Tribbles - fur balls by Ouno Design

Spock: They remind me somewhat of the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin… but they seem to eat a great deal. I see no practical use for them.

McCoy: Does everything have to have a practical use for you? They’re… nice. They’re furry and soft. They make a pleasant sound.

Spock: So would an ermine violin, Doctor, but I see no advantage in one.

Vulcans have no sense of humour? Popular misconception. A couple of years ago we made these fur balls or small pillows/nerf toys out of scraps of vintage coats that we had around the studio. We wanted to make a novelty pillow from recycled materials for a design fair display, just for fun and because round shapes can add interest to any spatial composition. We didn’t notice that they looked like the creatures from the “Trouble with Tribbles” episode of Star Trek until our friend Fiona walked in, stopped dead and said “Whoa! Tribbles!” It seems that ours aren’t the only tribbles that were repurposed from other materials. The Star Trek art department made the original tribbles by dismantling existing mechanical plush toys and then using the original fun fur and the original battery-operated machinery to make vibrating, purring balls. 

Exploded tribble, from the Star Trek art department

What’s the purpose of a fur ball, you ask, Spock? For the charm value, and because when people walk into a space and something amuses them, it changes the whole mood. We like to feature stuff that accomplishes that on this blog. Thanks to Etsy for featuring our tribbles in their Etsy Finds this weekend. The Star Trek script dialogue above is from here. Explanatory Star Trek photos below…

PS. Join our contest: write a funny caption to the photos of the fur balls on the sofa, and the best entry will win one of our recycled fur ball pillows (or “tribbles”). Winner announced December 10. Free shipping! Enter by leaving your caption in the comments at the link below (or by sending us an email).

Tribbles on Star Trek original and Next Generation

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6 Responses to “Tribbles.”

  1. .tomate d'épingles. Says:

    I just spotted these on Etsy!
    Talk about a modern, fun idea!

  2. Fiona Says:

    …get down, make love…

  3. Trish Says:

    And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand…

  4. admin Says:

    Contest ends at midnight tonight! Thanks for all your entries via blog and email. We will announce the winner tomorrow morning…
    Lindsay and Sarah

  5. admin Says:

    Our most amusing winner is… Trish D. with her Obama quote! Thanks to everyone who emailed in as well. The very close runner up was K.D. with “I told you it would multiply if you got water on it” with his gremlins reference. Congratulations!

  6. admin Says:

    Trish, send us your address and we’ll ship you the tribble of your choice.
    Sarah and Lindsay

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