All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
“Pocket Bears” and “Pocket Pups!” I don’t know why I found this product so compelling. I think it was simply the Pocket Bear drawing. Every now and then, a drawing would, quite accidently, appear to be quite full of life to me. Something about this little bear struck me as just right; and still does. The puppy, not so much. He was just OK.
It appears we momentarily sold this product. Beyond that, which I surmise, solely, from the fact that I came across some inconsequential samples in the cellar, I have no memory of Pocket Bear’s history.
This is the original product write-up. It was attached to the back of one of the two product boards, which is the sole reason it survived. As you can see, Kiscom was always trying to expand upon a simple humble concept , in an attempt to inflate it into an entire line. Some of the suggestions for line extensions, are in my opinion, more than a little forced, overinflated and agonized.
The Puppy was a logical extension to the line. And the drawing goes a step farther to explain the concept with some simple labeling.
Clearly, these plush pocket pets appealed to somebody, as some toy company, unknown to me, gave them a well-intentioned try. Judging from the size and quality of the samples, I would guess that this mysterious manufacturer was a small one. And it appears that, once they saw the samples, they gave the product back again. I can’t say that I blame them.
I don’t quite know what it is about these prototypes, but something is seriously not right. The maker obviously strove to match the colors, even the patterns. On the other hand, they replaced the puppy with a bunny, I wonder why? Then, for good measure, they added a lot more secret pockets, each with a zipper, one on every paw and ear. Nonetheless, there was something elusively charismatic happening in that first drawing of the bear, that has not been captured here.
This Land of Lost Toys project might well go on forever. It seems that with each passing day, I continue to find more things. Perhaps, I’ve reached that fabled age, at which one can hide their own Easter eggs. In this quest for misplaced mementos, I am continuing to discover treasures that I forgot I stashed away. Several weeks ago, I thought this Pocket Bear page was complete. Then, just his morning, I stumbled across more drawings of Pocket animals. I will add them below.
These are styled differently than those that came before. They include: a dog, a kitten, and another bear. Apparently, they were done at a later date. The drawings were never signed, nor were they mounted on illustration board. Furthermore, a single piece of masking tape was still attached to the top edge of every page. These tell-tale fragments of tape would indicate that that as I finished every sketch, I taped it to the wall above my desk. And, then, for reasons I cannot explain, I put them all away, and never looked at them again. Thus, these drawings have not been seen, until today!
Do I dare say: “This is the end?”