Riding for the Disabled Association contacted us looking to create an inflatable mascot pony of their brand’s mascot, Blossom. As you could imagine, the costs of transporting ponies, feeding them, care, as well as the risk of animals and children may be a little bit of a challenge. The idea was for the life size mascot to become the centrepiece to their events where the horses may not be able to attend.
Our client was kind enough to share a huge range of different assets, including hand drawn images which they used on their Christmas Cards through to stress toys which they gave to the young riders as a keepsake.
The main goal was to be able to have an inflatable that was easy to use, safe around both children and animals alike. We got together and brainstormed an ideal concept that satisfied these requirements, while still nailing an awesome design!
Often we get people who contact us with nothing but an idea and some sketches. We were lucky this time to be provided with multiple different sketches and even Blossom herself in other forms like the aforementioned stress toy.
With just the sketch and a handful of Christmas cards we got to work fine tuning the particulars about the inflatable itself. One thing that was very important, was stability. Blossom was going to be set up in a range of different surfaces and in different environments, so it was important to consider all possibilities. Once your inflatable is made to suit a certain application, it can often not be possible to make it work or modify it for a new environment.
It was agreed that the inflatable mascot pony needed something to stand on, though also needed to have the ability of being pegged into the ground to stop it from running away. Some events Blossom was going to be on hard ground, where tethering it to the ground with pegs was just not possible. Solution? An inflatable base with sandbags could be installed, again to stop this cheeky pony from running, or flying away!
After all this was confirmed, it was time to turn the inflatable mascot pony into a three dimensional creation, and finalise the design.
When it comes to inflatables, it is important to be aware that 3D CAD images still have a lot more flexibility in design compared to the final product that is produced. For example, all edges will be more rounded in reality due to the nature of air pressure expanding the fabric in every direction.
Custom inflatables can be very detailed, but when you make something big, you need to think big. Every inflatable we make is a once-off custom made unit, so there will always be something new to learn with every job. We constantly keep this in mind with every custom inflatable, and with 10+ years of experience, we are only getting better results.
Our 3D artist got to work tweaking and ensuring all the right details, including the mane and tail were correct. Due to fact the design was mirrored, this was completed in less than 24 hours and was sent off for final approval.
With Riding for the Disabled being completely ecstatic with the 3D design and happy to proceed, we sent all working files off to production to begin the task of creating the cut sheets from the 3D shape. Creating inflatables like this is similar to a jigsaw puzzle, with all the pieces needing to be sewn in the right place.
Before we knew it, Blossom had blossomed from a flat 2D watercolour sketch into a life size mascot ready to be sent to the client. We are so happy to have been able to assist such a great cause with this fun project!
We take the challenges and concerns of our clients seriously and when there are children involved, safety is always top priority. If you have any concerns with inflatables and foresee any issues, we are always here to help work through them and provide solutions wherever possible. Rest assured, that we are also upfront with any safety or design concerns that may need to be addressed.
If you are thinking of ways to create some buzz around your next event, chat to our experienced team who will be more than happy to put together a free quote and concept with you. Don’t be afraid to think big!
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