In doing research on McGruff after he died, I wandered into the strange Internet storefront that produced his costume likeness. Friends: it is a frightening world of furry normalization. You need to see it for yourself.
The company is the Utah based “Robotronics,” a group that is responsible for creating educational mascots based on PSA friendly figures like Smokey Bear, Daren the D.A.R.E. lion, and Sparky The Fire Dog. The company has been around since 1983 and takes pride in being “the world leader in safety education products, targeted especially towards children 14-years old and younger.” They have created over 6,000 “robotic characters” in addition to costumes, puppets, and other materials that help enlighten children on safety.
However, everything they make looks like a nightmare – and for every recognizable PSA friend, there are at least five alternatives from a hell ready for their Five Nights At Freddy’s debut.
For example: Smokey Bear. He’s iconic! But look at what Robotronics have done to him: he’s a fucking nineties bobble disaster, a Teddy Ruxpin talkie to breath fears into your fire safety. He’s horrible looking! But the furry nightmare doesn’t end with Smokey: there’s also the crazy eyed Patches The Pumper and the melted looking generic Dalmatian Fire Dog along with puppets like the creep pole Pluggie The Fireplug, the rapey looking “human” Smoke Detective, and the undeniably phallic Match. They are all awful.
If you were hoping that was the extend of Robotronics’ unstellar roster, those are only the terrors to educate kids on fire: Robotronics has multiple disciplines for PSA education. The other categories come with more obscure, ghastly creations to teach children how to be safe and smart in this world via furry suits. In crime prevention, there’s the Internet educating Faux Paw the Techno Cat who looks constantly goosed and ready to be taken into a plushy room for “play time.” In transportation safety, there’s the bondage daddy Bucklebear who is known to “suit up for safety” (which, no, is not related to condom use). In water safety, you have many poisons to chose from like drown preventing sex Dan Akroyd Buddy Beaver and magically penetrating Seamoor The Sea Serpent and the repulsive flying bird mess Seavester.
Want to get really fucked up on this shit? Look at the demons in recycling education. I’m sorry but, obviously, Woodsy Owl will be pecking your eyes out as you sleep, to recycle them in the underworld.
As if it has to be said, these are all terrible creations. They are trash creatures. They are walking infernos of now-thenness.
With so much technology in the world, the universe of educating children via anthropomorphic means is a fucking mess in need of updating – and to be untangled from the trauma of fake fur and antiquated robotics. No fucking wonder some adults have such an interest in furries: these were what came to our schools and taught us to love each other.