie of this thing, but to have it as a cosplay element. Now anybody who cosplays people outside of Viltrumites can actually use them for their cosplay, or just wearing them as a general human. Because anybody who's not a Viltrumite or a Martian can get infected by a Sequid.

So it was just throwing that out there to everyone. I'm like, “I think this is a good idea. We can explore plushies ourselves and see how it goes. If it pops off, then we can make more. We can have evergreen plushies of Sequids for people to have for their cons for their offices for whatever.”

Sequid Plush Photo 2

Did you first design a prototype?

First, I drew up the pattern, for lack of a better description. “Okay, what it would look like all together?” Then “What are the individual elements needed in order to make it?” The vendor we work with is very wonderful in being able to translate 3D information, or 2D information into a 3D element. So with them, I didn't have to create a 3D prototype myself. If they asked, I could have. I do have a ridiculous amount of fabric on hand. [Laughs.] But it was easy just making a pattern and mocking it up and illustrating to them, you know, “This is the segment that would go here, here, and here.” I simplified it compared to the actual art that goes into the comic or into the animation. So it was easier to execute plush-wise. Then I would like to add these additional elements to the stitching for the brain wrinkles. I wanted to insert wires into the tentacles so they're bendable. That allows more personality into them. It was relatively straightforward, executing it

Sequid Plush Photo 3

Did Invincible creator Robert Kirkman have any feedback?

Yeah, anytime we make anything, we always run it through Robert, Ryan [Ottley] and Cory [Walker]. The only feedback they had was to add more brain wrinkles. Make sure that the top of the little brain was coming off more like a little brain. That was it. They liked it, and they've requested some for themselves. It was a cut-and-dry, superfast, approval and turnaround. I love that, especially when it's my idea. [Laughs.]

Sequid Plush Photo 4

What other items in the new Skybound Store are you especially proud of?

Let's see… Well, we do have some are coming out for San Diego Comic-Con this year. I don't want to give any spoilers yet. But there’s another item I might give a little bit of a hint for… It’s for the holidays this year – a pullover hoodie of a certain someone's hero suit that had been voted on in the Discord channel. So I'm very proud of that one. I've been pushing to have that type of thing for a while now, and we're finally doing it. I sketched up the concept for that one as well. I think the fans will be very delighted to have that and I'm definitely gonna get one myself. Just keep an eye out in the next few weeks of the very cool things that are going to start showing up for the holidays and for San Diego Comic-Con.

And the Sequid Plush is initially available as a limited edition?

Yeah. Initially, it is a 500-count run of Sequids. To test the consumer appetite for them. We're hoping they do gangbusters, because not only are they adorable, but you should buy several –

because we are just humble meat suits for them to puppet around to take over the universe. [Laughs.] But yeah, we're more than happy to make more. The Sequids are ever present in the Invincible Universe, through the comic and the show. So the more the merrier. I'm hoping they do well. Everyone I know likes them so far.

INVINCIBLE™ © 2023 Robert Kirkman, LLC & Cory Walker. SKYBOUND and all related images are owned by Skybound, LLC. IMAGE COMICS and all related images are owned by Image Comics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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