time, Fisher Price "inside" was redesigning the
Little People line to become more sculptural rather than
the standard ball for head look they had had in the past.
And, Peter saw the Mop tops as somehow related. To him these were the "Little People" transformed into Dolls. He envisioned them posed in folksy Norman Rockwell-like settings and situations, in an open box, with two figures, children, babies or pets, interacting with each other along with, perhaps, a prop or an accessory.
Click on any picture on this page to see a larger photo.
And thus I began designing and making a whole series of mock up packages. They were in full dimension with flat cut outs representing the dolls with Backgrounds that related to the characters and what they were "doing".
They were a TON of work! Here is All that remains of all that work: a hand-full of not so great photos of the various packages, as well as a group shot of all of them together with my three original dolls posed in front.
Unfortunately, these appealing dolls posing here, so innocently, posed a Big Political Problem for Fisher Price: Mattel, who had just bought Tyco [and killed Cuddles], had also recently acquired Fisher Price.
And Jill Barad, the Queen of Mattel, who reigned over the company and all its satellites, with an iron fist, had dictated that: "No Company in Mattel's Empire, other than Mattel, itself, would be permitted to produce a Doll". She didn't want to see Any Competition vying against her, hoped for, doll Monopoly, last and least of all, one of "her own" companies!
Thus, Peter came up with a "concept", that depended on semantics to circumvent this dictate. Our dolls would not be "dolls" at all, although they were changed in Name Only.
Henceforth, they were called "Soft Play Figures", sort of a soft action figure for girls. Every time we slipped up and called them "dolls" [which we did a lot], we bit out tongues!
Mel Birnkrant's Mop Tops Presentation!