Shaw Blade was created for the Museum Haunt in the 1993 Wyandotte, Michigan Jaycees haunted house. The Museum Haunt contained six pedestals, each of which had one of the early HEDZ on it. There were three on each side of the room with spot lights on them - basically designed to look like a museum. At the opposite end of the entry was a half- body prop that looked sort of like a person. He was the distraction. One of the pedestals were actually hinged so someone wearing a HEDZ-like mask could jump out from behind it. When I started working on Shaw, I gave him hair to add realism to the prop. I had found a cheap wig at a local resale store, taken it and cut it into pieces and glued them onto the head. I must say, I was profoundly disappointed with the end result. (Initial Shaw Prop Front - Initial Shaw Prop Right Angled) He sort of looked like he had the mange or something. But in the recesses of the 1993 haunted house, I figured it wouldn't matter too much. The blade was made of black cardboard with rust colors streaked on to give the effect of streaked blood.
Fast-forward to 1995 when I was considering which HEDZ could be made into commercial props. I had found a mold-maker who could make something from which I could cast polyurethane foam props. So I took Shaw with me when I went to see him to find out what i would need to do to make the prop production-ready. The mold maker took one look at him and explained that the recesses of the piece were too deep to make the it as a two part mold. This meant the final mold cost would go up dramatically - as would the price of the final prop. Deciding to sacrifice 'realism' for commercialism was a pretty easy step. Since the hair could not be molded it was also removed from the final prop. Since I didn't like it in the first place that was no problem. From this info, I resculpted as you see in the final prop and got a mold made of him. In fact he was the only prop to have a mold made for production.
This is rather curious in retrospect. I had not planned to to use Shaw Blade at the Halloween Show because I wasn't sure how to incorporate the blade. There were two issues involved: 1) how to make the blade 'safe' (always an important consideration in today's litigation-happy society) and 2) how to mass produce it. After running the idea of using a cardboard blade past a few people, I decided that was reasonably safe. Right before the show, I found a company that could produce them fairly cheaply, so Shaw came off the reserve list. Unfortunately, it was too late to get him into the literature, so Shaw doesn't appear in the flyer.
Actually, it was a lucky think I did bring him because he was the only non-ceramic piece that sold. It was also lucky that we had the mold made of him. Had I sold one of the other pieces, I would have either have had to make a mold or sell the original. So it all worked out in the end.