Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inspiration: C. Carey Cloud

The Cracker Jack prize was always exciting to me. The miniature mystery in the little thin paper package brought me joy, just like millions of other kids. From the 1930's through the 1960's, C. Carey Cloud designed, created and delivered 700 million toys to the Cracker Jack company.

His other clients included Pillsbury, Brach's Candy, CoCo Wheats and more. He designed toys; paper toys, plastic toys, moving toys, theme toys. Many of the paper toys use simple mechanisms to make them move or jump. Above is one of his "action toys". Look at all the details in this pirate. Do you think you could have a kid's toy pirate sitting on a keg of rum today? Probably not. Maybe he would have had to remove the X's.

His lines are simple and convey a complete vignette with subtle, but complete detail. Notice the soft scales on the fish, the sweep of lines on the fins, the sketch of a coral. You could get an assortment of 20 for $1.00 by mail order. Mr. Cloud inspecting a batch of plastic figures. He sculpted much larger than the final size. He had an endless imagination and the skills of several men. He was called the "Year-'Round Santa Claus" and it is easy to see why. His toys had a sophistication to them. It seemed there was a lot of child in his spirit.

Here is a punch-out for a wagon. It is perforated in two places and folds up to look like the mini drawing on the background. His instructions are easy, concise and complete.

Can you believe tin prizes? This is only one in a series of toys for Cracker Jack made from lithographed tin. Carey Cloud found that the Ball Brothers, of canning jar fame, had tons of scrap tin from lids selling for $25 a ton. He was able to produce over 80 million toys before the Ball Brothers found out what he was doing and raised the price to $125 a ton. That was the end of the metal toys in Cracker Jacks.

C. CAREY CLOUD - Google him to learn more.

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