Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mickey's Clubhouse: Motorhome Camper

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse toys have been in the Fisher-Price catalog for years now, and I always enjoy working on items for their line.  I posted the train set for Mickey I designed a while back.   ..And there's been a lot more in the line, most of it making it to the toy stores I'm glad to say.

Among many toys I got to work on was this camper motorhome play set for Mickey and friends.
I recall at the time there were a number of other concepts being pitched internally and to Disney, this was part of a batch.  As a result there weren't a lot of iterations going in, they just knew they wanted a motorhome that expanded into a fun play environment.
I went with a retro body style, working with the shows' motif but inspired by reference I found from old Disney cartoons and my affection for old teardrop campers from the 1940s.
The rest was taking these basics and blowing it out into something theme appropriate, play interactive, and very 'Mickey'.  The vertical climbing wall roof feature was the only stretch, conceptually,  I had also considered a rooftop deck.

.. anyway, here are the concept drawings as pitched;

I didn't find out the ultimate fate of this particular concept for a few years,  it being among several that were developed further internally using my work as a springboard of sorts.  I almost forgot about it until I came across the renderings in my files and Googled for it.

Here is how Mickey's Camper looked when it came out.
It's clear the size and features went through some minor changes, but the exterior is virtually identical to my design.
..I do like the added pull out awning;

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Playskool's Cool Crew vacuum

Some years back I had the pleasure of working on Hasbro's 'Yard Crew' and 'Cool Crew' toys.  These anthropomorphized role-play tools were a successful line for Playskool, and I had a lot of fun coming up with ways to style common objects like flashlights, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers into animated characters.

One of the many items in the line was a vacuum cleaner.  At that point there was nothing defined so I explored a handful of looks and types of vacuums, providing some range from which to choose.  The important features required were common throughout the designs;

Taking the best elements of the upright style and making some tweaks to the characters' faces I generated a tighter version which was rendered for presentation;

Here is the vacuum as it was produced by Playskool.  Since then it has gone through a couple of color changes, even being completely redesigned for newer generations.