Theophilus Thistler and Robert Rowley - AKA The Techno Tubbies - were synonymous with fans of the Australian electronic music duo.
Sonic Animation — AKA iconic ‘90s Australian electronic music duo Adrian Cartwright and Rupert Keiller — have sold legendary mascots, Theophilus Thistler and Robert Rowley, on Facebook Marketplace.
Over the years, the quirky characters — dubbed The Techno Tubbies — had become synonymous with Sonic Animation's live performances after making their appearances during the mid-song break in the pair’s 1999 trackTheophilus Thistler (An Exercise In Vowels) from their second album, Orchid for the Afterworld.
Last week, the foam mascots found their way for sale on Facebook Marketplace after being listed by Keiller for the price of "$2000 each or $3500 for both", with the iconic memorabilia being snatched up after just five days online.
The listing’s initial description read: “These inflatable suits - Robert Rowley and Theophilus Thitler - were made by Melbourne costume maker Rose Chong in 2000. The original suits, made by members of Sonic Animation, and video director Morgan Evans were not robust enough to handle touring or being cuddled by fans.”
“So Rose Chong did a re-design, making beefier fur suits, fitting the suits with fan packs which also helped to keep the person inside cool. $2000 each or $3500 for both. They come with 2 fan packs, special shoes, a battery charger and a carry bag.”
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Reflecting on donning the colourful suits for the duo’s most popular track, Keiller recalled to Double J, "The nightclub scene that's at the end of the video – we filmed that first. We did that night's filming and afterwards, Adrian says he's not going in the suit ever again because it's too hot!”
"[They] were stuffed with material and pillows to make them look more weighty. Also, dacron [polyester fibre] in the head to stop them flopping around. So, they were incredibly hot to work in, which is why Adrian refused to do it."
While they aren’t the OG costumes that appeared in the music video — Keiller thinks he “sold them several years ago".