HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
15. 1990 Toy Fair & Galoob

Dear PrillyCharmin,

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 RUINED It!

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 room.

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!!