CASE STUDIES

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Strausburg Railroad

 

Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania is the oldest operational railroad in the US opening in 1832. They are one of many small destination parks near Lancaster County. Rebuilding working steam locomotives is a significant part of their income as they are the experts who build Thomas the Train Engine trains that work and rebuild steam trains for other theme parks such as Walt Disney World.

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Max Doll

I was approached by an author with a series of books about a character named Max. The author wanted his character to be brought to life as a 3D plush. I was given his books to look for the best views to understand his character. There is always some translation that happens from 2D to 3D as there are adjustments needed to make things look right in 2D.

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GI Joe Search for the Yeti

When I accepted the Sr. Project Designer position at Kenner Toys in Cincinnati, Ohio for the Girl’s Toys Department, in the back of my mind was that it was one step closer to working on GI Joe. Hasbro had recently purchased Kenner; I was at least working for the company that made GI Joe. After I was an employee with Kenner for 4 years, I chose not to accept the position to relocate to the Hasbro main office in Pawtucket Rhode Island for various reasons. Instead of moving, I started a toy design firm Purple Suit, Inc. since I was known for wearing purple suits at that time (okay…I admit it, I still wear purple suits.) 

A year later, after I was no longer with Kenner, I got a phone call from Kenner as people remembered that I was a GI Joe huge GI Joe fan, and that department needed some support. I spent the next five years supporting GI Joe as an inside and outside vendor. Ironically, it was the longest length of time any designer spent on the large GI Joe team. 

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Dead Sea Squirrels

 

The Dead Sea Squirrels is a new animated series currently in the funding process. Its creator is the co-founder of VeggieTales and the voice of Larry the Cucumber – Mike Nawrocki. After finishing the pilot episode, they planned to use a crowdfunding site to raise money to complete the series. As part of the promotion, they would give a plush version of their squirrels to those who contributed over a certain amount.

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Zoo Friends

 

Evenflo had been an industry leader in feeding for over eighty years. As is typical of modern American business, it floundered in relevance after it had been bought and sold multiple times without giving the feeding division much attention. The investors were more interested in the high dollar sales of car seats than selling inexpensive bottles. Evenflo had been selling the same bottle products for about fifty years with only occasional changes to colors and packaging.

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Planogol

This multi-step project is just starting phase three. Phase one was to design a fun character to be the mascot for a start-up company. As you can see from the rough pencil tests, the character had to animate well to portray several activities. Phase two was creating a small plush toy to use as a premium for a crowdfunding campaign. Phase three is working between the client and the factory to manufacture a small run of these.