All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
If one were looking for evidence to prove how far afield I was willing to travel, in my convoluted attempts to make a living, “Fundangles” would be “Exhibit A.” I don’t know who came up with that provocatively suggestive name, but it, sure as hell, was not yours truly. I guess, it was someone in the marketing department of “LJN,” the toy company who produced this line. LJN, not only, manufactured Fundangles, it was, in fact, their lead item in 1989! And they featured it, predominately, on the cover of their Catalogue that year.
Fundangles was basically a line of girl’s jewelry: bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and pins, all of which had candy inside. The candy, mostly tiny multicolored “Chicklets,” and a few gumballs, was not hidden, but, actually became a visible and colorful part of the design. First, you wear it, then, you eat it! And then, you fill it up again. Actually selling something was exciting. But the concept, itself, was excruciatingly boring to me. I include it here, only because it’s success, which, was relatively considerable, encouraged us to think up products like the one that follows: “Sneaky Snacks.”
This website is a work in progress. Looking through a tray of slides this morning, I found three images of some of the original drawings for Fandangles. Seeing them, I was reminded that we originally called the concept, “Snack-Wear.” The quality of these slides is awful. I did the best I could to improve them with Photoshop. Now, alas, I will disrupt this entire finished page to squeeze them in. I can’t remember if we sold this concept, based solely on drawings like these, or if I went out shopping, bought a bunch of this and that, and cobbled together prototypes.
Exploring in a storage area, downstairs, I found a box that I haven’t seen in twenty-seven years. It contained a complete selection of actual manufactured samples, I will include a selection of them here, shown actual size. Alas, none of my original concept drawings for this line have survived.
LJN also filmed a musical commercial, and promoted Fundangles on TV!