Too many cuddles lead to rescue mission for Monsters Inc star Sulley at South Shields exhibition

He might be massive, but Monsters Inc star Sulley isn’t all that tough.

The 6ft-plus display of James P ‘Sulley’ Sullivan has been a hit with visitors to The Word as they have taken a tour around Monsters! The Good, The Bad and the Cuddly.

Sulley is bandaged up by Jon Ternent of Sheridan Design before the piece was removed for maintenance.

Sulley is bandaged up by Jon Ternent of Sheridan Design before the piece was removed for maintenance.

But it’s the cuddles which have caused come concern - with the blue and purple furry friendly fiend now out of action as he is in need of some much-needed repairs.

Little monsters have stood on his feet, causing his toes to take a battering, with the coating around his mouth also worn away since the display launched on March 17.

Sulley, who features in the 2001 Pixar and Disney film and its 2013 prequel Monsters University, has now been taken away to be restored and is due back on show next Tuesday, May 1.

In the meantime, he has been replaced with a cardboard cut out, so that guests to the Market Place venue can still catch a selfie with the character.

In the four weeks since it opened he’s enjoyed more than 67,000 cuddles from visitors young and old, so he’s in need of a little break.

Tania Robinson

Tania Robinson, head of marketing and culture at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, said: “Our giant, hand-crafted, replica Sulley has been a huge hit with visitors to the exhibition.

“In the four weeks since it opened he’s enjoyed more than 67,000 cuddles from visitors young and old, so he’s in need of a little break.

“We are booking him into a Monster spa for a week for a special pedicure – and when he comes back he will be cuddlier than ever.”

The Sulley exhibit has been bandaged up to protect the piece from further damage and carefully removed for maintenance, with the show closed for the afternoon yesterday while the furry version was taken down.

Bandaged Sulley the monster from The Word's monster exhibition. Sheridan Designer Jon Ternent

Bandaged Sulley the monster from The Word's monster exhibition. Sheridan Designer Jon Ternent

The remainder of the display is open and will continue to welcome visitors until January 6.

The show, created by Sheridan Design, was created to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror story Frankenstein.

In addition to Sulley and Frankenstein’s monster, it also features characters from Hollywood’s golden age including Dracula, Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the story of mythical creatures such as Medusa.

Interactive games can be played and there are clips of films and readings from stories including The Gruffalo and Shrek.

More details about The Word can be found via https://theworduk.org/.