Cuddle on Delivery!!

Click on any "Thumb"below to see a larger picture.
The C.O.D. Story is below the Thumbs.

Tyco Catalog:

Mel Birnkrant's Prototypes:


Special Delivery:

Dear Prilly,

Don't ask me what a "COD" is! Any kid who's learning to read can tell you "It's some kind of Fish"! We hated the name! So did everyone at Tyco, That's what's so weird about it!

We originally, called the product: "SPECIAL DELIVERIES" and the idea was to have a postal theme as well as implying "birth". The expression is used on the nightly news, every time a baby is delivered in a taxi cab, or a new Panda arrives at the Zoo, So, it would have been a miracle if the name wasn't already taken, and, alas, it was taken by a doll "artist"!

The name is so generic that some minor addition to it like the word "Very" could have made it useable, But Tyco wanted to play it safe, So they offered the woman, who was located "down south" and made expensive collector dolls, a handsome sum to allow Tyco to use the name she had registered for one of her dolls. But she turned the offer down!

So "COD", Which stood for "Cuddle on Delivery", is what the name became, and that was the only thing that Tyco did on this project that was less than terrific!

Here is the little story, from our original presentation, that tells what they were all about!

The marketing strategy on this product was extremely sound. The REAL STORY, is something the little tale, above, doesn't relate. Mattel had recently invested a fortune in taking over the Cabbage Patch license. Because of the huge royalty commitments they had to meet, all Cabbage Patch product had to be designed to sell for around $25. retail. Even when Mattel did a smaller Cabbage Patch doll, they packaged it with some accessory to keep the price up!

Now, along comes CODs, Competing Directly, with Cabbage Patch, and selling for $12.98, literally, Half the Price of Cabbage Patch! There were several fabulous commercials with a beautifully animated stork, and Tyco considered the line a "Success". Lots of additions and extensions were in the advanced stages of development for the following year ....

When.....Suddenly...... Mattel Bought Tyco!!!!!

And a few days later a team of Mattel People arrived in Mount Laurel, NJ. They set up tents in the parking lot with Grief Counselors, To help in the crisis. And when the day was over, of the 400 Tyco employees, who arrived at work that day, Only 175 Remained. Among those permanently "let go", were the President of the company and "CODs"!

Best Regards, Mel

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