All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
Huggie Elephants was the second of four projects that we sent to Fisher Price, all at one time, in 1992. This will be a very short page, and a very large drawing, so large that I had to scan it in eight pieces and join them all together. Elephants are among the most neglected animals in Toyland. Bears and dogs and pussycats are traditionally where it’s at. Not since Disney’s Dumbo have Elephants had a chance. These Huggie Elephants were an attempt to make them popular again.
The following excerpt from Andy’s letter to Carol Snyder at Fisher Price, more or less, says it all. Our main product features were the bendable trunk and looped tails. These permitted the elephants to hug and linkup, just like real elephants.
This little sketch, rendered in marking pen was all I needed to get started, and move right into the final drawing. A little doodle at the bottom of the page imagines Mama Elephant, hugging her babies. Hugging was what this concept was all about. Chubby elephants, both big and small, are so huggable!
This large drawing is the original, the very one that survived a flood at Fisher Price. It was created from small pieces, cut out, colored with marking pens, and applied to a large illustration board. The resulting presentation was clean, pristine, and sparkling white. Alas, because this piece of art was lost for several years, it missed the window of opportunity, and was never shown again.