All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
Growing up in Detroit, the once great Motor City, among the many things that set me apart from my contemporaries was the sad fact that matters automotive didn't interest me. So, when my partners, KISCOM, continually urged me to come up with an automotive concept, the thought of doing it was like pulling teeth to me. Therefore, at this early point in my toy inventing career, with Animax and Monster Trucks, two non-automotive automotive concepts still in the future, the best I could come up with were vehicles, called “Baby Bumpers.”
The very idea of a vehicle concept for girls was testimony to that fact that I had a long way yet to go, before I grasped the basic facts of merchandising; among them, being the premise that vehicles, like urinals, are for boys, not girls. Back, in 1968 there was no such thing as transgender autos. This did not stop me from suggesting them.
Thus, Baby Bumpers were a line of vehicles for girls. Their features were as follows:
I think the thing that I liked about them most was the fact that, as they wobbled along, they belched out talcum powder smoke!
There were also Bubble Bumper Boats, with secret wheels that enabled them to navigate on land and bathtub, both!
Each vehicle and its color coded driver had rooted vinyl hair, of a matching fantasy color, that a child could brush and comb. In the vernacular of the toy trade, this all important feature was called “hair play.” If a girl’s toy didn't have it, Heaven help it! Oh, I just realized why I originally called these “Baby Buggy Bumpers.” Each vehicle had a canopy, like those that one finds on a baby buggy!