“In the works” A step by step guide to the making of a toy. Part 1

I get asked a lot about how toys get made. The actual process involved and so forth. So I have decided to chronicle the details of a toy I am currently working on.

This is a production piece not a custom work.
I dont show my work-in-progress on my artworks..
I think it spoils the magic.

Luckily these days I get approched by companies who are interested in working with me. Not so long ago I would draw up complicated multi-page idea pitches for new toys and send them out to every company going to see if anyone was interested.
As it was, some were, and various projects got made.
Now people more often than not come to me, which is jolly flattering really.

So it was with a new UK company RAJE Toys. They only set up in November 2009 and intend to hit the ground running.
I know they have other artists on board designing for them right now but I cant talk about that.
Now being a new company it is a bit of a risk going with them as they have no track record. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in the manufacture, packaging, shipping and ditribution of a toy and its all new to them. However they are collectors them selves, have a lot of experience in different areas of the production and retail world and are very enthusiastic. Plus its quite rare to have a company try this in the UK so I thought it a good idea to support them..
Hopefully it all works out.

Their first toy to the market will be Dr. Brain created by artist Jim Frenckingham. (based on an original Munny custom he once did I believe.)
Dr. Brain will stand 7.5″ tall and should retail for $59.95, £39.95 when he is launcged this May. There will be two colorways with a production run of 450 pieces for the regular version and just 50 pieces for the chase.
I think it’s quite an adventurous piece for your first toy. With its transparent parts and ineterchangeable pieces. And should make people take note if they pull it off well.

They asked me to come up with an idea for a design which would use the same body form, but I could add my own new pieces to it.
I chucked around a few ideas and came up with this :


A Steam powered Gnome.
I love the idea that Gnomes are hiding heavy drilling gear under those ubiquitous long pointy hats.
The drawing above is literally a scan from my sketch book with text added. It is purely to give them a very basic idea of what the toy would be about. I didnt spend too long on it or render up a finished digital painting or anything in case it really wasn’t what they wanted.
As it happens, they loved it.
So we moved to the next part.

Drawing up a turnaround……………….