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Toy Story 2 packaging
I have to say it was an absolute honor to be asked to handle this toy line packaging! From the 7" figures to the full size figures and vehicles I was smiling at every Disney and Pixar meeting! The only request I had been given was to ad some Buzz Lightyear into the existing blue sky branding. Buzz had a bigger role in this movie so I added a little darker blue at the top of the branding, gently fading into little space rockets and starts. The percentage of just how much went back and forth, but they loved it to the point they asked other licensors to do the same. The first toy line for the first movie was boring square packages. I quickly concluded that buzz should come packaged in his space ship like the movie. My engineer got the structure just right! Complete with wings which marketing tried to get rid of from a shelf space issue, but the mighty Disney/Pixar over ruled, Yeah!. We hinged it in a way that the package could be kept and used to store Buzz inside the space ship. I placed Woody in a package that emulated the scene in the movie where he's racing down the street on "RC". That also went over well I'm happy to say. The package backs were an extra treat as I recreated Andy's room in 3-D to make the glamour shots appear to be standing in Andy's room.

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Extreme Dinosaurs
I had total free reign on this Brand from concept to completion. I knew the logo had to be very impactful as it was going to be used on the cartoon opening as a stand alone graphic. After settling on the right type solution I then went into 3-D to create the ripped metal and raised type. I then hired an illustrator to paint the dinosaur eye in the middle. Trying to get that heavy metal look using the steel treed. It worked well, but I had to be careful not to use too much of it as it is mainly gray in color and everyone knows gray dies on shelf! I then used the fiery orange burst behind the product to pop the figures and vehicles which related the figures to a time of volcanic mayhem!! I also had a lot of fun creating the stand for the mega figure on the left. It was sculpted to look like broken concrete and water lines as these Dangerous Dinosaurs were hero's in populated cities.

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Batman Classic Packaging
This segment was to be the first of all 4 segments to see the shelf first, so it was important to get the look and feel of the Batman heritage right. I choose to use the Bat signal in the top right corner to help in recognition from 10 to 20 feet away. I also used the most familiar bat logo to keep some of the comic book and TV show brand that we all know and love. To highlight this mark I even embossed the logo in the blister that sits only 1/4" above the blister card so it wouldn't effect nesting in the master pack when shipped. The purple some what high tech background I put together with a forced perspective leading you down to the product. This worked well as a brand look and made sense because of all the high tech gadgets that Batman uses.

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In these NBA segments I utilized the black side bar to create a connection in the different toy lines. The logo treatments and brand graphics were from scratch. The Shooting Sensations on the right had a great try me feature in where you pull back on a lever and the players knee's bend and arms come back like he is really shooting a free throw! The huge 15" figure 2nd from left features a double door on front that opens to reveal a pro basketball court environment. 7" collector figures with trading card were also offered in the Shooting Stars line which followed the traditional blister card size and shape for this type of figure. The Jams line was a little more playful in style as they were viewed as a stepping stone to the collector market. The big heads on these tiny bodies were really comical and fun and the packaging worked well to support that feel.

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When I heard I was going to design the next and probably the last lines of the Street Shark brand I asked marketing why would we change the GREAT package that the Street Sharks are known for? You see they came in a box shaped package with molded jail cell bars that were designed in a way that the Sharks looked like they were breaking out of the box! Brilliant package, one of my favorite toy packages of all time, not designed by me. Marketing told me a simple blister card is what is needed here because of budget. They insisted that the aqua brand graphics in the background are all the buyer needs to see. I had to do what I was told and the awesome jail box went the way of the do do. It was a sad day in Street Shark history.

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The Mighty Ducks line was pure line extension for me. I used an illustrator that was appointed for this line for it's entirety. The bigger toys and vehicles had to go in plain rectangular packages so it was important that the feature illustrations really pop and were exiting! We were permitted to do a more interesting package for the duckcycle/figure package as you can see. Working closely with your packaging engineer is a must when trying to create interesting shapes and looks in the structure.

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When I got the word I was to develop a NBA branding program that would include multiple figure lines that had to be different yet relate to one another on the shelf, I had to put my thinking cap on. Pictured here is the Michael Jordan collectible figure line Maximum Air. I tried an all foil blister card with 2 color printing for a little extra bling! After all we are talking about NBA royalty. As you will see in the NBA slides to follow I tied all the brands together with a vertical black left hand bar with the NBA logo in the top left corner. Both the NBA and marketing department were happy with the treatment and amount of brand recognition.

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Max Steel figure and vehicle toy line was more of a relationship in my life for 3 solid years! It was accompanied by a 3-D TV show which had many of his tools, weapons and vehicles in the show. I treated the feature illustrations on the front of these packages like the style of the TV show so there would be a direct connection visually. There were so many different price points in this line, from a $3.99 figure to a $40.00 figure with all the bells and whistles! You really have to allocate your money in the budget properly to make sure each toy has the right amount of communication. It seemed like I was always working on 5 or so figures or vehicles at once for years! Talk about brand extenuation!

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More Max Steel packaging..

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Max Steel packaging refreash.

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NBA Pro Hoops
Yes! yet another NBA toy line at the same time as the others pictured on these pages. This line has a shooting play pattern similar to "Shooting Sensations" where you actually shoot a basketball into the supplied hoop. I wanted that play pattern right in the logo so thats what I did! I also designed a paper basketball court that had the same background brand graphics so it didn't fight with popping the figure's off the blister card.

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I had the pleasure of getting to work on many special projects for the Hot Wheels brand. The great thing about special projects is that there are no brand graphics designed at the beginning of these projects. You get to pick the brains of the marketing and sales departments to use in concepting just how this particular package should look and why it even exists! Pictured here are a few of those projects. In the Exploring Space set I used a bubble shaped inner blister set on top of a background image of the moon which gave the illusion of a 3 dimensional moon surface which seated the products in the environment well. These figures and vehicles were from the Apollo missions so it was very fitting. On the far right the Cop Rods line was particularly ambitious as I proposed that we have a different police officer badge on each blister card. Marketing asked me how we would go about getting all those badges? I told them we will contact police departments in different states! They told me "ok", but "you have to do it", well, I did and spoke with many police departments and promised them the Cop Rod from their department if they helped me get an image of their department badge. I must have spoke with 50 police officers to get all the right images to complete this assignment!

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The coveted Treasure Hunt Hot Wheels package is a collection of the top selling cars for the year. I was so excited to get this assignment. I knew right away I wanted to try a bank vault theme and marketing was on board right from the start. I myself illustrated the vault graphics after much research. I had so many pictures of bank vaults to get it right I was asked by some if I was planning on robbing a bank!

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Pictured here are more Hot Wheels special projects. The Hot Wheels marketing team put together special editions for particular buyers across the U.S. Like Ames, Walmart and Target, Yep, they get their very own exclusive package!!

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For this FAO Schwartz excessive I wanted to do something upscale because of the older classic car collection. I utilized a book style package with and elegant HW logo in the middle of the package front finished in silver foil with an enlarged HW logo in the background printed in a gloss UV coating for it's reflective qualities. Printing both of these treatments on black gave it a sophisticated look and feel.

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This group of gaming packaging was a real treat for me as I got to utilize some of my illustration talents. You really have to be familiar with some of the highlights and features in each game and make a decision what few seconds of the game you want to show in action to engage the buyer at retail. I love being able to play designer and illustrator in the same job! Instead of art directing an illustrator, you are art directing yourself!.

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Yu-Gi-Oh! figure packaging
When asked to design this line the logo already existed and had a mish mash of brand elements supplied so I decided to get the pop on the shelf we needed from this red and black brand look. I also wanted a brandable shape to the package structure. I utilized one of the key elements from the Yu-Gi-Oh! power source, his pendant that is an upside down pyramid. I followed this shape to get my packaging structure. All packages had this triangle meeting the other triangle meeting in the middle. My boss's liked it so much they decided to secure it with a patent!! They wanted to use this shape across other toy brands as they thought it was very ownable. Another feature in the packaging was being able to see the 3 dimensional transparent trading card that was included. I positioned it in the middle with a die cut hole and a little graphic icon that prompts you to hold the package up to the light to see through the package which would illuminate the card. This made it possible to see the attributes of the card without having to take it out of the package!

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Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots packaging
I was asked to design a new look for this old brand from the ealy 70's. I was glad to get this one as I had great memories from this classic toy. Only problem was it was now an action figure line that came with a tool for customization, not a boxing ring style fighting game. I knew right from the beginning I would like to include some of the play pattern right in the logo, and what a mouthful the name was! I proceeded to design the logo with heavy metal interlocking 3-D type with screws and bolts just like the toy. The logo even appeared on the boxing ring on the toy! Thats a great thing for a graphic designer! As you can see I gave the tool included with this toy prime real estate on the blister card so the buyer would know it was important to this toy. It nested really well with the logo. I made all graphic elements in a 3-D program. Once again I didn't utilize outside illustrators. I did it myself!

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Batman Animated Cartoon Packaging
This 3rd segment in the Batman toy line was a breeze! The existing brand elements were there, it just needed to be designed to look like the cartoon which was to appear on Cartoon Network. For this look I resolved to use a 2-D approach to match the cartoon look which proved to be the right choice. I enlarged the character art so they had a more visual impact. As you can see, one of the major focal points are the faces of the characters which makes it clear just what character is in the package at retail.

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ProAxon packaging
From logo to packaging to print ads and catalog I wanted to create a brand look that had a scientific feel. This 4 step process was to be sold through salon's so I didn't really have the problem of fighting with hundreds of products by it's side. The client wanted the opportunity to sell them separately so I came up with this solution of individual package cartons that when seated next to each other made a angular black and white brand look that connected them.

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World Famous Strap Lock shelf package display
The structure of the package doubles as a small display with this flip up header card communicating how to use the product. The quirky graphics were made to be a little kitschy and humorous to grab the attention of the buyer at retail.

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Often asked to package 2 products in one, here is an example for Sony

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I was tasked with bundling a hit game and controller. In my opinion you HAVE TO see both products to make sure you communicate properly.

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Sometimes the footprint has to be smaller and you must go back to back at the retailers request.

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Here’s a bundle that shows a boot made of chip board at the bottom in order to shrink wrap the 2 products without the expense of a carton or box.

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It’s always good to give options in how to bundle!

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This direction involved the video game deciding the main branding, not the Sony Blue

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And then there are those times you put everything inside a big box with a sleeve added as the new outer graphic with the bundled product featured and still have the game branding driving the sale.

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Combining 2 different brands can get tricky. Both parties have to agree on how much of their own branding is shown.