Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Yeti Year in Review

The year is wrapping up, people. Es hora de bailar. Time to dance.

Let's look at The Year What Was (namely: news, movies, television, books, musics, games, and toys) and see what Ol' Frostfur was up to!


2013's big news about Dr. Bryan Sykes' ancient polar bear theory (his book with findings is actually due in 2015) continued to be reported about during 2014  - and then, just a week ago, the hair sample was further tested and the theory challenged by some other researchers - so it looks like this whole ancient polar bear hybrid thing might just be a no-go. Ah well.

Other than that, news-wise, 2014 had two people dressing up as yetis and getting attention for some reason:

A Toronto performance artist dressed as yeti and did a bunch of stuff about town, like run for mayor or ride the subway.
And a Wisconsin woman dressed up as a slightly creepy Bumble to walk her dog, and when interviewed, spoke like a benevolent robot to reporters. It showed up first on the local news , then the Washington Post, and then went viral, appearing on Jimmy Fallon and Anderson Cooper.

And this was a thing:

USA Today reported that at Copenhagen Airport, a clothing store called "yeti" has a special fitting room that lets customers try on clothing in icy cold winter temperatures.


On the heels of the collectible minifigurine's release (arguably 2013's biggest yeti-related event), Yeti appeared within the immensely popular Lego Movie.  Twice. Once as depicted in this blurry photo, standing in a crowd when Wyldstyle is providing back story about the Lego world:

And another time in the final battle, where you can see Yeti throwing a popsicle (or something) at one of the evil robot micro-managers.

Of all the hundreds of characters that the Lego Movie had to choose from in the vast universe of Lego, it's pretty exciting they picked yeti to showcase.

Also, Disney's Frozen became insanely popular this year and catapulted Marshmallow the abominable snowlem to a prominent part of the popular consciousness.  Not technically a yeti, I admit, but still worth a mention for it's potential impact on the zeitgeist.


Back in October (my post), the reality tv show Face Off, in which makeup artists compete to create sci fi /horror prostheses, had an episode featuring a challenge to create a yeti crab monster. The artist was awarded second place for his efforts (a disappointment to be sure, but the mantis lady monster he was up against was admittedly pretty sweet).


Two children's books were released near the end of the year:

The Yeti Files #1: Meet the Bigfeet is a chapter book by Kevin Sherry (my post).

The picture book, The Really Abominable Snowman, by Valentina Mendicino (my post), was recently named by the Guardian as one of the best picture books for children this Christmas.


The band Black Prairie (4/5th of the Decemberists) decided they needed a yeti to inspire them for their new album and tour, so they went and hand-made an 8-foot, robotic one:

On their Best of Portland 2014 list, Willamette Week named it the BEST ROCK-’N’-ROLL ANIMAL (CRYPTOZOOLOGICAL DIVISION) and provided this back story:

“We need a yeti.” For Black Prairie’s John Moen, hearing those words from bandmate Chris Funk registered as a challenge. In the run-up to its new album, the normally placid Portland folk act had begun exploring its nascent classic-rock influences, to the point of booking a gig at LaurelThirst under its louder, heavier alias, White Tundra. It had the riffs and the volume. All the band needed to complete its transformation into a true Monster of Rock was, well, a monster. Moen, an aspiring special-effects artist in his younger days, accepted Funk’s (mostly sarcastic) edict, constructing an 8-foot albino Sasquatch out of aluminum tubing, insulating foam and fake fur. “Everyone wanted to name it ‘Eddie the Yeti,’” after Iron Maiden’s demonic mascot, Moen says. Instead, he christened her “Betty”—a reference to her shifty red “Yeti Davis eyes,” implanted from a Halloween decoration. The beast made its live debut at LaurelThirst, looming over the band as it bashed out Sabbath covers. She then followed Black Prairie into the studio, serving as a muse for the group’s most amplified album yet, this year’s Fortune. Alas, Betty was destined to be the Pete Best of homemade mythological creatures: She’s currently sitting, headless and retired, in Moen’s garage. He is hopeful for a reunion sometime in the future. Others, though, would prefer the hairy diva stay mothballed. “Good riddance,” Funk says. “Frankly, her bad vibes onstage really ruined it for me.” MATTHEW SINGER.
And in other music-related news, Lady Gaga dressed in a Yeti disguise, like a boss:

And finally, for musics, does this count? Weezer put a yeti (?) on the cover of their new album:

Originally part of a series by Chris McMahon, where he put monsters into thrift store paintings


The big event in games this year by "far" was the announcement that Far Cry 4, which is set in the Himalayas, would have an expansion pack containing a mini-game with yetis to fight.
More on this later when I get my hands on screenshots

A 2014 diversion I personally enjoyed (until the fire levels) was the free iOS mobile game, TwoDots, which had a yeti level:

My post about TwoDots

And Lost Yeti was a well- regarded iOS puzzle game featuring retro-graphics and a playable yeti main character that came out in 2014 and is worth mentioning. It was distributed for free as part of a Starbucks "Free App" promotion.

My post about Lost Yeti


plushes turned up in two kickstarters:

Spooky Pooky Yeti

New plush kickstarter by friend of the site

Mythicals Yeti

Mythicals Kickstarter


Two figures I hoped would materialize did not, for some reason:

Creatureplica figure (my post):
Buy it here some day

And the long-awaited Yeti Roosevelt figure (my post):

Buy it here some day


And two figures, both exceedingly excellent, were exceedingly hard to get:

The MailChimp figure (my post) was only mailed to a few lucky (random?) customers:

The new Park Starz figure (my post) had to be purchased only at the "D-Street" store in Anaheim, CA:

This last one gets my vote for best figure of 2014.  Love it, I do.


These things came out in previous years but somehow I failed to notice. Oh well, better later than never.
Funko figure #13 Freddy Funko (Bumble)
bobble-head was released in 2012.


Bigs & Yeti
, a series of adorable Facebook stickers by Richard Perez featuring the duo doing different funny stuff, came out in 2013 (and though I posted a kite pic, I didn't realize what it was from):

Garbage Pail Kids put out this card in 2013 (my post from 2014):

An exclusive for the 2013 San Diego ComicCon, one could get an Abominable Domo plush:

And finally, a 2013 Canadian ad campain for Tic Tacs featured stop-motion yetis (my 2014 post):


Last year, I began the tradition of highlighting something I had learned about during the year that, if it had actually existed, would have been pretty yeti-tastic.
I blogged about it here: The great Ray Harryhausen was going to stop-motion animate a yeti for one of his Sinbad movies.  But he went with a giant walrus instead.

What he thought about doing.

What he ended up doing.


For my 3000th post, I created a huge time line depicting pretty much every yeti depiction ever conceived, roughly in order since the mid-1950s. Yeah, I'm crazy

And I zoomed into each decade and did a post about each one:

Also, this happened: For Reals (My wife and I had twins.)

And I was inspired to do this post: Yeti Loves Fatherhood, Apparently.

I solved these mysteries that had been bugging me:
Besides Harryhausen's almost-yeti, there were some pretty major surprises...

Before this year, I had no idea these existed:
And here are some yetis I liked:
Apparently, Yeti Loves:
My Favorite Not Yetis:


In 2015, we can expect:  

...the first virtual reality game yeti? Stay tuned for more info about this.

At least five books with yetis:
  • Dragons at Crumbling Castle : February 2,  2015
  • Yeti and the Bird : February 24, 2015
  • The Yeti Enigma : April 9, 2015 (UK)
  • Are We There, Yeti? : July 21, 2015
  • The Thing About Yetis : Fall 2015 
  • Philip Reeve/Sarah McIntyre project (TBD)
At least three films that possibly have yetis (or wampas):
  • Goosebumps : August 7, 2015
  • Hotel Transylvania 2 : September 25, 2015
  • Star Wars VII  :  December 18, 2015
In 2016, we can expect:

A bunch of films that might have yetis:
  • Uncharted : June 10, 2016
  • Suicide Squad : August 5, 2016
  • Doctor Strange : November 4, 2016
  • Fantastic Beasts: November 18, 2016
> The first, Uncharted, based on the video game, is admittedly a bit of a long shot since it will likely follow the events of the first installment of the series, and not the second (the one with yetis).

> Two superhero films, DC's Suicide Squad and Marvel's Doctor Strange, are even more unlikely. But Suicide Squad does have a yeti in its comic book origin story (more on this in a later post), and Doctor Strange is said to be visiting the mystical Himalayas (where his mentor resides) in the new film, where he could conceivably encounter Abominable Snowcameos.

> Fantastic Beasts, on the other hand, is a lot more promising. The Harry Potter film will be about a hunter of legendary creatures, and Yeti is already canonically part of the Wizarding World. 

And at some point, hopefully, Sam Raimi's The Hill and the Abominable Snowman remake from Hammer films will get release dates.

Stay tuned!

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