Winklbean, Wooden Toys

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.

Neat idea.

Are you making these yourself?

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.

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 “design_ing_” as much as the “design”. Can you post any work up material? Sketches, prototype models, etc.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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? :frowning: :wink:

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.

I know. :frowning:

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?