My partners, Kiscom, and I tried repeatedly to break into the category of RC. ďRCĒ in case you donít know, stands for ďRemote ControlĒ. Traditionally, RC was always incorporated in a vehicle. And, later, Kiscom, did succeed in selling a few RC autos that they did without me. But Automotives never motivated me, so I tried, time and again, to expand the RC category outside of the world of cars, planes and boats. In the end, none of these efforts managed to succeed, but we had a lot of fun along the way. Here a few assorted RC concept presentations that survived as evidence of some of the many ideas we tried. A few of them got a lot of play. But, in the end, none saw the light of day.
I believe we had some innovative ideas, like adding voice and sound effects, turning RC into action figure play, and attempting to do the first RC for girls. These concepts hadnít been attempted, in the late 1980s, when we created these. We were, as usual, ahead of the times. Robotic products became popular later, but I donít believe anyone has ever succeeded in doing girls RC. We learned the hard way that RC really isnít a girlís category.
The typing in the windows are the actual write ups that accompanied the original presentations. Buried in the ballyhoo, were some pretty good ideas.
This was one of my favorites; I really liked the styling. But dueling vehicles made it expensive. The initial presentation didnít generate enough interest to encourage building prototypes. The entire presentation is shown below. It consisted of a written description, a diagram board, and a large piece of artwork that I pretty much adored. It was so big that I had to scan it in 6 pieces to post it here. Click the image to see it BIGGER!
Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of FIVE R.C. IDEAS and other Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant, are Copyright (c) BIRNKRANT KISCOM/ The OBB
I had made up several RC vehicles that featured a bump and backup feature. They incorporated sound effects and voice reactions. The driverís heads turned with the action. There were two versions, one with Teenage Mutant Turtles, and the other with Bart Simpson. The voice chip that I incorporated in the prototypes came from Spencer Gifts, and the language, for demonstration purposes only, was relatively expletive laden. They got a lot of interest and play, and disappeared along the way. Thatís what led to BUMPER BASHERS, a good way to express Bumper Car aggression with suitable verbal and mechanical reactions. I rather liked the styling of this item, vulgar and, consciously, a little R. Crumby. This was a rather large presentation board. It had to scaned in eight pieces with type and arrows on an acetate overlay. CLICK on the image to see it LARGER!
This item got a lot of play; the pony here was actually mocked up by Fisher Price. The doll was mine. There was another version with a horse that actually galloped. It came very close to being made; alas the model got away.
GIDDY-UP N' GO PONY
This complicated item was an attempt to do an RC vehicle for girls. The mechanism was hidden all over the place to make the action quite unique. She wasnít actually pedaling the bike but appeared to be. She was actually steering it, though. The batteries and the radio were located in the dog and wagon. The cat was animated too. This presentation board had four acetate overlays, shown, here, as a slide show.
This is another item that generated a lot of interest. It was priced out by several companies. But, in the end, she crawled back home to me.
The video tape, below, featured Peewee the actor cat, who allowed me to shoot several takes. He was great at emoting, especially expressing fright. He pretends to be scared, but minutes later, he always reappears, ready to do it all over again. Here, he is accompanied by the young starlet Mimi. What a team!