All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
Not every Winnie is a winner, but, far be it from me to Pooh Pooh trying! This item was truly minor, and it certainly didn’t set the world on fire. But it seemed like a good idea at the time.
This was the era of electronic plush, when any battery powered stuffed animal that did something original had a good chance of becoming the number one request on every American kid’s Christmas want list. So, I asked myself, what were the few remaining bodily functions that electronic plush, and, in particular Winnie The Pooh, didn’t yet do. Well, the most obvious would definitely be inappropriate; nobody wanted to see Winnie on the potty. But if Winnie couldn’t go poo poo, how about: “Ker-Choo?”
And here’s a complex peek at what, in theory, might be going on inside. The abrupt head tipping action, and the interactive bumblebee were optional, but smelling the flower, and blowing his nose were features that I considered to be essential. Triggering his sneeze by smelling a flower was, perhaps, an afterthought, inspired by my perfume allergy.
The product boards, above, are seen here, on this website, for the first time. But this video, below, has been on You Tube for a while now. I described it there, as, “How to try to sell a product concept, without actually building a working model." Yes, if by any chance it’s not apparent, I admit that I was totally faking it. This was not a working model. There was no sneezing mechanism inside. It is just an ordinary Pooh bear that I bought in the Disney Store. And I was moving it, like a puppet. The Pooh voice was also mine; in case you didn’t know. But the revolting nose blowing noises were a sound effects recording.