the Wild Things Are

A toy story - told by Mel Birnkrant!!




I have a few photos I put into my computer some time ago. The Polaroid photo above shows my first hand drawn doll, minutes after it was done! The picture at the top of the previous page shows Maurice with the dolls. Only the original Colorforms dolls were done in this size. They are very rare! Determined productions made them slightly smaller, and much smaller, and they also made some very large ones.

Lately I saw some hand puppets in Barnes and Nobel adapted from the dolls. And I recently bought an umbrella on E-Bay that was definitely directly based on them as well.


Here's a photo of my Original prototype for my favorite of the four dolls, as it looks today! I sewed it back together and re-stuffed it. I still have the other three dolls, as well, but they remain in pieces.

Believe it or not when I conceived of the Wild Things Dolls nothing like them had ever been "manufactured" before. I didn't realize that at the time, as I had seen many dolls printed on fabric, dating back to the turn of the century. But these were made to be finished by the person who purchased the printed fabric and cut sewed and stuffed it at home, not unlike the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls I drew for Colorforms.

But when dolls are manufactured in quantities, the maker needs to stack up a pile of fabric many pieces deep and cut them all out at once. Our preprinted overall fabric made this all but impossible to do, as the sheets would shift and as it turned out had to be cut out one sheet at a time, which made it very expensive if not prohibitive to "manufacture."Somehow they figured out a way to do it and other preprinted dolls and stuffed animals have, since, become fairly commonplace.

Go to Page 1 of the Wild Things

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