All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
The fact that “Color Me Cuties” were produced was something of a Miracle! Every step of the way had been an uphill battle. If we didn’t have Peter Pook, the outside product buyer on our side, it would never have been possible. All the odds were against us. 2000, the year that they were introduced, happened to be the year that computer chips took over Fisher Price. Every new toy they produced that year, had batteries inside. Everything, from teething rings to baby dolls were electronic. The sole exception to that rule was our humble offering, Color Me Cuties.
Peter convinced the powers that be to give our Cuties a chance, and show them to some of their toy buyers ahead of Toy Fair. To everyone’s surprise, their major buyers loved them. Meanwhile, Peter quietly clued us in to what was happening behind the scenes. The head financial executive absolutely hated Cuties, and did all he could to kill them. By the time the second year came to an end, he managed to succeed. And, even though, they were selling well, they suddenly disappeared. The product sheet below shows the line, as the first year and the Color Me Cuties too, came to an end.
Meanwhile, as was my tendency when something managed to succeed, I plied Fisher Price with product ideas to hopefully expand the line. And if I do say so myself, I really outdid myself, this time. The twenty-seven drawings that follow are evidence of how hard I tried. Amazingly, as 2002 began, Fisher Price actually produced the first of these. At Toy Fair that year, they added Princesses to the Color Me Cuties line. Alas, they never made it to the stores. I never found out why.
So here they are, among the Lost Toys, after all, twenty seven drawings that were never seen or shown, beyond a momentary glimpse, within the walls of Fisher Price.
The last three drawings were an attempt to expand the Color Me Cuties line into the world of ponies. Unlike the black and white sketches above, I pulled out all the stops, and lavished them with color. The dolls were gently trotting along. If only they had sold at a gallop, there might have been Color Me Ponies.