uring my time as the senior copywriter overseeing Mattel’s Boy’s Toys, worldwide gross sales in the Boys-Entertainment category increased by seven percent due to phenomenal growth in Matchbox products, further helped by international sales of the Hot Wheels and Tyco RC brands. I also worked on the Bandai advertising campaign that helped its Gundam product line capture 29% of the market, handily beating their $20 million sales goal by several million dollars. The agency I worked for, J. Walter Thompson, went on to win an Effie award for advertising effectiveness.


Before I wrote a single word, call-out, or even read the creative brief, I took one look at the test model and came up with the phrase, “Mechanized For Mayhem” (and to my utter surprise found out that no one had bothered to file a copyright!) I used the line to drive the rest of N.S.E.C.T’s copy.


Mattel was looking for a line of RC cars that screamed, “These are better than your average RC.” I came up with the Pro Power Series moniker, named all the cars and then proceeded to grill the engineers on any cool sounding specs I could find.


Shell Shocker started out as a plain, steel orb that opened up to become a fast-moving rover. Unfortunately in that state, retailers weren’t buying, marketers couldn’t market, and designers were dumbfounded as to what to do next. At that point the Radio Control (RC) brand director stopped by my desk. “Aren’t you the SciFi writer?” He asked. I nodded. “Well,” he said, tossing me a picture of the too-polished product, “make this thing come alive.” And so I did. Shell Shocker went on to win the 2006 Boys’ TOTY award (Toy of the Year) and was Tyco RC’s best selling vehicle two years running.


Banzai, a line that focuses on fun, extreme outdoor water play for children of all ages, has consistently been ranked the #1 seller on Amazon in its category. Three products I worked on for ToyQuest received coveted TOTY award nominations,
including their Skimboard Surfer.