All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
Here’s another super bummer. My partners were enthusiastic about this concept. I was not! Nonetheless, I gave it my best shot. This misbegotten mishap, started out as “Stupid Stunt Stars.” Early on, we realized that this self-deprecating title was a mistake, so, we changed the name to, “SUPER Stunt Stars!” Everything else, unfortunately, remained the same. The year was 1987, shortly after Colorforms and I parted ways. In spite of the lucrative booby prizes that KISCOM and I had been awarded for the death of Weenies, Sleep Stars and Animax, and the fact that Colorforms was still paying me a year of final royalties, the times seemed lean, and success proved to be elusive.
Early on this Easter morning, I made my way down the secret hidden staircase, where every step is occupied by a long forgotten briefcase, and grabbed one in the darkness, not knowing what it might contain. When I opened the lid, which has been shut for nearly thirty years, this is what met my eyes. There was no mistaking what was inside. My response was unenthusiastic! Lifting the foam cover, I could see that I had invested a lot of effort in the presentation.
The characters that I recall making out of Super Sculpey, spontaneously, without any preconceived ideas or sketches to guide me, were really quite attractive. As usual, I had let them dictate what they wanted to be, and the fact that they failed to please the 1987 toy industry, I regard as more their fault than mine. One can’t blame the radio, for the signals it receives. And I had rendered these stupid Super Stunt Stars quite accurately from the transmission that they, themselves, sent me.
Reading the Product write-up, I began to realize why I once found this concept promising. Each figure would contain a hidden spring that enabled them to jump and preform miraculous stunts! A major product feature, which was not conveyed by the prototypes, was the fact that the figures were intended to be cast of high-bounce rubber. So, upon landing from their stunning stunts, they would bounce in all kinds of crazy directions. Every Stunt Star would come with a launching devise, which was no more than a simple rod, protruding from a base. This was all that was needed to propel Super Stunt Stars into a multitude of stunts and games.
This diagram reveals how each character would be constructed. Once the arms were inserted the pointed ends of the arm plugs would lock the spring in place.
These drawings are the presentation’s weakest link. They suggest what some of the stunts and games might be. According to the product history, most of the companies who saw this concept felt that the stunts were not exciting. If the stunts had been more interesting, we would have had a better chance of selling the idea. At least, that's what they claimed.
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, for their Final Stunt, The Super Stunt Stars will leap back into their velvet lined trunk. And there they will remain, if not for another thirty years, at least until someone, other than yours truly, lets them out again.
So, that’s all folks! How to fail in in the toy business, while really trying to succeed! When these six characters were conceived as “Stupid Stunt Stars,” we thought the concept was hilarious. The tricks they did were stupid on purpose. But when we changed the name, to Super Stunt Stars, their stupid stunts remained the same.