How monsters came to The Word

Our latest exhibition, Monsters! The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly has well and truly arrived here at The Word!

More than 80,000 visitors have entered the exhibition since March to experience Dr Frankenstein’s lab or feel what it would be like to be held by King Kong and even get a selfie with our very own Sulley from Monsters Inc.!

But did you know what our very cuddly, giant Sulley is made out of yoga mats? Jon Ternent, from Sheridan Design (the team who created our monster-tastic exhibition), explained how Sulley was made.

He said: “First, we created a small quarter-sized version using foam pieces, then we enlarged the templates and replicated the build full size from heavy duty foam matting. After that, the hands were carved and added whereas the eyes, teeth, horns and nails were all made separately and attached to the main build. Finally, luxury turquoise fur was used to cover the whole figure.”

It took Jon over a month to build Sulley, working 9am to 5pm every working day. But this doesn’t include all planning work on the computer it took beforehand to map out the shape and work out how many materials will be needed. It really was a monster task!

Thousands of visitors have been getting up close to our Sulley, posing for selfies and giving him monster-sized hugs. Another attraction in our exhibition that has proven to be very popular is the giant King Kong hand that allows visitors to recreate the famous movie scene and pretend to be in the monster’s giant grasp!

To make King Kong’s hand, Jon carved the fist entirely out of a solid block of polystyrene, using a chainsaw and wire brushes to sculpt it. Then, the hand was cut in half and fibreglassed, ready to be transported to its new home here at The Word. Finally, King Kong’s hand was painted and varnished onsite at The Word before the fur was added to really make it look like a monster-sized fist. It took Jon two weeks to build this particular feature. 


Monsters! The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly is also currently home to Dr Frankenstein’s Lab, where visitors can come and pretend to be the Dr’s famous monster on the laboratory table. The room is full of buttons and machines, which you might be surprised to hear, are made out of household items. From Nutella jars to bottle tops, the lab is full of upcycled materials- this includes some Christmas lights, plant pots, fruit bowls and hanging baskets!

There’s still plenty of time to come and visit our scarily good FREE exhibition. Monsters! The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly is running at The Word until January 2019.


Emma Ormiston, Marketing & Communications