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.
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
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.