Anatomy of a toy: See Barbie’s skeleton

If you’ve ever wondered what Barbie looks like in the flesh (literally), then now’s your chance to get hold of a stripped-down model. American artist Jason Freeny has laid bare the anatomies of some our favorite toys from Hello Kitty and Super Mario to My Little Pony. Freeny tells Metro why he decided to take his surgeon-like artistic scalpel to the playroom.

Is this a kind of the adult equivalent of defacing a kids’ toy or like shaving off Barbie’s hair?

No, not really. It all started as a side project: I was doing some illustrations where a robot had a balloon animal as its pet. Then I started giving the robot and the animal feelings and emotions and eventually I created a schematic drawing of the animal’s anatomy like you would find in a doctor or vet’s office.

What is it about a toy’s anatomy that you find so fascinating?

I love toys, anatomy and infographics and I’m a sculptor at heart. It’s just so interesting to create a skeleton that is as recognizable as the character. It’s like, “Oh, that’s Hello Kitty.”

Are these toys strictly for geeky collectors?

Initially it was the urban vinyl crowd but now I find a lot of medical students and artists buying into it.

Some of the designs are like the sinister characters out of movie “Small Soldiers”. Have you terrified any kids?

I have two kids and neither have been afraid of the toys. In fact, the reverse has happened: they’ve shown a huge interest in anatomy.


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