The Caveman container was based on Ötzi the Iceman, who they found buried in a glacier in the Italian Alps. (I'll bet you didn't think you were actually going to learn something when you read this webpage, did you? Want to learn more? Check out the Wikipedia entry on Ötzi (This opens in a new page.) I had actually built the original head because I had a copy of Time Magazine with photos of the guy on the front. They were good enough that I thought I could reconstruct him using one of the polyfoam skulls. He was built using the inevitable plastic eye and lots of model magic. The ice effect (which is painted black in the photos) was done using strands of unraveled string soaked polyurethane. (This was quite a painstaking thing to undertake, but I think it really made the prop work.)
When I finished scultping him, I was quite pleased with the likeness. The only trouble was...so what? Few people who visit haunted houses are not very likely to know who the iceman was. The ones who were probably wouldn't be stopping to admire the thing; they'd be too busy looking for the next person who would jump out at them. So while he was a nice piece, he wasn't really much good for the haunted house scene. So he kind of sat around, finished and only partially painted
While I was searching through my stock in 1995, looking for product ideas, I found the caveman, waiting in a storage container patiently. I still had the same problem with him, though. He was a bit too obscure to appeal to the average store buyer for Hallowe'en. He did seem like something that might make an interesting container, though. Maybe he could be a candy dish at a science lab Hallowe'en party?
So I started resculpting him for that purpose. He didn't make the cut for the '96 show, but we did get quite a bit done in resculpting him. The really nice part of this prop was that it didn't require a lot of work on the face. Unfortunately he never made it to the production phase.