All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
The Mickey Mouse Komic Kar is a concept that goes back an eternity. It might have been as early as 1965. I was living in Manhattan, at the time, and just beginning to think up toy ideas with Harry Kislevitz. In those days, I didn’t have a copying machine, and every drawing I did was created with a Pentel pen. I never imagined I would ever need to draw well enough to do finished art myself. Nor, did I dream that, one day, I would be seriously making Mickey toys.
Then, I was just meeting Classic Mickey, and the images that I discovered inspired me. This simple version of an idea that became Komic Kars, was first called, “Peg Mobiles.” It was the first glimmering of a concept that years later would become “Peg Pals.” Peg Mobiles consisted of a simple punch out cardboard vehicle with wheels held on by pegs.
Below, we see what Peg Mobiles became, nearly ten years later. Here is the first model for Peg Pals, circa 1974.
Looking at the sketch for the car above, one can see the indication of a key added in. That was the genesis of the next step, Komic Kars. The concept was to create a cardboard windup toy. In other words, something that Colorforms could manufacture, and a kid could put together. Colorforms was, after all, a die cutting company. Of course, the idea that they would ever invest in and acquire the necessary windup motor was a major case of wishful thinking.
God knows, what this drawing is intended to convey. It must have made sense to me at the time. Right now, I’m not even sure what’s right side up.
Even though, this concept was ridiculously impractical, with no chance of ever becoming reality, I always liked the following drawing. If, for instance, it were jig sawed out of wood and painted, it might be an attractive object, or a fun project to attempt in my old age.