20 Jul 2018

The World of POPIKI: The Making of Giants

So you may have seen or heard about the gargantuan POPIKI dogs that popped up at The Cathay in Singapore. 

If you were taking the bus down Orchard Road, the shopping district in the city center of Singapore, it's hard to miss the bright red giant POPek half-squating under the entrace canopy at The Cathay. These installations were created for The Cathay, featuring the signature balloon dog designs by Whatshisname, and we are so grateful to be able to be part of this urban art project. In fact, it's our largest outdoor installation yet, and it has been such an exciting ride for us!

Since posting sneak peeks of these guys on our social media, we've received many questions from curious fans. "What are these made of!?" "How big are they!?" "Are they for sale?" Wait, what? Sorry, they are not for sale, my friend. But read on, as there is something else that you might be able to get for yourself!

Now, to answer some of the other questions, let's see how these large sculptures were created!

giant popiki art installation work in progress image
Q: What are they made of?
While making small vinyl art collectibles is our specialty, making giant sculptures is an entirely different ball(oon)game. These POPIKI dogs were sculpted from polyfoam. The various parts of the dogs were sculpted separately and then put together with industrial adhesives and putty. Finally, they were reinforced with strong and weather-resistant fiber-glass. With that being said, pleeease resist the urge to sit on them, ride them, put your kids on them, pee on them, key them, or steal POPek's poop. This is for your own safety as well as the dogs'. 


popiki pantone swatch comparison

Q: How long did it take to make these sculptures?
From planning to constructing to installation, these sculptures took about 4 months to complete. Based on the 3D-sculpt that we have, smaller prototypes were made and measured, to be scaled 20x larger for the tallest POPek! It took the longest time to perfect the sculpt of these dogs. The form may look simple and geometrical, but it takes a tremendous amount of skills and experience to perfect the clean contours of these balloon dogs. The simpler and smoother the form, the more obvious every dent and bump will appear!

Fiber-glass was then applied and buffed smooth, before applying multiple coats of paint. The paint was hand-mixed according to a Pantone swatch and constantly checked against the swatch to make sure that the color is exactly right. Lastly, they were varnished in a clean and enclosed environment to achieve the high-gloss finish. PHEW! There was definitely a lot of work involved!


popiki installation at the cathay

Q: How big are they?
In total, 4 POPIKI dogs were supersized for this installation. There are three (relatively) small dogs, namely PEEpek, Happy POPek and Howling (which is making its worldwide debut appearance here — a lucky dog we must say). These three sculptures measure an average of about 2 meters in either height or length.

The biggest one is the enormous red POPek, which almost reaches the top of the canopy at the entrance. This baddie measures close to 4 meters in height and required a crane to install. All of them had to be installed after midnight and it was quite a thrilling experience! Watch out for our time-lapse video of the installation, releasing soon! Follow us on Instagram to catch us in action for future mischiefs! 

Can't wait to see this installation? They are now on display at The Cathay but before you rush out with your cameras, we have an exciting photo contest for everyone who's in Singapore to participate in!

paddle pop popek by whatshisname


Take the most creative photo with/of any of the POPIKI dogs (without endangering the sculptures, or we will be very mad at you!!) and share it on Instagram with the hashtags #mightyjaxx, #whatshisname, and #POPIKIparty. You don't have to be in the photo if you're camera shy! The best photo chosen by our team will receive this absolutely adorable 4" mini POPek in Paddle Pop!! The photo with the most number of likes will receive a $100 MJ voucher to get yourself a treat from our online store!

This contest starts on 20 July and ends 17 Aug 2018. Winners will be informed via Instagram direct message. So let the dogs out, bring your friends and fam and props, and head down to The Cathay to snap some pictures with your favorite POPIKI sculpture!



Sold Out