Welcome to the second issue of This Old Fursuit! In this recurring series, we will be looking at incredible old fursuits and doing deep dives on them.

One simply cannot talk about early fursuits that had massive impact on the furry fandom, without talking about the icon that is Hilda the Bambioid!

But to talk about Hilda, we must talk about her creator and performer, Robert Hill. This article will serve as an introduction to the fursuits of Robert Hill, focused on the first four he created; Annabella Bear, Clementine Bear, Hilda the Bambioid and Robert Bear. We intended to do a deeper dive on everything Robert Hill at a later date! But let us begin our journey into learning about his first fuzzy creations.

In 1987 Robert built a beautiful bear fursuit named Annabelle. It is believed he chatted with his Disney associate, Shawn Keller, to finalize what techniques he wanted to use on the costume. They would both draw their inspiration and tricks of the trade from how the costumes were made for Disneyland. Robert sculpted her head of clay, made a mold and fiber-glassed it. The body, tail, hands and feet would all be sewn together. This is the method Robert would continue to use for the majority of his costumes.

Robert wore Annabelle for an episode of Tori & Dean: Inn Love Season 2, Episode 6. We have tried finding footage to share with you all but this will require a bit more digging on our part. For now enjoy this photo of the lovely Annabelle with Tori Spelling herself!

In 1988 Robert would build a second bear character, this time a gal named Clementine. He focused on making the body for this costume tighter and more form fitting, to have more of a sexy allure. Robert never shyed away from the sexual side of the furry fandom, he very much embraced it in his costumes and artwork.

Robert invited a film crew to his house to film for the infamous MTV Sex Y2K : Furries and Plushies episode. Annabelle, Clementine and his namesake fursuit, Robert Bear, would all appear in the US and UK versions of the show. Robert had no qualms with talking bout kink and being openly sexual and so unlike many others that were unaware how their footage would be used, Robert was aware and lived for it. Much of his artwork would also be featured in the episode. The UK HBO version of the show would have a much greater focus on Robert Hill. Please be warned that this documentary is NSFW, age restricted and quite explicit in nature!

Later on in 1988, Robert would build one of the most iconic fursuits of all time, Hilda the Bambioid. He was good friends with the creator of the Bambioid species, Jerry Collins, who also goes by GeorgieGanarf online. He wanted to see how on model he could build this sexy alien deer species, and he most certainly nailed it! Hilda was a skin tight costume always sporting leather or PVC Vinyl outfits with long thigh high heel boots. Robert adored playing female characters and seeing how others reacted.

One of Hilda’s first outings would be an outdoor photoshoot at a park in Southern California. There are thirteen amazing photographs from this outing and a video that can be found at: ,https://confurence.com/1988/01/hilda-photoshoot-1988/

Another one of Hilda’s early outings would be at LosCon in 1988 where Sylus Sable would walk around with Hilda and get some fantastic footage. We also see a glimpse of the 5th Furry Party at the very start of the video.

And now we come to 1989, specifically January 21st to 22nd 1989, the first every furry convention, ConFurence 0. Hilda the Bamioid is one of the very few fursuiters at the convention, nobody is sure of the exact number but it was just a handful. There are a handful of photographs of Hilda at the convention, such as the one to the left, but incredibly there is actually video of her at this convention!

Thanks again to Sylus Sable and the Prancing Skilltaire there are roughly 13 minutes of footage of Hilda at the Confurence 0 dance.

This next photo was taken in 1989 at the LASFS Clubhouse. Fred Patten had just became the official editor of Rowrbrazzle. Next to him we see Marc Schirmeister, one of the creators of and the former editor of Rowrbrazzle. And next to him of course we see the lovely Hilda!

In 1989, Robert Hill would create his namesake character, Robert Bear. According to his FA account “At an early ConFurence, a “white russian” chick who was the girlfriend of an associate of mine danced with me. She wore her uncle’ soviet army dress hat and jacket and little else! I called the dance “The American Bear and the Innocent Russian Girl” – a play on words, as the Russians usually are known as bears.” This costume would be built with a two piece head, to keep things in better proportion. Robert Hill would also make the boots for this costume.

Robert Hill would continue to make fursuits for many years, making over a dozen in the end, all of which he wore to conventions and events. He would remain active in furry until the late 2000s where he would step away from furry events and websites. He would return to posting to FurAffinity in 2016 but would sadly pass away in 2018.

Robert Hill is one of the fathers of fursuiting and brought us one of the most iconic fursuits of all time, performed in an equally iconic way. He wasn’t afraid to be sexy, kinky and ‘weird’; he was just having fun and enjoying himself. I think we can all take inspiration from Robert Hill, his amazing costumes and the powerful presence of Hilda the Bambioid. Keep being weird furries, live your best lives, and look hot doing it!

Special Thanks:

Mike Kazaleh (first photo)

The Prancing Skilltaire (fifth photo and two Hilda videos)

Kay Shapero (seventh photo)nnInformation gathered from:

Robert Hill’s Furaffinity (https://www.furaffinity.net/user/robertbear/)nRobert Hill Page on Wikifur (https://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Robert_Hill)

Interview with Robert Hill on Dogpatch Press (https://dogpatch.press/2018/08/28/interview-robert-hill/)

Hi, I’m Gale Frostbane

Gale Frostbane (she/her) is a little saber kitty with big dreams. Since finding the furry fandom in January 2011, she fell madly in love with it and made furry her life. Prior to finding the furry fandom Gale was a mascot for her college and would end up working professionally for years in the MiLB and MLS before focusing professionally on her Environmental Engineering work. As such, Gale is an avid fursuiter, performing multiple characters. Her biggest passion aside from fursuiting and mascots is learning everything she can about the furry fandom and its rich history.

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