Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Bear Costume!

We timewarp back to the week before Comic-Con for this One Day Build, in which Adam builds the head for his grizzly bear costume! Adam explains how he sketched out the design for the character, how he experimented with its forms, and how the suit comes together. But the head is the most important part!

Shot and edited by Joey Fameli
Music by Jinglepunks

Comments (31)

31 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Bear Costume!

  1. First I thought Adam intended it to look a bit cartoonish or so, because that huge beer belly, but now he says he wanted it to be realistic to a certain level. Well I guess you can just vut the corset rings and screw them a little tighter. That would help a lot making it look less goofy and more realistic. It looks fun for kids, but I’d like to see it to be a bit more “bearish”.

    By the way, I bet the the local nature sciences museums or universities would let you have a closer look on their collection. (Pro tip: the good stuff is always in the basement!)

  2. Adam: if you haven’t already seen them the John West Bear Commercials feature a very lifelike bear costume. I’m not specifically referring to their ads shot in the wilderness, but more their recent ads with a bear in a kitchen. I suspect the build is similar to yours but the head and neck are much, much more realistic. Hope this helps.

  3. Question: What mascot cooling systems did you use? Have you tried multiple systems? Any suggestions? I know Adam created his own for the space suits he wore last year, but wondering about pre-made cooling systems.

    What kinds of cooling systems would you recommend? There seems to be 3 kinds. Ones that hold ice packs. Ones that have their own chemical mixture that keeps cool (freeze/refrigerate whole vest). Or water circulating.

    I know it depends on the outfit you’re wearing and size, but overall you could have used any of these for the Bear walk in the Mission.

  4. This was great! I particularly loved the process surrounding the nose and eyes selection.

    I predict the maker-culture will adopt the following phrase:

    Q: “Hey! You going to Comic-Con this year?”

    A: “Does Adam Savage s**t in the woods?”

  5. “Is that a real bear walking through the Mission?”

    “Nope! Chuck Testa!”

    Chuck Testa actually has a youtube channel that offers in-depth tips and tricks on taxidermy, so if you are interested in making a realistic animal costume, it is worth checking out! 🙂

  6. Yes, Matt Groening is from Portland, Oregon. Springfield is a town South of Portland, and there are numerous names that are based on places or streets here such as N.E. Flanders (I’m a Portland native).

    Thanks for a great show 🙂

  7. a funny side effect of these bear videos is the many instances of sound bites that go like ‘this is my bare body.’

    and then there is that special uncouth something to the humping motion when adam puts it on.

  8. Q: what was the cooling fan make,and does it make a lot. Of noise?
    I am a character performer, and keeping the costume cool is obviously an issue; One of my characters was also a bear! Outside a famous London toy shop- I would lose 2.5kg a day in perspiration.
    Keen to hear the answer

  9. Yes, Kydex is difficult to work with! It cools quickly, and I was never very happy with the knife sheaths I made. I think the experts make both positive and negative mould forms and quickly clamp the hot kydex between them. I heated mine in the oven (I didn’t have a heat gun) and getting the right temperature was difficult. It was easy to overcook it, too.

  10. Hey Adam,

    Could you share some more of the overall build process?

    I saw your awesome build and i want to try the same with totoro, but i have no idea on how to connect the fabric to the corset etc :s

    thank you

  11. Great job on the video guys, loved the editing for this one. Nice music mix, fun with the bits of slow-mo, good story evolution. Nice work to the crew!

  12. Posed this question on the video on YouTube as well. Why is he wearing jeans while inside the the bear suit? It would be incredibly hot no matter what cooling you have for his core. If I were to wear a suit like that with all that fur I’d be wearing board shorts or some other breathable material shorts to keep cool. Hope he stays safe wearing these costumes. Especially at the San Diego Comic-Con where the heat can be blistering and heatstroke could be a deadly. Stay safe buddy.

  13. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t show the Corset boning construction. I wonder if anybody else has used this similar method with other large humanoid characters and shown the construction?

  14. It took me a while to realize what would take this bear from looking amazing to ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! It’s something Adam is really great at doing too.


    This bear is so shiny and new, and I’ve never seen a bear look so clean before. Perhaps wearing this on a camping or fishing trip is in order? Haha

  15. Hi I am trying to build similar Bear using this Video. Could you please share the Spec and online taxidermy supply details for the Bear change out head? I like the one you showed in the video than the ones which I am finding online. Thanks in Advance

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