Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Playskool: Yard Crew & Cool Crew!

It's always been a blast working with the Playskool division at Hasbro.  Much like the Little People line for Fisher-Price,  having a hand in the history of such perennial favorites, in this case toys like Play-Doh and Mr. Potatohead, will always be a highlight of my career.

One of the on-going lines of which I was fortunate enough to be a part was the Yard Crew and Cool Crew toys.
A while back I posted one of those projects on this blog;  The Cool Crew Vacuum.

The first things I worked on were for the Yard Crew toys, starting with an outdoor grill,  a bench top camping stove, a camping cooler, fishing pole, and camping lantern.
I did a few passes of each item in the line, exploring characterizations and expressions, as well as the styling and accessories included.

We followed up at a later date with the Cool Crew line.
It started simple, with a few gardening tools that talked. From there  I got to explore a range of looks for the leaf blower, chain saw, edge trimmer, and lawn mower characters.

.. is it evident that I had a blast coming up with these?

The mower was a challenge, going through more than a few iterations. Part of it was in trying to achieve a great 'chomping' action without his teeth or jaw looking weird. We ultimately landing with a fun combination and a memorable character.

.. And this is how they turned out;

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fisher-Price: Doodle Pets!

I really enjoy working on plush. I had a crash course, on the extensive Zootopia line of plush when working at Tomy International as a Design Manager.  My experience with patterns is limited but I excel at the characterizations, it's a forte' of mine. 
Among the deeply satisfying and more successful lines of which I've been a part over the years was the Doodle line for Fisher-Price.
Part of the joy then was that I remember working on Doodle Bears way back when I started freelancing at Tyco Toys, in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.  .. It was the salad days of the Doodle line!

by this time in Doodle Bear history Fisher-Price wanted to explore and expand the Doodle line beyond the classic bear.  They also wanted to go smaller and cuter.  The first task I was approached for was in pushing into the rest of the animal kingdom, trying different doodle critters.

Here are some of those, as eventually rendered for presenation;

Once the look of the line was established, more exploration was done for soft accessories and playsets to expand the line.  The smaller scale of these pets lent themselves to slightly larger price points, with more play other than drawing on them with markers.

So I came up with some soft playsets, shown below.  They were well received enough to continue onto further definition.

..  First, a couple of additional pups beyond the dachshund.  Followed by a simple pet carrier that opened into a soft play and nap area.  Of course the bedding made a great canvas for doodling.

Then onto the themed sets, which folded or rolled up to contain everything, but expanded to become a play environment.


.... And here is how they turned out when produced for the toy shelves. 

.. Even the carriers with pups came out great.  Again; another instance of not to much changing in the entire process. I always consider that a job well done, in doing what I do.