HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
23. Meanwhile, Back at Galoob...

 

Meanwhile, back at Galoob, The company seemed to be in a mess, and a different salesman, or "executive type" was put in charge of Baby Face, every few weeks. There was obviously, a lot going on, and a lot of work was being done in terms of deciding what the doll would consist of exactly.

She was originally planned to go into an open window box, but we learned that, that would add three dollars to the cost of the doll. So they chose to use a closed box and put the money into the doll instead.

It might surprise you to learn that toy companies in general try to work on the smallest profit margins possible. They try to make the product as good as they can and sell a lot, rather than making a big profit and selling less toys.

So the cost of Baby face had to be carefully sourced and balanced. and every element of the item was dependent on the cost of something else. The jointed limbs were expensive, thus the fact that her hair was not of the highest quality, helped make the articulation possible. By "not of the highest quality" I mean that the hair was intended to look good, but not to withstand a lot of "Hair Play" .

The picture illustration shows a rare version of the 1991 Galoob catalogue. Though the cover was designed to have a die-cut hole for the doll to peek through, It represented an additional step and added cost, and few examples were actually produced with the hole cut out!"

In 1990, $19.95 retail, was a magic price. If Galoob could keep the wholesale price of BF at $17.95, the doll could be sold in discount stores, for $19.95!

For everything that was "special" about the doll something else had to be slightly compromised. Hopefully, the compromises wouldn't notice, and, for the most part, I believe, the Right Choices were made! i.e. Would you rather she had eyelashes or socks? That choice wasn't literally made, as far as I know, I only state it, here, as a hypothetical example.

Back to Work on the Heads
Now Everyone-- Galoob, Judy, Kiscom, and "Moi"-- were all resigned to the fact that, I would have to do all of the heads! But Galoob made it quite clear that they believed "Sculptors are to be Seen, But Not Heard"!

Cathy Oi became the go between. Everything I was asked to do, was related to me by Cathy, and every thing I did, was sent directly to her. The only time, we would ever hear from anyone else at Galoob was, whenever they were in trouble!

I now, made a new series of Sculpy Heads, this time larger, but with the smaller eyes, to allow for shrinkage. Some of these were based on the exploratory "sketches", I had done earlier, others were newer and Wiser designs!

You mentioned to me a Sculpy head that turned up, called "Devilish Danny" or something like that. I find it hard to believe that Galoob seriously named those early attempts, in fact it wasn't until more than a year later, that anyone even considered having a boy in the line!

Yes, alas I did do "Danny" as others have called him. That was one of those early attempts based on a photograph taken too literally. There were others that were probably as bad. I have no strong feelings about it one way or the other apart from the fact that, I can't stand the sight of it! 

Baby Face Needs a Feature
As Toy Fair got closer, Galoob got more and more worried, by the fact that Baby Face Had No Feature! They even asked us for help, which shows how worried they really were! What they wanted was something "magic" that the doll Did or had, that would look dramatic in the TV ads, and at the same time be Cheap enough, to add, as little Cost as possible to the doll!

Cabbage patch had the best feature ever: Adoption, Birth certificate, Unique Name for each doll, generated by a computer program, and best of all it Cost Nothing! Mattel had a line of dolls called Magic Nursery. The dolls were dull and uninteresting, but they boasted the worlds longest list of absurd features. First you soak its Blanket in water and it dissolves to disclose its outfit, then you put an ice cube on its cheek and a heart appears, Etc.Etc. etc., The list went on and on!

 

We were Stumped! What do you add to a doll at the very last minute, that costs nothing and looks magic on TV? Saul came up with the answer! Magic Lockets!

Did it matter? Who Knows? They sure played them up in the TV Ads, and It Couldn't Hurt!

Evidence of an "Afterthought". This label is a pressure sensitive sticker, applied to the first boxes. Clear indication of how far the Project had progressed, before Galoob became uneasy and added the "Magic Heart Message". The "label" was Printed on later packages. Also notice the "So Posable" design. this was printed right on the box, and represents what Galoob considered a "Feature" in the beginning. This emblem did not appear on later packages.

Magic Diaper Babies
One person who was put in charge of Baby Face for a few weeks, was Gary Niles. His main position was running, what was called Galoob's "International Division" This division was a tiny side line for Galoob, Gary was willing to try a lot of outside product, which he got made up in China and had shipped directly from the factories to buyers, mostly in Europe.

We sold him a product, based on only a sketch, called "Magic Diaper Babies." They were all sculpted by a very talented young lady named, Sue Beatrice. I loaned her a series of little Sculpy babies I had done a few years before, for a product called "Oodles." These 50 quick Sculpy "sketches" had been turned into finished product by a team of sculptors, for Oodles. Now Sue used them for ideas and poses, But the look of the Magic Diaper babies was, her own!


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