Environment

Local puppet maker creates warning about air quality

Toxic Toby lives in London and coughs to let people know the air is bad

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (KOIN) -- An animatronic puppet maker from Battle Ground is helping to warn people in London about air pollution.

With the help of a 3D printer, Toxic Toby was born in the Luna's Puppets studio in Battle Ground and now he lives on the streets of London, where people passing by often see him coughing.

As one of a handful of animatronic puppet makers in the world, Kevin Gorby told KOIN 6 News the advertisting agency McCann London approached him about making Toxic Toby and the former machinist jumped at the chance. 

"Me and my wife are very into climate change and do our best trying to help people understand what is going on so when we were approached about this job we were like, yeah, we definitely want to be a part of this," Gorby said. 

He used the 3D printer to make Toby's body because with all London's rain, the hard shell will protect the BreezoMeter inside.

An app collects and reports air quality data worldwide.

"Their air quality over there is atrocious and we aren't addressing it the way they are right now," Gorby said. 

Toxic Toby raises a paw and coughs when the air quality is bad, then he sends a tweet to lawmakers.

McCann has ordered more of the bears and fortunately for Gorby, with the 3D printer, that's an easier task than it used to be. 

"I can go through a 3D program like Solid Works and design everything on my computer, and print it out and build from there," Gorby said. "So it's cutting out the whole shop portion of the job and taking a one week build down to one or two days."

Toxic Toby isn't the only thing keeping Gorby busy. He gets orders every week, including many for popular DJ helmets, characters and for an upcoming YouTube movie. He even recently created his own Halloween costume.

Luna Puppets, originally started as a way to entertain his daughter, Luna, is now on the international map. 


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