Thursday, April 5, 2007


Here's a blast from the past. A catalog page from a little company called Play By Play full of Batman Goodness. These are actually product that I have worked on either laying out the graphics, coming up with the product pattern, or generating the concept artwork. The inflates were especially fun because I had to come up with shapes that could be translated into inflatable toys.

As you can see the Batmobile from the Batman the Animated Series didn't quite turn out like the one in the show. I was told this was as close as the vendor could get to the actual drawing. I think given the time and knowledge of inflate construction I could have got this one closer. Never the less I'm still happy with the results of most of the items. The Batman cowl was my all time favorite. I based it on an old Ideal toy from way back in the day, I believe the early sixties. I originally made this so my son could have a cool Batman mask to show off to his buddies. Most of the time I had my son in mind when I was designing new stuff, always a good inspiration. The cowl went through two prototype stages before we started producing them. The first prototype was constructed of white vinyl and could fit an adult sized head, I loved it and would wear it around the office doing my "I'm Batman" impersonation. I was outvoted and it was sized down for a child's average head size. Like kids are going to play with these things, huh. The Bat-a-rang and Grappling Hook were no brainers, I mean you have to have these to go along with the rest of the costume, right?

Besides inflates I was in charge of all things basketball for most of my time at Play By Play. The red and blue Batman basketball was actually the first time that a gradient was used on a basketball. Play By Play was at the top of it's game during this time and we made numerous advances in basketball artwork science. It was always great having product managers that would push the vendors to try and figure out how to make our designs work. The art department was very fortunate that we could try a few out of the box ideas and include them in the line. Not a big deal now, but for the time, we introduced glow in the dark basketballs, photos printed on basketballs, gradients, and designs that crossed the center lines, just to name a few. All these are common place now. Oh well, it wasn't rocket science, just art.

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