Sunday, April 12, 2009

"...what/who IS Bunnyken, anyway??"

This post is long overdue. I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain the story behind Bunnyken, so I'll make an entry here for posterity.

Simply put, Bunnyken is a half bunny, half chicken creature -- hence the name. Although I often refer to it as "he," it is of indeterminate gender.

But the mythos of Bunnyken cannot be explained that easily. Not by a long shot.

It all began about 5 years ago, when I came across a very strange item for sale while searching weird auctions on Ebay just for the hell of it:

(image copyright: the original photographer, whoever you are...)

It was listed as Bunnyken, and I thought it was funny & creepy and odd, so I saved the pictures of it.

Fast-forward to a couple of years later, when I was pondering what avatar to wear to W-hat's Third Birthday celebration (April 27, 2007) in Second Life.

Arahan, CickMy Lunt (now known as CensoredMy Lunt, due to SL's ridiculous, crybaby policies) and I were set to DJ for the event, so I wanted something funny and weird to wear.

I somehow remembered the pictures of the bizarre bunny/chicken doll I had saved, and I thought I'd try to recreate it in Second Life.

W-Hat's 3rd Birthday Celebration in Baku (I)
Arahan (left) and me get ready for the big party!

The above picture shows the first incarnation of the Bunnyken avatar. I later improved it with better texturing, etc.

Bunnykens (II)

Bunnyken avatar

In Second Life, I began to make various prim sculptures of Bunnyken -- the first significant one being, of course, Bunnykenball at Brooklyn Is Watching, about a year ago:


I grew more and more obsessed with this mysterious character, and wanted to know more about it. I searched the web in vain for any information about its origins -- there is literally NOTHING out there, I have tried.

I kicked myself for not bidding on that Ebay auction! I didn't think I would ever be lucky enough to find one again... but lo and behold, about one year ago, I found ANOTHER for sale on Ebay, and I bought it.


This is actually Bunnyken in its original form.

[The one in the yellow suit must have been someone else's weird creation -- a Bunnyken head on a decapitated doll body. Genius.]

It appears to be some kind of cheap plastic Easter toy. The head is easily removed and has a hollow tube neck. The button on the front of its body turns. I think it's some kind of candy dispenser -- fill it with jellybeans or other small candies, turn the button, and a single jellybean will be dispensed into one of the little indentations on the base, each of which has short phrase:


(image copyright: the original photographer, whoever you are...)

I asked the sellers if they knew ANYTHING about Bunnyken's background -- what year(s) it was made, where it was manufactured, anything. The sellers had actually brought this Bunnyken to Antiques Roadshow, and even the appraiser had no idea what the hell it was.


From the Ebay auction page:
"It reads BUNNYKEN on the bottom so I am assuming that is who made it.

I took it to the Antiques Roadshow, they had never seen or heard of one before and thought it was pretty rare and very different than anything they had seen.

They apprised (sic) it between $75 and $100...."

Since then, Bunnyken has returned time and time again to my SL artwork (often with Arahan's help)...


I have since found and purchased yet another Bunnyken on Ebay, but I am no closer to figuring out anything about its origins.


It is still as mysterious, creepy, and whimsical as it has ever been. And I am not really quite sure why, or how, but the character of Bunnyken seems to have taken on a life, and will, of its own. It is a godlike figure, and demands worship.

Pop Art Bunnyken


Bettina Tizzy said...

Well, I'll be. At LAST I know who Bunnyken is and WHY Bunnyken is synonymous with some aspects of a certain Nebulosus Severine in Second Life. Whew. I hereby vow never to outbid you on a Bunnyken on eBay, Neb.

Arahan Claveau said...

Wow! I haven't read your blog for a while Neb, this is a fantastic explanation of Bunnyken, probably the most information that has ever been written about the mysterious character.

CM Pauluh aka Nebulosus Severine said...

Thanks! I'm glad my effort in writing this was worth it. I will update this post as I find out more information about this perplexing plastic persona. IF I ever find out anything else, haha.

Arahan Claveau said...

Part of Bunnyken's appeal does come from it's mysterious origins but I would really love to know what twisted freak invented him!

cute or kill? said...

I once owned the doll from the auction. I think it might still have been a variant of the Bunnyken product line, but who knows? Like most things I've sold, I regret this one, too.