Published: March 1, 2017 By

We all know and love Ralphie. But let’s not forget about “ Alphie” — Ralphie’s cousin and the world’s only known inflatable fur buffalo. An unmistakable presence at CU Boulder festivities (usually outdoors), the friendly giant recently made a trip to San Antonio for the Buffs’ Alamo Bowl appearance. When he’s off the clock, Alphie lives at the Koenig Alumni Center.

alphie infographic

  • 2002: Alphie's debut 
  • 2016: Alphie 2's debut

Lafayette, Colo: Alphie's birthplace (in the Boulder Blimp Company) 

Some of Alphie's travels: California, Massachusetts, Texas, Winter Park Resort, Denver Zoo

1,985.5 miles to Foxborough, Mass., farthest known destination 

32 number of Alphie appearances in 2016 

Inflating Process 

  • 960 pounds of weights securing him in place 
  • 30 minutes typical inflation time
  • 15 minutes deflation time
  • 2 electric blowers to inflate
  • "Alphie handlers" inflate him

Fun Facts: 

Only known furry buffalo in the world.

After Alphie's first inflation, designers decided to flip his horns to makehim seem more aggressive. 

Alphie 2 has new eyes more like a live buffalo's

Making Alphie: 

  • weeks start to finish
  • 30 hours to design
  • 20 hours to cut the material
  • 180 hours for six sewers to stitch 
  • 122 yards of fur fabric (interior is nylon)


Alphie's namesame is Ralphie, CU Boulder's live buffalo mascot 


  • 12 feet deep
  • 25 feet wide
  • 20 feet high 

213 pounds deflated, approx. 

584.458 cubic feet in volume