Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Yeti Year in Review

Check out more AWESOME yeti love by Dex Dexign

There it was: 2015!
New Matterhorn + Far Cry 4 + Boston + Goosebumps + Minions
At the start of every year, I think to myself, "Well, I doubt this upcoming year is going to have much yeti in it." And I'm inevitably proven wrong.

2015 was no exception to the personal wrong-proving.  Who knew that Disney would redesign Harold, its famous Matterhorn ride animatronic? Or that someone would run around the frozen streets of the Boston blizzard in a generic yeti costume to become a huge social media star,  garnering national attention?  Or that two big summer kids movies would have yetis?

Or that a whopping SIX (6) picture books would come out with yeti as the main subject?!

Follow me as I take a fine-toothed comb and fully flick through Fab '15, the Year of the Yeti....


Easily the biggest news item of the year was the Boston Yeti. This anonymous do-gooder made a big impact.

Examples of coverage from when he made his original appearance during the Boston Blizzard in early 2015:

Boston Globe
ABC News
ABC News (Summer edition)
CBS News
USA Today
Huffington Post

And now it's the end of 2015, and he's back!  Just this month, the local hero was the honored guest of a screening of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and participated in an onstage interview. And he's showing up in U.S. News & World Report, Huffpost, etc.

At Boston's LEGOLAND Discovery Center, keen eyes can spot a Yeti at Harvard's Widener Library. A reference to the Boston Yeti? I have no idea, but probably!

Photo courtesy of my brother Colin

Also making the headlines late this year, the Starbucks for Life Contest featured an ablobinable "Thirsty Yeti" mascot:


In other news: with Saks Fifth Avenue making it a staple of their holiday branding, there has been a continued fad for clothing stores to set up elaborate window displays featuring a yeti or two, the most famous this year being Dolce & Gabbana (I blogged about the Milan one in Feb):

 But other clothiers have followed suit (no pun intended):

Innsbruck in Austria
Ted Baker in Glasgow


Finally, popular stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan performed at the Madison Square Garden under the title, "Yeti in the City", using a promotional poster depicting himself as a King Kong yeti.


Unique CGI versions made appearances in two summer kids films!

Minions featured a brief scene with a tribe of yetis:

Goosebumps put a spotlight on the Abominable Snowman of Pasadena as one of the chief antagonists:

The story features a yeti getting unleashed into the world from a magical book, and young people have to put a stop to it.

Side note: Could this prevent us from seeing yetis in an even more major tent pole film series in the near future?  Recently, plot elements were revealed about the upcoming 2016 Harry Potter prequel movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The story will feature various rare and endangered magical creatures getting unleashed into the world from a magical valise, and young people have to put a stop to it. Sound familiar?  Now, the Yeti is canonically part of the Harry Potter universe, mentioned in the actual novels, and is even an entry in the fantastic bestiary book the new films are based on, but having such a similar plot element in Goosebumps will likely mean Rowling will avoid including yeti in her films. It's already been done in Goosebumps so memorably. This makes me sad; so much so that I'm seeing Dementors. :(


HUGE news in this department:

Disney decided to completely redesign their yeti for the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland as part of 60th anniversary efforts. Surprise!

 Check out the  behind-the-scenes video. Here are some gifs courtesy of RANDAR:



Highest honor in this category goes to the surprise release of Animal Planet Playset Yeti:

But the true winners were the lucky few who were able to get this rare figure by GEEK!:

Beastman omega (white) (Medicom Toy Exclusive)

And this Stroll figure by Spanky Stokes:

In other toy news, this was fun - a limited edition retro style figure that was meant to resemble the Abominable Snowman of the 1957 Hammer film:

Finally out: the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Select Yeti Deluxe Figure::

And Chooblah, stave-wielding king of the Kulataks, from the He-Man reboot:

And these guys (not avail. for sale as near as I can tell) were pretty swell, too:

Hands in Factory
Cesar Diaz

Worthy of celebration - two commercially-available plushes of note were released:

The SAH Plush:

And the Polariffic Yeti:


In the world of PC/Consoles...

As announced last year, the Far Cry 4 expansion "Valley of the Yetis" was released and we finally got to see the FPS' highly-anticipated unique envisioning of the classic video game enemy:

Earlier this week, I showed you what some of the earlier (more traditionally yeti-ish) designs looked like for the game.  And I'll be honest and say I was a little disappointed with the final result, which reads to me more as a hulking zombie-mutant (see game spoilers for why this is) rather than the familiar Abominable Snowbeast we all know and love, and actually want.

But I will say I was happy to see that LEGO Worlds made the Series 11 mini-figure be a playable character - Huzzah!

And, also worthy of mentioning, Bloodborne has its creepy Giant Lost Children, which players nicknamed "Yeti". Good for them.


Anyway, mobile gaming had a strong offering, as per usual...

Lara Croft: Relic Run was hugely popular and brought yeti (three types!) back into the world of Tomb Raider.

Beast Quest, based on the book series, has the yeti as just one of its many boss fights, but it uses it as its icon and places it prominently on the title screen:

There's also two mobile games with mountains in the title:

Face Mountain, which has a great mascot Monty:

 And Skiing Yeti Mountain, whose yeti lurks unseen (?) through the whole game:
Finaly, even though it's of the non-electronic variety, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Jenga-like board game, Yeti in My Spaghetti


Well, lookee here, the They Might Be Giants video for their song "Good to Be Alive" is about a man recovering from a Yeti attack:

The Land of Nod, no stranger to Yeti Love, released a compilation CD "Nod Fam Jams" of family music. The cover featured front-and-center a vested yeti playing the guitar:

In the latest season of the web cartoon about One Direction (The Adventurous Adventures of One Direction), the abominable snowman showed up:

 And of course, there's: PPL MVR!


This might be a record year for yetis in books. Especially ones for kids. Look how many came out:


I think my personal favorite is "The Thing about Yetis" so I'm dubbing it the best book this year.

In September we saw the first issue of a new Dark Horse comic, The Paybacks, featuring Skisquatch, a yeti:



The newly rebooted Inspector Gadget CG cartoon had an episode featuring a swell yeti (post forthcoming):

The Jake and the Never Land Pirates.cartoon had an episode featuring the Legendary Snowfoot (post forthcoming):

 Spongebob Squarepants aired an episode called "Yeti Krabs"

In Peru, a  commercial aired for Backus Ice, featuring a yeti costume.


Every year I miss some stuff from a previous year. It's inevitable. Here are my biggest oversights for 2015:

Hallmark's Polariffic was released in late 2014. Doh.

Biotroids were Kraang-controlled robot yetis from the 2012 CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon:

In 2014, Episode 1 of Season 6 of the TV show Face/Off had a Beauty and the Beast challenge which resulted in this yeti:

An episode of Bones in October 2014 had this yeti statue, advertising a fake video game called Kro-No.

Mexican Colgate mascot Max the Yeti from 2013:

GE Ad "Yeti as Idea" from 2014:


More about it here and here.


And here are some Golden Oldies from the Golden Olden-times I discovered (or re-discovered) this year:

Man Beast

Astroboy (cartoon)
Comics in Three Months in 1961 (part 1, part 2, part 3)
Ice-Monster Cometh comic
Incredible Hulk comic # 5 

Tiger Mask
Bigfoot and Wildboy
The Snow Men comic
Batman Comic #337
Tarzan Comic

Ice Cream Heroes

Weird Science tv show


Occasionally in my trawlings, I learn about projects where there might have been yeti involved - it got real close - but we ended up with not yeti.  If only things had gone another way. Somewhere there's an alternate reality where these yetis exist...

> According to her Wikipedia entry, as of 2010, Jill Culton, director of Open Season, is "writing and directing an animated film about a little girl and a Yeti, tentatively titled Everest." Um, that never happened, I guess.

> And according to his Wikipedia entry,  Lloyd J. Schwartz, writer for The Brady Bunch, Alice, The A-Team, and Baywatch, wrote a TV pilot in 1976 called "BBBRRRRrrrrrr!--That New Abominable Snowman Comedy".

> An early clay model in 1980 for the wampa looked even more yeti-ish, pointy-head and all:

> As I blogged about, Aardman Animations was going to adapt Eva Ibbotson's chapter book The Abominables, but the film was sadly canceled.  Now, a stop-motion Aardman yeti would have been incredible (and no, this cameo in Pirates! doesn't really count).  I feel an Aardman yeti movie's absence in the world like an unhealable wound.

> As I blogged about, Captain Gutt from Ice Age was going to be more yeti-ish. Here's an early sketch:

> And Chris Sanders (of Lilo & Stitch) did a design for a tusked abominable snowman for some unmade project:


Here are some my favorites from the year:

Alf vs. Yeti
 Pi Day Supreme
Japanese Wrestling
Ten years of yeti crab
April fools!
Jane Goodall
Happy 40th Yeti in D&D
Honorary Yetis
Pixel Dailies Challenge
Destination: Nepal

Not Yetis: Ben Franklin, Billiken, Pascagoula Humanoid, Flatwoods Monster, and last but not least, The Heap.