Plush Tortoises

Last year I was hired by a toy entrepreneur who had a vision to create plush tortoises that would be appealing but also scientifically accurate. He wanted toys that would help children learn to distinguish between breeds as well as explore various differences in body, pattern, and texture. The challenge was to create something that was cute and cuddly but also detailed and proportionally similar to a real tortoise.

So far the project is only at the prototype stage but he has given me permission  to share the work I did. Below are my sketches for three breeds of tortoise, along with photos of two of the finished prototypes. For more info you can follow the project on Facebook.

Toy Design – Educational Slide Projector

Last year I was contacted by the Quois Corporation, a toy company in China that specializes in technology-based toys. They wanted to create an interactive slide projector and hired me to work up some ideas. The toy needed to have a projector lens, a slot for inserting cartridges and/or a thumb drive, and a method for advancing the slides.

Here’s a few of the initial rough thumbnails I came up with, just to get the discussion going (click to enlarge):

Projector toy design thumbnails

After some discussion the client decided to move forward with the snail idea. My next step was to develop some detailed sketches of possible snail designs. (Click to enlarge):

snail concept sketches

The client chose the first design (upper left). Here’s the final control drawing turnarounds I created (click to enlarge):

snail toy control drawing turnarounds

Eventually the project was killed and the toy was ultimately not manufactured. That kind of thing happens sometimes in this business. Regardless, I really enjoyed working on the project, the client was terrific, and I was still paid for my work. Even though the project didn’t get across the finish line I was grateful for the opportunity to take a crack at helping them out.