Mr. Toad Big Fig Sculpt Revisions
Here's a peek behind the scenes of the making of the Mr. Toad figure...
We designed the figurine here in California, and sent our concepts, turnaround drawings (depicting the front, back, and sides), as well as color specs, to the manufacturer in China. In this case, Mr. Toad here was sculpted by an artist who we had worked with for several years. She sculpted the character and base in water-base clay using our drawings, and I recall that she was unfamiliar with this particular character. This was a challenge, and you can see in the side-view overlay above that Toad went through some pretty drastic changes to get "on model." All said, Mr. Toad took five passes before we approved the sculpture (usually it takes only 2 or 3 passes to get a character right.)
Once approved, however, things progressed quickly. A master mold was made of the sculpture, and whiteware (unpainted) castings were sent to us in California. Jody painted the first whiteware figure and sent it right back to China for the factory to use as a 'paint master' guide in painting the rest of the figures. Sometimes mistakes are made with the colors and the figure goes through further revisions. I remember that Jody was especially concerned with the blush on Toad's cheeks, which was missing from the first prototype we received from China.
In the end, though, it turned out great. Of all the figurines I've ever seen of Mr. Toad (and there aren't very many!) this is my favorite. I think it captured his likeness and personality pretty closely.