Fresh off the success of Toys That Time Forgot Volume One, author and toy enthusiast Blake Wright is back with Volume Two of his compendium about toys that were abandoned by manufacturers before they hit toy shelves.
Toy Tales spoke with Wright in February 2017 as Volume One sought (and received) backing through Kickstarter. He took a similar approach to Volume Two, and continued to receive overwhelming support for his work. “The response to Volume One was humbling, the book sold out,” explains Wright. “It was a truly grassroots effort; I started with nothing. Through my travels across the U.S., I met toy company executives, artists, collectors, and individuals who were excited to share their stories with me. In the two years since Volume One was published, I’ve had many more people approach me with stories and artifacts from their time working in the toy manufacturing industry.”
The toy business is notoriously fickle and financial margins are often small. With no room for error, manufacturers can be quick to halt production of lines related to wavering franchises, underperforming movies and television shows, or changes in a toy manufacturer’s strategy. With a focus on bringing to life the stories behind these unproduced toys, Wright found an audience of enthusiastic readers. “People from across the board have expressed their fondness for the book,” exudes Wright. “Collectors, toy industry folks, children, museums such as The Strong, and people curious about what could have been in their toy box have all embraced Toys That Time Forgot.”
With Volume Two successfully funded through Kickstarter, Wright explains the mission behind writing Volumes One and Two as “wanting people to appreciate the fact that there are human beings behind these projects; concept artists, illustrators, sculptors, marketers, and others who contribute to what gets placed in the toy aisle; the people who are often under-appreciated.”
As toy enthusiasts anxiously await the official release of Volume Two, Wright also hints that a third volume of the coffee table book is not out of the question.
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