All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
The "Talk ‘N Go Chatty Choo-Choo” was one of our earliest efforts. We still had a long way to go. One lesson KISCOM and I learned the hard way was to shrink some of my overly enthusiastic presentations. In the beginning, I was under the impression that if the artwork was enormous, it would have more impact. Alas, this Chatty Choo-Choo presentation board was so huge, it bordered on unwieldy, and proved to be a nuisance to carry around. To include it here, I had to scan it in six sections, and combine them. Apart from being big, the product had some genuinely fun features. The one that I liked best was the fact that the train reacted with remarks, like, “Ouch!” and “Excuse Me!” whenever it bumped into something.
The basic idea was to create an interactive preschool electronic toy with elements that were both hard and soft. The train had a working headlight, made real railroad sounds, like tooting whistles and ringing bells. And, best of all, it talked! The write-up, below, explains the features. At the time that this drawing was created, the technology to do all these things existed, but they had never been combined in a single toy before.
The arrows on the drawing were mounted on an acetate overlay. They made it clear what the features were. If you pass your mouse over the image, the arrows will explain everything.
In retrospect, I believe that if I had actually built a prototype of the Chatty Choo-Choo, it might have sold. But doing that would have been a monumental task. Thus, we hoped to get some enthusiastic interest in the concept, before I undertook it. The features on the menu were intimidating. This would have represented a daunting investment for any toy company. On the other hand, if I had actually built it, the sight of it, in person, might have been even more intimidating.