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Belfast dad’s Wee Peeps action figures are bringing NI celebs down to size

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Some familiar faces immortalised as figurines made by local artist Brian Tipping.

Some familiar faces immortalised as figurines made by local artist Brian Tipping.

Wee Peep Derry Girl Erin

Wee Peep Derry Girl Erin

Wee Peep Liam Neeson

Wee Peep Liam Neeson

Wee Peep Carl Frampton

Wee Peep Carl Frampton

Brian Tipping, who has created a new range of collectable figures of famous NI personalities.

Brian Tipping, who has created a new range of collectable figures of famous NI personalities.

Work underway in creating the Julian Simmons figure

Work underway in creating the Julian Simmons figure

Wee Peep Yohan the Belfast Violumpet busker

Wee Peep Yohan the Belfast Violumpet busker

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Some familiar faces immortalised as figurines made by local artist Brian Tipping.

Fancy having figures of some of Northern Ireland’s best-known faces on your mantelpiece?

Well, now you can, thanks to Belfast man Brian Tipping, the creator of the Wee Peeps range of collectables.

And they’re bang up to date with Derry Girls, Liam Neeson, Belfast’s famous Yohan the Violumpet Man and former world boxing champ Carl Frampton all joining legends like George Best in the collection.

These are just part of the first series of figures, with Brian open to suggestions on who should be next on his hit list for the plastic population.

“It’s a pretty simple process,” said Brian, a tattoo artist by day. Two years ago he designed and produced a selection of action figures, WWE style, featuring the likes of Stephen Nolan.

He added: “The previous ones took a long time to make. There was never really an option to turn out hundreds of them, but I wanted to come up with something a little easier to produce, but that was still fun and recognisable.”

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Wee Peep Liam Neeson

Wee Peep Liam Neeson

Wee Peep Liam Neeson

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Brian has used his artistic skills - he still runs Bangor-based tattoo parlour Eye Candy and also does some design work for a US WWE toy manufacturer - to create the figures.

I thought they were fun and a bit of craic,” he said. “But there was a fair bit of interest when I showed them off.

“They’re high-quality card print placed inside clear acrylic and I always try to base the creations around well-known figures in Northern Ireland. They’re something you can’t get anywhere else.”

He says the real beauty of the creation is that anyone can now be turned into a figure.

“I’m already working on the next batch. “I’ve got Julian Simmons all drawn up and ready to go, but there are so many possibilities. I’m open to suggestions, but May McFetridge is going to be one of the first names on the list.”

The suggestions have been flying in on Brian’s social media pages, with a Joey Dunlop figure one of the most sought after. There has even been a shout-out for a Liam Beckett.

He doesn’t want the fun to stop at celebs either, adding that he’s open to creating cartoon figures of anyone.

“It does give me the option of customising anyone into a stand-up action figure,” Brian said. “I have thought about that and it’s something I’m willing to consider.”

What it means is that for special occasions, birthdays or just for a bit of fun, you can now have your own hand-crafted action figure of a family member or friend.

“I have kids, but these days they’re more into technology than playing with dolls or figures,” said the Ballysillan dad.

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Work underway in creating the Julian Simmons figure

Work underway in creating the Julian Simmons figure

Work underway in creating the Julian Simmons figure

“Action figures have always been a big collectors thing. It’s lovely to sit back and look at them and I can’t think of anywhere else you can get figures specifically of people we can all recognise in Northern Ireland. You could even have your own family looking back at you from the top of the telly!”

That could be as simple as sending him a photograph of the person to work from.

“I enjoy the drawing process,” said Brian, who shared an image of his work in progress on UTV’s Simmons.

“Obviously the tattoo business is still the day job, but so far the feedback on Wee Peeps has been great, so we’ll see how it goes.”

To check them out, visit weepeeps.co.uk, and while there is a limited range to start with, there’s a promise of plenty more to come.


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