Screw Ballz Packaging Art

Recently I was hired by Alex Brands to illustrate the packaging of a new line of toys called Screw Ballz. Basically they are springy foam rubber creatures that can be wound up and combined together into interlocking balls. They asked me to illustrate each animal in an active “springing out” pose. The product hasn’t hit stores yet so I can’t post photos but the client did give me permission to share the artwork I submitted:

Big Wheels

Recently I was hired by Alex Brands to help with the launch of a new line of Big Wheels bikes. They were considering using illustrations for the packaging and asked me to whip up a couple of preliminary concepts of what that might look like (one boy, one girl). Here’s what I submitted (posted with client permission):

 

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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I’m Now An Award-Winning Toy Designer

Play Illustration, a portfolio website for artists in the toy and game industries, recently held their 2011 International Art Competition which I entered. I’m pleased to announce that they’ve given me a Silver Award (second place) in the category of Concept Art for Toy or Children’s Product.

 

Play Illustration International Art Competition

 

I found out on my birthday, which makes it extra-nice news. It’s definitely more exciting than the time my high school voted me “Most Likely To Attend Comic-Book Conventions Well Into His Thirties”.

The piece I entered (shown above) was some concepts and the final design for a plush teddy bear created for DecoPac, Inc. You can see how the final toy turned out on the DecoPac website or on my earlier blog post about the project.

I want to congratulate the first place winner, Timothy Banks, as well as all the other winners in the other categories. I also want to thank the nice folks at Play Illustration for the award. You’ve given me the excuse I needed to start doubling my rates. (I kid, I kid!)

Who Really Created He-Man?

As a freelance toy designer this looks fascinating to me. It’s a trailer for Toy Masters, an upcoming documentary about a long-running dispute over who should get the credit for creating He-Man and the whole Masters Of The Universe juggernaut. It’s clearly a low-budget effort but judging from the trailer there will be a good mixture of conflict, nostalgia, and insights about the toy biz. More than enough to hold my interest.