People of Play! I am posting some anecdotal Toy Stories about a number of my favorite toys I've worked on in my career.
Toy Stories Chapter 2: Farting Ren & Stimpy
The challenge with a property like Ren & Stimpy is how do you capture its essence while maintaining traditional decorum in toys. The answer is to say “screw it” and make toys that fart and say “you fat bloated eediot!” There were also executional challenges in our farting line, however. Stimpy wasn’t a problem. He farted in nice round tones. Ren’s early prototypes, on the other hand, sounded more like a duck’s quacking, because the only place for the bladder flap (the fart-sounding whoopee rubber device) was in his head. After several attempts, our engineer (now Mattel Bigwig) Scott Goodman suggested we insert the bladder in the tail, provided Marketing was OK with the variance from the style guide, as it would results in a flat tail. I was.
With that, Scott then pointed out afterwards that there would be an added effect in that Ren’s tail would flap as he broke wind. A wind-win! (see what I did there?)
Stylistically, we sculpted Ren’s face to look like he was pinching one off, and designed the package to look like a toilet. Ren’s package was supposed to be a litter box, but the Ren approach was much more clear. Interestingly, we got more pushback from Ren’s chosen sayings in the talking toys than we did from these farting toys, because, you know, the price-point was more attractive.
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