Wednesday, October 6, 2010


In 1978, MEGO was one of the largest toy companies in America after Mattel and Hasbro. The owner was a sharp businessman who had his eye on the brass ring.

The toy business can be a mysterious place when it comes to success and failure. Some of the best concepts hang in the balance in the weeks following Toy Fair every year.

MEGO spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing SWEET INNOCENCE to market. I did all the sculpts and art work for the packaging. Molds were made and hundreds of production samples were created for Toy Fair.

More thousands were spent in market research and testing before production began. The concept scored high marks with little girls who responded to the toys as well as the story. But, in the weeks following Toy Fair it became clear that store owners were not interested in the product and it was dropped from the line.

In the business this is called taking "the first best loss" and so SWEET INNOCENCE became a sweet loss and tax write-off.

I cashed my check and a year later the rights reverted back to me. I have often wondered why retailers shunned this concept and if they hadn't would little girls have enjoyed playing with her. We'll never know.