Toy Tech: Thinking Young – The Art of Playsets (Part 1)



Action Man Film & Playset Design; Paramount Home Entertainment © 2008, Hasbro © 2008

Some time ago I worked on an animated film called Action Man
for Paramount Home Entertainment and Hasbro. My main focus was the visual
development of the main locations knowing up front that several of them would
become playsets. I was responsible for producing conventional concept sketches
of new design possibilities as well as Maya 3d models that worked out the structural

The samples included here were very quick concepts that explored
the hero’s main headquarters. As far as the assignment was concerned, I had to
go back to the memories of my youth to make it work. It was great to think young
again and design something I would have liked to play with as a boy.

It’s amazing how much I actually remember from my youth and
how my play patterns were such an integral part of my growing up. It’s
fascinating that many of my memories are linked to play—the toys, the games,
and the memories of people I cared most about.

I still remember playing with my favorite action figures along
with their ready for tactical action jeep that had a bazooka mounted to the
back. A bazooka!! Man alive! To counter my excitement and youthful wide-eyed
wonder, my mom kept telling me to be careful not to shoot the plastic missile
at the lamp, which was proudly displayed in the living room.

I told her again and again there was no way that little
piece of plastic could knock that giant lamp down but she was so convinced that
it could her fear grew and grew until, from my point of view, the whole thing became
a deep seeded paranoia.


Continued In Part 2

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