Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby MCM » November 11th, 2012, 11:12 pm


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Hi everyone,
First post and just wanted to get ya'lls opinion on a new toy property I'm launching. It's my first attempt at a toy property and I really dig the design, but I'm biased. I hope this doesn't break any forum rules and thanks for taking a look.
http://www.winklebean.com

Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby Mr-914 » November 12th, 2012, 1:12 pm

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Neat idea.

Are you making these yourself?
Ray Jepson

"L'homme n'est rien. L'œuvre c'est tout." Gustave Flaubert

Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby MCM » November 12th, 2012, 10:11 pm


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Yes I am Mr-914. I make them individually in my shop at the moment. I've launched an Indiegogo campaign to try to get funding so that I can find a US based manufacturer. But as of now, yeah, make them from scratch.

Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby Lmo » November 14th, 2012, 6:24 pm

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I hope this doesn't break any forum rules


Mmmm mm .. ... actually, it does.

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But, we'd love to hear the story of how you got to this point. We're always interested in the "designing" as much as the "design". Can you post any work up material? Sketches, prototype models, etc.
Lew Morris
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Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby MCM » November 20th, 2012, 1:41 pm


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I'd post some drawings but my design process is more assemblage than sketch since I have a hard time conveying the 3dimensional in the 2dimentional realm. I've always found it easier to see what materials I have on hand and allow them to dictate or influence the design of the work. Even my furniture is done this way. So here's some prototypes.

With the Winklebeans, I started out with stock construction material and was looking to design a "dragon" for a client. This was the first incarnation.
Image

I liked the idea of movable pieces but wasn't crazy about the idea of small pegs sticking out on the character. So I switched to magnets and made the piece larger.
Image

This piece was too literal for my personal tastes so I went back to the original piece and started using finer materials. I also liked the idea of using elements in multiple places, (ears for horns, tail for hair, etc.). So that's how I came up with the designs I currently have.
Image

I guess it would be easier to sketch things out, but I always run into issues with how the material behaves or the best way to assemble the work and I just find it easier to address those issues as I make the product. I'm fortunate in that I have the skills and facility to work this way. Does anyone else work without drawings or am I just doing it wrong?

Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby Lmo » November 20th, 2012, 2:35 pm

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You're absolutely doing it wrong. Just kidding... I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do "it".

Doing it, is the key phrase here. You're basically "sketching" in three dimensions. If you were trying to lead a group of folks toward a common solution, it might prove a bit more difficult doing it this way; more ground might be covered if your thoughts could be captured and transmitted to others.

The advantage to sketching/drawing is that it's basically available anytime, anywhere.
Lew Morris
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Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby iab » November 21st, 2012, 11:04 am


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While I like the magnets, be certain that they are secure. Even if a threat is only perceived, magnets and children opens a huge can of worms. Buckyballs are the latest example.

Good luck with your venture. I like your product and would buy but my kids are a bit too old.

Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby Lmo » November 21st, 2012, 1:16 pm

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I like your product and would buy but my kids are a bit too old.


So, does this mean I need to pack up my old vintage American Flyer train layout? :( :wink:
Lew Morris
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Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby MCM » November 23rd, 2012, 7:27 pm


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Thanks iab.
The magnets are pressure fit but I'm also securing them in with adhesive. I thought they'd be great for kids, but most of the people I sell them to are Hipsters in their 20's. Go figure.

Lmo wrote:You're absolutely doing it wrong.


I know. :(

Re: Winklbean, Wooden Toys

Postby ralphzoontjens » March 3rd, 2014, 10:19 am

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If I were to create a limited amount of characters for my toys I'd definitely take a long time to set up a vision, explore and refine through sketching and desktop modeling. There is a lot of appeal to toys though when they're sort of part of a large family, and each one has uniquely and spontaneously emerged from a single artist's handcraft. Your process seems to fit you, although I'd always stimulate sketching as well. I can see these items appeal to young adults even more than to kids, part of it is probably the small eyes. I always relate larger eyes to an 'outward-oriented' character which would resonate with little children, and small eyes to a big brain, a more introspective and intellectual character. There is probably somewhere a good book about such theoretical understandings concerning character design. Anyone?


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