Maskimals…if you are in the Furry Fandom, you have already seen a lot of uproar over these things. Whether you love them or you absolutely hate them, they still exist.
They are a Walmart-brand of animal masks that may-or-may-not be marketed for and to the Furry Fandom…and they are one of the newest things that the fandom has been fighting and arguing over. Are they good or bad? Should they be used for fursuits? Does this hurt fursuit makers? Is this a good way to get our fandom out there and have it normalized? All of these have been topics of discussion.
So, trying to put my personal opinion aside (as best that I can), I decided to explore some of these questions and put in an ‘more-mature’ 2-cents…
- Should Maskimals be used as Fursuits?
—Whether I say yes or no, they will still be used, so, the question is a bit irrelevant. Conventions will still be flooded with these masks and will still become cluttered with people claiming them as their Fursona, same as what happened with the Mr.Fox mask.
But, in all honesty, the answer is “yes”. Yes they CAN be used as Fursuits…but should they be? Well, it’s all a matter of opinion.
I believe that for people that have never fursuited before (but that might be interested in doing so), this might be a good starting point. The materials are cheap, but, I hear the vision is good, and it breathes well enough. It won’t give you the real-feel on what it is truly like to wear a fursuit but, if you can’t handle wearing these masks all day…then perhaps fursuiting is not for you. I would rather someone pay $20 and decide they don’t like it rather than pay $500+ on a suit and then realize the same thing.
Also, for younger fursuiters that can not afford a suit (and have yet to finish growing), these heads could be a really good starting point for them. I see so many kids at conventions wearing Fursuits that they will outgrow in a few years. That’s a lot of time and materials that cost a lot of money…
Some kids wanna suit but are not allowed to try and make their own. So, this allows them to get in on the fun…even if I do think these things look horrible.
For those people (like me) that think these things are ugly, well, I have actually seen a few people online doing a complete re-haul on these heads. They were able to add new ears, new eyes…they were able to add more designs, and etc. You can barely tell that they were a Maskimal, and they can actually look pretty cool. Again, the materials may not be the greatest…and even with someone redoing the head, because of the way it was manufactured it will always be just so-so in quality, but, they can end up looking really cool and could be a really great starting point for younger Fursuit Makers.
- Do they hurt the Fursuit Makers (business)?
—One of the more major complaints on the Maskimals (outside of how they look) is that people fear this will hurt a Fursuit-Makers business. They feel like finding a cheap substitute for an animal costume will make the fandom move away from the custom-suits…thus, artists and makers will suffer. Is this true? I personally do not think so.
In fact, I actually think these Maskimals will do the opposite. I feel like they might actually increase the number of fursuiters, thus bringing a boost in business. Not only that, but I feel like these Maskimals might actually increase the number of potential Fursuit Makers out there as people develop an interest in customizing their characters, and making something more unique. I have never seen other cheap-animal masks conquering the fursuit-market before…so I doubt it would happen now.
Why do I think this? Let me put this into a scenario for you to better understand…
Telephone, Majira Strawberry, Tayerr, Beauty of the Bass, Pocari Roo…
If you are in the Furry Fandom, chances are you know these fursuiters (some or all of them) and/or you have seen them on YouTube. They are part of a group known as the ‘Popufurs’…meaning they are really popular and adored, pretty much ‘revered’ in the fandom with a massive fan-base. While the people themselves are loved, most of their popularity has come from their Fursuits and the characters they portray.
Whether or not, people want to admit it…a good chunk of the fandom only wants a fursuit for the recognition it brings them in the fandom. They get noticed more, they get more likes, they get more messages…fursuiters get more of the spotlight. This is nothing new. So, when you take a bunch of people wanting to be the next Telephone or the next Pocari on YouTube, and then you place them in a Maskimal…they will realize, that they are not getting the attention they want or crave. After that, it’s just a cycle of events.
That person will want to make a custom character and stand out…they might mod their Maskimal, or, they might even start saving the money to buy a pre-made suit. If they mod their Maskimal, that might make them become interested in fursuit-making, and thus start them down the path to doing fursuit commissions and bettering themselves and perfecting their craft.
As these people make their own custom character, get more attention, and etc…they will want the better suits, they will want a partial, then maybe a fullsuit. They will want more views on their YouTube or more likes on their Twitter. It will become like an addiction, and business can only flourish from this.
They will need refs if they want someone else to build a suit for them, they will want art of the character and badges for conventions. They will want everything that comes with being a Furry and that means more money going into the community and more artists getting recognized and funded.
This (of course) is a more extreme case. And it was merely an example…but, if you have been in the fandom as long as I have, and if you have seen the younger furries coming into the fandom and what they desire and why, then you know that what I am saying is true…
Yes, you may roll your eyes and groan. I understand your feelings completely, but, you have to understand that we all start somewhere…and it’s up to us to set the example and really help them understand the fandom, and do the thing our fandom is known for: being open and accepting.
- A good way to normalize the fandom?
—I have seen many debates on whether or not these Maskimals were marketed towards the Furry Fandom. My personal opinion is that it’s a mixture. Walmart makes a lot of money, and they are not stupid as to what consumers want. When Fursuit-making became a larger-thing in the community, suddenly Walmart decided to sell faux-fur in their sewing sections.
As the Furry Fandom continued to grow and gain more attention in the media, suddenly the Maskimals appear. Not to say that they are strictly marketed towards furries, but, the fandom is still a huge demographic for them outside of children and perhaps some very-drunk, very-crazy college kids X’D
But, is this a good way to normalize the fandom? To get people used to seeing other people walk around in huge, foam, animal heads? I personally would NOT like to be represented this way. Furries have…evolved. Looking back on old conventions in the 80’s and 90’s is terrifying…and thank goodness styles have evolved and changed. Even people outside of the fandom have a particular taste, and, they know what looks cute, and what looks absolutely cringy.
So, while it might be a way of normalizing the fandom… I would not want it to become normalized via cheap heads sold at Walmart. I would rather the fandom be normalized because people see the amazing conventions that are hosted, and the charities that these conventions help. I want it to become normalized because furries are visiting children’s hospitals and other places where people are sick, or injured…and because furries really brighten up the day.
I want it to become normalized via accurate representation on the news and on TV shows…but, if these Maskimals help, then, so be it…it’s just not my personal preference.
—Unfortunately, what a lot of people get when they post about Maskimals is a bunch of hate from the fandom. People talking about how they are not fursuits, how they are ugly, how they are cheaply made, and etc. I was one of those people that said they look pretty terrible…but I at least tried to say it in a way that was not harsh.
But some of the people posting against the Maskimals can be downright mean, and it does show the uglier side of the fandom. Since the fursuiting portion of the fandom is only about 20%, it does show that we have developed a standard for fursuiting…but we fail to realize that in trying to uphold a standard and being brutally (and cruelly) honest with our opinions and feelings on these things, we have been discouraging a lot of the younger members of the fandom, and really making the furry fandom a less inviting and accepting place than we claim to be.
I think the YouTuber called “Hugh” the German Shepherd said it best when they said that by doing this to people without the money for a suit, and without the means to make their own, we are discouraging someone that could be the next big Fursuit Maker…
We are discouraging possible talent, someone that could possibly contribute greatly to the fandom.
We are (in a sense) really ruining our image…and these Maskimals will bring a new flux of people in that will come in wanting to make friends and make art, only to be shunned, bashed, and ridiculed because people thing a Maskimal only looks good when it is on fire >.>;;;
Yes, everyone has a right to their own opinion…but it is in how you execute that right that separates the good person from the internet bully. So, even if you don’t like the Maskimals, try and give the pros and cons in an educated and mature manner. When confronted with a post about them where you know you can not be nice in any way…hide the post, or be an adult and just IGNORE it unless you have something “constructive” to contribute.
I have posted some furry videos down below discussing the Maskimals that cover the good and bad of it all, and I highly suggest you check those out.
But, as always, you can drop me your opinion in the comment-section down below and let me know what YOU think about these things. As always, thank you all so much for reading and your continued support…I will see you all in the next blog 😉
^^This one was my favorite video. Very straight-to-the point without a lot of ranting going on. I say this is the best for a positive opinion.
^^Obviously a younger fur that makes their point via a rant. Def more aggressive but still makes a point. The only thing that makes you a Furry is the love of anthro animals. So, whether you have a top-notch fursuit or a Maskimal…you are still valid in the fandom. Do I believe you should call it your Fursona? Well…no. I think fursona’s should be unique in a way, but, if you wanna say that’s your Fursona, I would never stop you. They make a very good point in that you can not copyright nature.