- HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
- 15. 1990 Toy Fair & Galoob
Now to understand what happened next, you must understand this: Toy companies have a love hate relationship with
inventors. They view us, at best, as an [occasionally] necessary evil, to be avoided, if possible. Most toy
manufactures have their own "in-house" product development department, and in the best of all possible worlds, all
products "should" come from them. If they do buy product from the "outside" it has got to be Dammed Good, better
than their own staff came up with, which makes the staff look (and feel) Bad!
So, behind the scenes, there's plenty of resentment
to go around. The attitude in many cases is: "OK,
you got us this time! We'll pay you a royalty for
this idea, But we're still the experts around here,
and we'll "take over" from here. So, Get Lost!
Come see how we "Improved" your product, at
next years Toy Fair!"
If you're "Lucky" enough to sell a product at all,
what you, usually "see at Toy Fair", is How They
And my attitude is: " Ruin "MY" product,
Puleeeeeze!" Just give me a nice fat Advance and Guarantee, One that I can live on for a year, And, if what you
produce, is "Ghastly enough", perhaps it will, even, "sell", and I'll get royalties too! PS, Royalties would be great!
But "I'm not holding my breath!"
Meanwhile we, rejoiced at our "success", expecting to walk away and never see Baby Face again, at least not until
the next Toy Fair, if she made it that far!
Well, I guess we, really felt pretty sure that a relatively "small" company like
Galoob, couldn't afford to "drop" a product for which, they had paid such a
precedent setting [for them] advance. They were "In Too Deep"! So we thought we
would see "something" a year later, but Feared what it would be!
Galoob was a mid-sized company, in 1989. They had had some very successful
product lines, The most recent, at the time, being a line of tiny vehicles called
"Micro Machines", which was practically carrying the company single handed. But
they had never really had an attractive Girls item. The closest thing to it, was a line
that was, already, slowing down in 1989, called "Bouncing Babies" that had been
picked up, ready made, in the Orient, originally created for that market, Galoob
simply repackaged it, in English. The look of the dolls was "Generic Hong Kong"!
I don't know a lot about David Galoob, except that his family had started the
company, and he was now the President! The company was, by this time, publicly
owned, and David, himself, owned a lot of shares, but, as I was to come to learn, Not a controlling amount! What I do
know, is that he was the "Boss"! And he fell in Love with Baby Face, for all the right reasons!
Exclaiming, half way through my 4 minute video, "Stop the Tape! We'll Take It!" The presentation started with the
tape, he hadn't even seen the dolls, yet!
This is the video that
won Galoob in less than 5 minutes!
Saul Jodel, in a way, really seemed to run the company, He was in charge of the products and everything else, as far
as I could tell. David said to Saul, "Make a deal with these guys, and don't let them leave without it!", and left the
At least, that's what I was told. I wasn't there. In the early years of our association,
the brothers Kiscom, It seemed to me, felt it was only "Good Business" to attempt
to create the illusion that they headed up as large an operation as possible, with a
whole staff under their command. When it came to product, they were the Giant
Head of Oz with Smoke and Fire, and I was "that man behind the curtain"!
Saul and David were both "Old Time Toy Guys". They were Remnants of a Golden
Age, when decisions were made, based on experience, intuition, and Gut Feel,
rather than by "focus groups" and Testing, testing, testing, as is the norm today!
Galoob, from what I could observe from a distance, appeared to be a company made
up of Business men types, Sales men types, and all Typical Men! No wonder they
couldn't do decent "Girls" product! Just contrast that to Mattel's Girls division!
"Executives" seemed to be coming and going, without knowing whether they were
doing one or the other, and one would be made responsible for one thing one week
and something else the following week, and "no longer with the company" the week
after that! They seemed to be kind of in a mess, and Business wasn't all that good!
A few days after Toy Fair, Andy was asked to fly out to Galoob's cooperate
headquarters in San Francisco to work out the "details". When he arrived He
discovered that Saul had made a Bold decision, one, that in my opinion, saved the
project from almost certain disaster. He had called in the Alberts, and when Andy
arrived, there they sat!
Continued Next Page: 16. The Alberts
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- note: You can download the BF video presentation from
the BabyFaceDolls.com website. Thank you Francine!!