In 2010, a friend asked me to design a few toys for his company, Off The Wall Toys. This was the first line - the 2nd line of toys is currently in production, to be sold in time for this holiday season.
I do the concept design for the toys (I make up things like Narwhalicorns), design the packaging, and write the copy on the back of the packaging that tells a bit about how these wonderful creatures came to be.
Meet the family: Gentleman Bigfoot, Brain Surgeon Zombie, Punkle, and Narwhalicorn.
Brain Surgeon Zombie came into existence by the project brief, "Make one a zombie". I've long since though that brain surgeon would be a perfect career path for a zombie. So that's what happened.
Gentleman Bigfoot was just a goofy contradiction. No one ever thinks of Bigfoot as a refined gentleman - he originally wore a top hat... but that made him too tall for the packaging.
When I got the contract for these toys, my kid sister tagged along for the meeting. She was about 12 at the time. While we were leaving the meeting, after getting the directive to make a pickle toy, Betsy turns to me and says, "The pickle should have a mohawk." Thus, Punkle.
Narwhalicorn is hands down my favorite thing I've ever designed (until, perhaps, when the new line comes out later this year... there's ONE in there that may well trump Narwhalicorn). My friend let me have free reign with this one, and merely told me, "It needs to be a monotusked mythical creature." I think he meant a unicorn. But the awesome thing about mythical creatures is that we can keep making up new myths.
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