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Max Prototype for "Where the Wild Things Are"

doll | prototype

Toy designer Mel Birnkrant recorded the story of creating character products based on Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," of which this Max prototype is one. Birnkrant wrote on his website, "Harry hired the best image maker in the business, an amazing young lady named, Bonnie Erickson. Bonnie had formerly worked with Henson Associates, where she created Miss Piggy, as well as many other leading Muppet characters. Now, she and her husband, Wade Harrison had gone into business together. And within a few short years, Harrison Erickson designed the characters and costumes of some of the most famous sports mascots in America. These were exciting days. Maurice and I met with Bonnie and her crew of craftsmen several times, in her studio in Manhattan. Each time, a lavish lunch was offered. The first visit was to get acquainted and discuss the dolls, their construction, and the various fabrics that would be required. At this point, we made some important decisions. I had visualized Max as being smaller than the Wild Things, as he appears in the book. Now, his size was debated, and we unanimously agreed that it would be better merchandising to make him nearly the same size as the others, so, all the dolls could sell for the same price. Whatever his size, the same amount of labor would be required, and his being larger would offer more perceived value. His face, we all decided would be better rendered flat, rather than splitting it down the middle. And his nose would be a plastic button."

  • Artist: Maurice Sendak
  • Designer: Bonnie Erickson
  • Material: fabric | synthetic hair
  • Origin: USA
  • Style: pattern
  • Object ID: 116.7006
  • Credit Line: Gift of Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison
Creative Commons License