Sunday, January 20, 2008

The History of the Beanworld Action Figure

Chapter Six

In TOTB #11, this blurb appeared:

I blacked out the address number to protect the innocent folks living at that address nowadays.
We haven't lived there since 1992.
The "Dept. AF" was a bit of an inside joke--thumbing my nose at direct marketing.

I can't recall how many requests came in, but it was like being hit by a tsunami of self-addressed stamped envelopes.

Small envelopes.
Big envelopes.
Huge envelopes.

And boxes.

Little boxes.
Big boxes.
Huge boxes.

Often with jaw-dropping amounts of postage attached.

It honestly never occurred to Cory and me that anyone really thought we were giving away a free full-sized action figure like a He-Man or GI Joe. But the size of the return packages and the amount of postage included indicated that at least some folks thought we might be--and they weren't taking any chances!

Mikedaimon sent along the above scan of a paper insert he received from me in 1988. No matter the size of the package sent to us, we wrapped up the three little beans in this paper insert and popped it in the mail.

Now, the sheet looks like an ancient relic from another age--a simple photocopy of a hand-drawn pencil layout.
And in a way it was.
1988 was several years before I got my first computer aand started creating all Beanworld advertising and marketing materials in QuarkXpress. Even though I had access to slick typeset materials through my advertising career, I'm pretty sure I wanted the sheet to reflect the spirit of the individually handcrafted Beanworld Action Figures.

The envelopes with requests actually continued to come for many years as people collected back issues of Beanworld. We always honored every request.

1 comment:

Mike KJ said...

It's funny - i don't think i had any real idea what would be coming to me, but i also don't remember any disappointment with my "action figures" once they arrived!

Mike J.