The Zipper Mouth Doll

Before I started this blog, I wasn’t too bothered by dolls. Sure, I could recognize a creepy doll as well as anyone, but an overall lack of exposure kept my reaction level low.

But the artistic style of patents seems to magnify the creepy-factor of what would otherwise be just an ugly lump of fabric. For example, consider this doll:

A doll with an enormous zipper mouth.
USP 2,995,865, FIG. 1

From the too-large mouth on the too-large head to the leering side-eye, everything from the neck up on this doll is awful. Let’s get a closer look:

A head of a doll with an enormous zipper mouth. The zipper is open.
USP 2,995,865, FIG. 2

The whole concept here is that the mouth leads to a cavity in the doll’s head. The mouth can be closed by the zipper, which in an open position looks like a million tiny teeth.

Now, the invention is not limited to conventional doll forms. Rather, the inventor says you can put these pocket faces on basically anything. This is a sinister pillow, with legs that can be formed into loops to use as a purse:

A scowling happy face on a pillow with a zipper mouth.
USP 2,995,865, FIG. 4

Then this is a bib. I am pretty sure that cavity is going to get stuffed full of Cheerios and mashed vegetable slime:

A bib with a face on it.
USP 2,995,865, FIG. 7

And of course it can be applied to apparel as well. Consider this “beach robe” which looks to me like something a toddler would wear with a tuxedo:

Some kind of vest with a zipper-mouthed face on each front panel.
USP 2,995,865, FIG. 8

Now, zipper-mouthed dolls do exist. You can find them on Etsy and most of them aren’t anywhere near this horrifying. They’re mostly totally normal non-human-shaped plushies that just happen to have a zipper on them. It’s just when you try to draw them, while emphasizing the functional features of the zipper on a human-like face, that you end up diving into the uncanny valley.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s