Saturday, 9 April 2005

Making the World Smile

Revenge of the Sith merchandise is now flooding retail aisles across the globe! Anakin's Jedi Starfighter arrived yesterday and I've already ordered (from Toys "R" Us*) assorted LEGO pieces, BARC Speeder, Grievous' Wheel Bike, ARC-170 Fighter, AT-RT, Monopoly, Risk and Star Wars Trivial Pursuit DVD. Movie Market is now selling gorgeous prints. Not to mention that Battlegrounds debuts on the Mac very soon. Collectors can stay up-to-date here.

In the UK Palitoy distributed Kenner's Star Wars action figures and accessories. When I wasn't playing with toys I drew new ones and sent them to the company's Coalville HQ in Leicester. Although Palitoy could not accept my unsolicited submissions, I was always rewarded with posters and action figures.

Hasbro purchased Kenner in 1991 (the brand has all but disappeared) and I was interviewed for a Mac-based product packaging designer post (within their interactive division) in 1999. Hasbro's UK office, located in Stockley Park (near to Apple Computer), is plush. I never got beyond the first interview stage (sans Photoshop test), but Hasbro paid my traveling expenses and, believe me, that's rare. In 2001 Hasbro Interactive was purchased by Infogrames (Atari).

[*In the 1980s a Toys "R" Us opened in Bristol (off Junction 17). My first purchase was a copy of Atari's Star Raiders (the pack-in included a Video Touch Pad for the VCS 2600). For some obscure reason my recollection of playing Star Raiders, reading DC Comics and watching Hart to Hart at my Granmother's house are inseparable!]