Kirby is a loveable ball of pink goodness – but is he made of flesh? Goo? Something in between? Kotaku Australia investigates.
Kirby is shaped like a friend, but what’s he made out of? It’s a question that’s plagued Nintendo fans for an age. In some depictions, Kirby’s made of wool or plasticine. In mainline games he’s a gelatinous, stretchy beast. He has an endless stomach capable of consuming beings ten times his size, and the same abilities as Peter Petrelli from Heroes (a reference that is definitely not dated in 2021). Official Nintendo guides are still vague on the matter, so let’s explore the possibilities.
What do we officially know about Kirby’s origins?
According to Kirby’s official profile from Nintendo Japan, he has a pink body that bounces like a ball, and is comfortable to touch. This implies he’s soft and pillow-like with an excellent handfeel. Personally, I wouldn’t describe flesh like that so we can rule out that he’s made of skin.
No official term exists to describe the pink blob’s species, although we know he’s not the only one of his kind. (Meta Knight is strongly hinted to be from the same clan, and other Kirby-like beings are seen in Dream Land.) In Smash Bros. lore, Kirby hails from Dream Land, which implies this could be where all Kirby-likes come from.
Given Dream Land is located on the distant Planet Popstar, we can assume he’s some form of super-powered alien. So where does that leave us?
He’s soft, round and “comfortable”
The exact nature of Kirby is still a major mystery but we can make a few educated guesses. From his official descriptions, we know there’s certain criteria his form meets.
- Lacks fur or hair
- Stretchy (and able to return to his original shape)
- Capable of absorption
- Light enough to float
Now, that leaves us with a few key options. The most obvious answer is Kirby is made of stardust or some form of alien substance yet to be discovered.
But let’s say Kirby exists on Earth. Lacking a skeleton, he can only be made of a few key materials.
The description we have of Kirby highlights a few options. Silly putty hits most of these criteria. We also have to consider other types of undefined goo, gum or slime, cloth material like spandex, stretchy fabric, elastic or polyester, as well as rubber bands or foods like cheese.
But of all these answers, the most likely option is silly putty.
It’s comfortable, stretchy and able to consume other objects (if you roll it through carpet, it takes on that material’s ‘hairy’ characteristics). It’s also malleable, doesn’t age and has a fun, gooey handfeel. It doesn’t fit the ‘light enough to float’ criteria, but a simple explanation could be that Planet Popstar’s gravity is lighter than Earth’s. Without this factor, it’s absolutely possible that Kirby could be a star child born of silly putty and dreams.
So there you have it: Kirby is most likely made of silly putty. It’s not a definitive answer and we probably won’t ever get one, but it’s the best we have for now.
At the very least, we can now sleep well knowing Kirby isn’t a fleshy Eldritch terror from beyond.