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It's art by artists who thought of themselves not as artists . . .
January 31, 2011 7:02 PM   Subscribe

You may not be familiar with the name Mel Birnkrant, but if you've played with toys in the last 45 years, you're probably familiar with his work.

Birnkrant, a toy designer and collector, designed with Colorforms throughout the 70s and 80s (previously)--as their creative director he had a hand in everything from Michael Jackson dolls to Popples. After his tenure with Colorforms ended in 86, Birkrant kept right on designing--though some of his designs faced rocky and uncertain futures after they left his hands. Visit Birnkrant's webpage to see more of his designs, or his youtube channel for his toy design pitches and potentially-nostalgia-inducing commercials.



Disclosure: Having missed the original thread, I never heard of Birnkrant before tonight, but I did own about 2 dozen Oodles and Magic Diaper Babies as a kid in the early 90s.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, I don't remember The Garbage Bag Gang, but as an idea it's pretty great.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:05 PM on January 31, 2011


With hindsight, the Michael Jackson "Rub n' Play" series is unfortunately named.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:24 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The guy's amazing. I had a really hard time sticking to just Colorforms stuff in the post I made.
posted by jessamyn at 7:32 PM on January 31, 2011


The concept videos kill me. I can't believe someone even thought to make a toy cat that kneads on a blanket.

And I sort of want the Real Little Nursery toy to be made, now, so I can buy it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:38 PM on January 31, 2011


I think my elementary school had these "Where the Wild Things Are" dolls in the library.

His last toy for Colorforms in 1986 was Miami Vice: The Game.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:40 PM on January 31, 2011


I love that miniature Gloworm from the Real Little Nursery.
posted by amyms at 11:52 PM on January 31, 2011


Seeing the Dino Riders art fired up long-forgotten memories of the coolest toys ever. Dudes riding dinosaurs. With guns.

I haven't thought about those in over 20 years. Thanks.
posted by cmonkey at 2:03 AM on February 1, 2011


Birnkrant, a toy designer and collector, designed with Colorforms throughout the 70s and 80s

I designed with Lite Brite during that time, but I went back to pencil and paper because I was becoming bedazzled.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:08 AM on February 1, 2011


I have never heard of any of those toys. Suspect they're a US only thing.
posted by wilful at 2:27 AM on February 1, 2011


The Outer Space Men are AWESOME.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:55 AM on February 1, 2011


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