Toy Stories Chapter 21: Locksies

by Paul Fish | 09 Aug 2021

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed

Not everything we work on makes it to market, but we continue to learn and improve our skills. Such was the case with this innovative doll line. A true pleasure to work on and a great team effort. Shout outs to Georgia Manolas Walker & Renata Harmati for tirelessly working to improve and fine tune this line in to a real thing of beauty. Toy Stories Chapter 21: Locksies!

Harumika was a great activity line that did really well in Europe, but not so well in the US. Why? Research said girls wanted dolls, and Harumika used Mannequin Dress Forms. So we applied Harumika unique system to a doll line, but making them beautiful was a challenge! Georgia Manolas & Renata Harmati gave superb direction, but early models didn’t quite cut it.

A visit to China revealed to me that the factory was chosen as a favor to make up for lost Action Figure business, and not based on their ability to make dolls! We spelled out in detail what we wanted, especially when it came down to hair and eyes. We wanted painted eyes all along, and they kept coming back with clumsy tampo eyes. At the factory, we saw that they didn’t have the internal capability for painting eyes, so we agreed on changes to the art and facial sculpting to deliver more beautiful, dynamic eyes that registered better on the face.

After all of this, unfortunately, the taste of Harumika’s performance was still too bitter in the mouths of US retailers, so despite winning research results, the line never got its day in the sun! It was not all to waste, though, as it was an amazing learning experience for me. Also, we had an awesome commercial by the Rotter Group on this one, with a sing-a-long jingle by Amber Cahill and cool fashion loft setting!

ToyStories Bandai Harumika Locksies

Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!