Memoirs of a Toy Designer

Mel Birnkrant war von Mitte der 60er bis Mitte 80er Toydesigner bei Coloforms und hat auf seiner Website in einem sehr langen, sehr fantastischen Text seine Erinnerungen an die Arbeit dort festgehalten. Unbedingt komplett durchklicken und nicht von den eher doofen Vorschaubildern abschrecken lassen, das Ding hat mich grade völlig umgehauen mit seinen dreitausend HighRes-Scans von Entwürfen, Flyern und den Bildern der Toys selbst. Awesome!

In the early 1960s, My wife and I ran a small business in New York City, handcrafting “Authentic Reproductions” of antique toys and music boxes that never, existed in the first place. It was called, “Boutique Fantastique”. The name was derived from the ballet “La Boutique Fantasque” by Respighi-Rossini, and translates into English as “The Fantastic Toy Shop”. Fantastic indeed, for all the toys and dolls there came to life at night. The concept and the music always intrigued me.

On December 19th, 1964 with Christmas just a few days away, an article about Boutique Fantastique appeared in the New York Times.

Later that day the phone rang. I lifted the receiver to hear for the first time, the mesmerizing voice that would dominate my Destiny for the next 20 years. It was the voice of Harry Kislevitz, a Wizard of the highest order. I immediately fell under his spell.

His voice alone was captivating, kind, exuberant, and resonating. It was the voice of Santa Claus, calling, from just across the river in New Jersey, to offer me the possibility of making toys, happily ever after.

Mel Birnkrant, The Colorforms Years (via Boing Boing)