There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination

Did you know that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was actually originally made as a film-length commercial for a new line of candy from Quaker Oats? The film industry had fallen on really hard times and was never more open to distribution contracts and using investors from different markets. A director’s daughter was reading the original Roald Dahl book and he made the connection between Dahl’s great story and the product launch. He pitched the idea for the cross-promotion. Brilliant! Stuff like this is why I got into advertising at all (but opportunities like this don’t come around too often. That’s a different story!)  All-in-all the movie turned out so amazing and attracted a cult following, unfortunately the candy line wasn’t AS  successful. More info on this here:

Willy Wonka ( the original) is my all-time favorite movie. It is so imaginative and so scrumdidliumptious. It is a feast for the eyes. The Tim Burton re-make is very well done but it’s just not the same. Apparently, people with the name “Arielle” are predisposed to loving this movie. I wish this cake was mine but, alas, it was enjoyed by a different person with my name.

Great news, lickable wallpaper can be made! I created a similar design based off the movie stills, had strips laminated and then melted jolly ranchers down with a little water in a glass bowl. Using a new, disposable, craft brush, just paint different flavors on each fruit and let it dry. Washable and reusable for future fun!

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Lets start at the beginning…

Capsule Toys – A tiny world in a bubble

I have always loved objects of miniature scale. I know that capsule toys had something to do with my fascination at an early age. There are so magical to me, a detailed object at a small scale—like they are from another world. They transport me to a new place. I am getting a glimpse into something precious, something a little bit secret and the experience is a bit more exciting than the everyday. As a kid ( heck, as an adult) I couldn’t pass a capsule toy dispenser without stopping to look inside those tiny, plastic, bubbles. Something about an object suspended in clear plastic is rather exciting. I can see it but I can’t get to it. If I pay for one, what I get is left to chance. The toy was generally less exciting once it was removed from its capsule, I preferred to leave them in their “home”. To this day I still place a lot of value on 25 cents. It could buy you a little magic.

The Japanese equivalent to the cheap, American versions are called Gashapon. They are more like collectors items and the price can range from $1-$6. The toys are more detailed and better quality. The creativity in their designs is pretty limitless. ( I’ll definitely touch more on Japanese whimsy again later). I remember a childhood friend bringing a few home from Tokyo with “real” hair and cloth clothes. Kind of useless in the long run? Maybe. But for some reason they are really exciting!

From my capsule toy experience, stemmed a love of dioramas, matchbox miniature scenes and a general enthusiasm of getting a glimpse into other-wordly situations. In space, under water,  carnivals, fairylands. So much inspiration from some cheaply made hunks of plastic. 🙂

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