My Little Pony Playset Stickers for Hasbro

Over the years I’ve worked on dozens of projects for Hasbro. Most of what I do for them is “planning and production” so the artwork stays behind the scenes and will never be seen by the general public. The toy business is competitive and Hasbro is naturally very protective of their ideas, which I respect.

Every once in a while something I do for them makes it out into the world, usually in the form of packaging or stickers. Back in 2015 I illustrated some stickers for a My Little Pony Equestria Girls Pinkie Pie playset. These stickers were applied at the factory to give extra color and detail to furniture in the room. The playset was released last year and can be purchased from Amazon.

Hasbro has given me permission to show a couple of the stickers: a cork board and a board game. On the cork board two of the small character photos were pasted in from existing art but otherwise I created it all from scratch. Also, the lower corner of the game board was intentionally left blank to make room of a plastic spinner.

Here’s a silly, energetic video I found online of someone having fun reviewing the playset. Hope it gives you a smile:

Rubik’s Cube Toy Concepts

Recently I was approached by the Smiley Company. They wanted to pitch the Rubik’s Cube people with some ideas for expanding the Rubik’s brand into other toys and they needed a lot of artwork to help sell the concepts.

They gave me a giant list of really fun ideas. Most were fully formed but there were also a few I helped develop, all under the art direction of Smiley. There was so much work (over 65 illustrations) that I brought in some help on the final renderings from three other pro illustrators: Bob Ostrom, Justin Dial, and Carlo Lo Raso.

Here’s a small sampling of the final concepts I submitted (click images to enlarge):

Rubik's Cube-Twisty Math PuzzleSmiley Rubik's Cube Ceramic GardenSmiley Rubik's Cube RattleSmiley Rubik's Cube Build-A-Maze ConceptSmiley Rubik's Cube Origami Concept

Toy Designs for Smiley Kids

Recently I was approached by The Smiley Company, a lifestyle brand based in London. They create and sell a lot of licensed merchandise based on the world-famous smiley face symbol. They’ve been so successful that they’ve even developed those little yellow guys into an animated property called Smiley Kids.

Of course, what’s an animated property without a corresponding line of toys? Smiley wanted to pitch several toy ideas at a licensing show and needed some artwork to help with their pitch. Most of the toys were built around the theme of emotional growth within the context of farming and crafts. They gave me a list of ideas to start with and I brainstormed a few more. Together we explored over thirty possible concepts, of which over a dozen went to final art. Out of respect for my client’s proprietary ideas I don’t think it would be appropriate to show them all, but here are three samples they have given me permission to post.

Smiley-SeedPaper-800px Smiley-JewelryKit-800pxSmiley-HarvestGame-800px

All artwork is copyright © 2015 Smiley. All rights reserved.

I’m Featured On The Wacom Gallery

Cut The Rope sketch

The other day the nice folks at Wacom included one of my toy design concept drawings on their Behance  “Featured” gallery. Like most artists who work digitally, I’m a long-time user of Wacom’s products. They make quality hardware and they are the go-to brand for digital drawing equipment (tablets, Cintiqs, etc.). It’s a real honor to have them shine their massive spotlight in my direction.

Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

One of my clients is DecoPac, Inc., a novelty toy company that makes many of the cake toppers you see in bakeries and grocery stores. Most of their products are tied to licensed merchandise, and sometimes I get the fun of helping them develop a toy idea for a popular character. The challenge is to come up with something creative and fun for kids to play with, but that can also be produced inexpensively (often with no moving parts) and fit within the 3″ clearance space of a plastic birthday cake box.

Last year they asked me to help out with a toy for a new animated series from Disney/Marvel called “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” We worked up a couple of ideas. Now that the toy is in stores I can publish the final design, but the client has requested that I keep the other sketches under wraps.

Hulk Smash!

Hulk Smash!

Hulk Smash!

Here’s how the final toy turned out:

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“Cars” Cow Tipping Cake

17178_Signature_Stacked

A few months ago novelty cake maker DecoPac, Inc. hired me to help them develop a jumbo “signature” cake to promote the Cars franchise for Disney/Pixar. Because this would be a large, triple-layer cake there was more freedom than usual to do something really fun and appealing.

I started by working up several very rough thumbnail concepts of possible ideas:

(Click to enlarge.)
(Click to enlarge.)

The client liked the “tractor tipping” idea (bottom row, middle). So I worked that up into a detailed color sketch:

"Cars" Cake Concept by Cedric Hohnstadt for DecoPac, Inc.
(Click to enlarge.)

From their DecoPac refined the design and sent it off to the manufacturer. And yes, the “cow tractor” tips over and even makes a “Moo” sound!

Cars-Tractor Tipping ToyYou can also view the final product on the DecoPac website.