Making a goblin silicone mask was an inevitability for Mind Magic Studios! Being a British SFX company, we love creatures and myths from the rich culture of British folklore as well as from the wider world of fantasy literature, film and gaming.
Join us for a blog about all things goblin where we'll:
look at the different goblin types from the world of folklore, literature and pop culture that influenced our latest original design mask.
give you some goblin mask costume inspiration
reveal the meaning behind 'Nimaeth', the name of our goblin mask
share some unusual goblin related locations to bag some awesome costume pics
But first, let's introduce Nimaeth the goblin who we shot in a beautiful ancient forest, deep in the English countryside...
For you fantasy and history fans, we shot our Nimaeth goblin mask short in an area of very old woodland. The oak tree at the end is, unbelievably, over 800 years old and a star in its own right. What secrets has this beautiful piece of history seen over the hundreds of years it has stood strong and firm? What magic has protected it for all of this time?
We thought this was a fitting location for telling a tale of legend and myth. If you'd like to visit it, we can share the secret location, just drop us an email at info@mindmagicstudios with the title 'Goblin Hunt' and we'll send you the coordinates! Will you unearth more enchanted treasure hidden amongst the undergrowth or within the bows of the ancient oaks, or has Nimaeth the goblin thief spirited it all away?
From tricksters to warriors, goblins are hugely versatile characters. Here's some of the goblin types from folklore, film and literature that we researched when designing our new goblin mask.
The prankster goblin
A goblin can be a mischievous prankster, much like their close British folklore relatives the Cornish 'Piskies' who are also known for being small, human shaped, having pointy easy and being tricksters who might steal from humans. They're often depicted by artists as having a red hat, green outfit and very pointy ears that point up vertically.
The humanesque goblin
Goblins can also be small, ugly versions of humans. The goblins of Gringotts Wizarding Bank from the Harry Potter films are probably the most famous portrayal of this goblin type. They're intelligent, sly and calculating - literally - the value of your possessions!
We suspect J. K. Rowling also drew from myths found in the book British Goblins from 1880 (which you can read online for free) that suggests that the 'Coblynau' live in mines, quarries and caves in Wales, and they make a knocking sound to let miners know they've found gold. 'Coblyn' in Welsh apparently also has a double meaning of 'knocker' or 'sprite'.
If you love these, we really recommend a trip to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London. The Gringotts exhibit is phenomenal and there's lots of the Gringotts goblin head sculpts on display to look at close up. Here's a sneak peek:
The warrior goblin
For others, a goblin is a frightening, dangerous vicious and evil being. Tolkien's letters say that the words 'goblins' and 'orcs' have the same meaning in his literature. If you think about the Moria Orcs they are led by Azog, a fearsome warrior and they band in hordes to war monger and raid.
The sorcerer goblin
Mind Magic Studios are also huge fans of Jim Henson and his truly wonderful film 'Labyrinth'. This features the legendary 300 year old Goblin King Jareth. Although he has a human face (and a seriously bouffant hairdo), in character he is more of a goblin sorcerer who might take possession of your mind with his tricks and puzzles.
The demon goblin
Different again is the association with goblins and hell. Historically, churches in the UK usually felt that all types of fairy creatures were devils. Head north up to the Anglo-Scottish border in Britain and you'll hear about a redcap, a type of goblin who dyes its hat in human blood. There are regional variations that challenge this though. In Cornwall, in the South-West of England, fairies were said to be angels who refused to side either with God or Lucifer.
Finally we have ‘Hobgoblin’. This may stem from another Welsh goblin type called the 'Bwbachod', which legend states is a household, friendly goblin who helps with chores. They're usually seen as distinct to the more evil goblin tropes. Welsh folklore suggests that Hobgoblins are also mischievous '(Bwbach' roughly means 'little scare') but as they are helpful we think they would probably look after your possessions rather than steal them. Think Dobby, from Harry Potter. These are similar to and also known as brownies found in Scottish folklore too, known as a 'brùnaidh' or 'gruagach' in Scots Gaelic.
The Green Goblin
Being huge comic book fans, we couldn't research goblins without looking into Spiderman's nemesis, The Green Goblin from Marvel Comics. Although he has the traditional goblin pointy ears and nose, the big comic book toothy smile, his muscular physique and the sci-fi hover board and crazy pumpkin throwing antics give him a massively different vibe to the fantasy style goblin - proving once again just how versatile the goblin trope is in the right creative hands.
Designing a goblin mask
As you can see, there's a wide range of goblin characters and the folklore definition that the 'Oxford English Dictionary of Folklore' provides is just as broad:
‘Goblin - a general term for fairy creatures of malicious or evil nature, especially if small and ugly; it can also be used for minor demons. The word is derived from medieval French’.
So how do you bring that all together into one mask, and make something that's obviously a goblin but with your own spin on it? Well, we love putting you in the creative driving seat when you buy our masks so flexibility is important to us. For our goblin we sculpted the distinctive pointy nose, pointy ears and scrawny, wizened face that everyone would recognise as a goblin. Next we added the signature Mind Magic Studios hyper-realistic skin texture that we know you all love on our masks.
You can see from our Nimaeth launch video that we painted the mask up in green, but the great thing with our goblin mask is that the realistic skin texture means that we can paint him in human tones and even hair punch him if you want it, to create the more human looking Gringotts style goblin.
Now you have a goblin face mask to wear with a whole load of goblin style options. The wide ranging nature of goblins we talked about earlier also gives you a huge number of choices for turning him into a completely unique character all of your own. Now its over to you!
Goblin mask costume inspiration
Are you ready to engage goblin mode? Here's some questions to get you thinking as you play your part in taking our goblin mask, working your own 'mind magic' on it to bring your character to life:
Will you don some war paint and armour, and style yourself as an evil orc warrior, Lord of the Rings style?
Will you be a fearsome goblin king or lord, and rule over a horde?
Are you part of a LARP community like Empire, where you can style your goblin mask to your nation?
Do you fancy yourself as a wizard or sorcerer goblin, speaking in tongues and casting spells?
Will your goblin reflect your terrain, such as forest goblin or a snow goblin?
Will you style yourself as a Halloween goblin of horror, with clown mask style makeup?
Do you fancy yourself as gold-obsessed Gringotts goblin, donning a pinstripe suit for Harry Potter cosplay at Comic Con?
Choices, choices, we're all about giving you choices!
The origins of Nimaeth's name
In naming our goblin mask we wanted to convey what is common about the wide range of characters that goblins can be. Taking possessions was our touchstone because that is something that prankster goblins might do as well as the more Tolkienesque orcs, who reflect the war-mongering battle goblins that take their spoils from the defeated, as well as sorcerer goblins who may possess your mind.
Niman - take
Aeht - possessions
Keeping with British history, we took the early English words for 'take' and 'possessions which are 'niman' and 'aeht'. To make something unique, we dropped the 'n' at the end of 'niman' and reversed the 'ht' at the end of 'aeht' to make it a little easier to read. When you say it out loud we think it has a lovely fantasy sound to it and its a welcome addition to the Mind Magic Studios mask family.
Goblin themed locations to photograph your goblin mask costume
We know you are all the coolest people and will totally be across the different types of events your tribe are into, whether its D&D, LARP, comic con or horror and Halloween. With that in mind, instead of listing off events directories and costume suppliers, here's some unusual places you can visit in your costume that have the word 'Goblin' or something goblin related in the name. Send us your pics and we'll share them on our social media.
Here in the UK there's some cracking options:
Goblin Combe in north Somerset, England. Goblin Combe is a gorge cut into the limestone by melting snow and ice during the last ice age and has magical views. The woodland area is home to the beautifully named and rare 'moonwort' fern.
Yester Castle also known as "Goblin Hall" in Scotland. Fantastic ruins that couldn't look more goblinesque if they tried.
There's a few options if you're in America too:
Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, United States. This couldn't be further from the traditional fantasy landscape you might expect to see a goblin in but the park features thousands of 'hoodoos', mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles which the locals call goblins.
Goblin Bay, Beausoleil Island in Ontario, Canada. Located in the Thirty Thousand Islands on Lake Huron, you can camp here too.
If you fancy a goblin-themed quest, back here in the UK there's Sandstone Ridge where you can find 'Goblin's Gold'. This type of moss has evolved to grow in low light conditions. Its cunning like a goblin and concentrates the available light to let it grow in shady places where other plants can't survive - much like the orcs from the Mines of Moria who thrive under the Misty Mountains where other's cannot. You can find Goblin's Gold moss in overturned tree roots, entrances to animal burrows and caves - the true habitat of a real goblin.
Goblin-core all the way!
Nimaeth the goblin silicone mask - a silicone face plate mask for sale now