Thursday, October 7, 2010


1978 was the first year I went to Toy Fair as a free lance "toy inventor" as the industry called us. I had a portfolio of 32 concepts and appointments with 27 toy companies crammed into seven days. I had previously designed two major lines for Hasbro so they were my first stop. Nothing I had to offer interested them so I was free to show my concepts to anyone else.

DADDY'S GIRLS was inspired by all the 1940s LADIES HOME JOURNAL covers created by the artist Al Parker. They always showed a mother and daughter in matching outfits and were almost as popular as Norman Rockwell's SATURDAY EVENING POST covers.

Seventeen companies turned down Daddy's Girls -- all for the same reason. No one would buy two dolls in a package. It had never been done. At least not successfully.

I didn't think it was a major concept and I was already celebrating my successful relationship with Pedigree, so a bit of negative response didn't put me off my game.

My very last appointment was with a charming man from a factory in Japan that manufactured toy concepts for WOOLWORTH'S. These had to be inexpensively priced and have instant shelf appeal. He bought DADDY'S GIRLS right away. WOOLWORTH'S sold over six million units.

And the next year seven of the companies who had rejected the two-doll concept introduced "knock-offs" of the DADDY'S GIRLS line.