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MATTEL TOYS - Mrs. Potts and Chip

Mrs Potts and Chip Disney Mattel Toys - Baroto

One of the last creative assignments I had the privilege of being involved in Los Angeles came as an added bonus from the MATTEL Toy Company in January 1992.

Although I had previously applied to the company and attended their open house there were no call backs… that is until 1992. One of the executives had accidentally come across my resume that had been sitting in their files for eight years. Of course I was happy to hear from them and set up an appointment to go in for a one-on- one personal interview. It was a wonderful opportunity for me because I got to meet with several Department heads and managers that day who felt I could easily be placed in either Boys or Girls Toys. I listened intently and made sure to get business cards, contact numbers and notes. By the time I left MATTEL headquarters in El Segundo I believe I had over half a dozen names to take home with me along with an overview of their company’s history, directive and welcoming packet.

It was a matter of days of that initial meeting that I received a call from Tom Conners. Tom had been one of the department managers I met from the 3D Sculpting Division who shared with me information about the wax casting process used for refining the toy models before they go into production. He was also gracious enough to provided me with source information about where I could purchase a wax pen which I still have today. His call however, was to ask me if I could possibly sculpt Mrs. Potts and Chip from Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for their upcoming Disney account that they would be debuting at the NYC Toy Fair 92. The work was very small as I recall (Chip was about ½ inch/1.27cm high and Mrs. Potts about 1 ¼ inches/3.175cm) and had to be done super fast as they were coming up short handed to find someone who could get this done. I had one week to sculpt, make the silicone molds, and cast in resin, paint and finish. Oh, did I forget to tell you they needed one dozen pieces... six of each character.

If I had one regret it was the turn-around time. I literally only had one day to finish and complete the sculptures because the silicone mold rubber needed 24-hours to cure. Once the mold was set the resin casts were made and afterwards I had to prime and paint each model according to the character models design sheets used in the movie. Both characters required 6 shades of paint to recreate the look from the film. In retrospect this project was a wonderful challenge for me and confirmed my theory about the top companies. Their behavior is nothing less than professional; you are paid; on time, and fast.

Recently, I came across these pictures and source material in my archives and was able to restore them in Photoshop. This is the first time those maquettes of Mrs. Potts and Chip are being seen by the public.    

Mrs. Potts & Chip  Toy Maquettes - Baroto


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