Mark Forti on the story of Feisty Pets – and the worst way to invent new toys
Mark, you’re the M in WMC; the William Mark Corporation. What’s the W?
My first name’s William! So there you go…
Simple as that! Tick! So… Before Feisty Pets, for what were you best known?
My first big hit was called X-zylo – a flying cylinder that can be thrown over 200 yards. We sold millions, and that’s what launched the company.
The X-zylo… That’s the flying gyroscope? I’m familiar with it! I didn’t realise that was yours…
Yes. That’s my first big hit; I came up with it when I was very young. My Mystery UFO and Flitter Fairies were also big international hits for us. Our biggest-ever hit, though, was the Air Swimmers… Giant, remote-control flying sharks and clownfish. That generated an international fad.
Yes! I think Jonathan Ross had one on his TV show here in the UK. Everyone was asking about them. So, now… Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of plush – but I think Feisty Pets are absolutely fantastic! How do you describe the concept?
That’s funny, I’m not a big plush fan either! I’ve always been mostly into inventing flying toys, and plush had never been on my radar… So inventing a successful plush line was never in the plan! We call them the bad boys of plush; the Anti-Care Bears. Stuffed attitude!
Anti-Care Bears! That’s great!
The Feisty Pets also have an edgy sense of humour along the lines of Bugs Bunny, or Bart Simpson. You can see that on our Feisty Films channel on YouTube – we’re now up to the 127th episode, and 300 million views. Our fans really respond well to that irreverence.
And how did that idea come about?
I’m an artist and always have been fascinated with how a slight change in eyebrows can make a tremendous change in facial expression. I tried to design a mechanism that would have the most dramatic mood change with the least amount of mechanical movement.
Read the entire article at Mojo-Nation here: