I run into a lot of 20-somethings that fondly remember the TYCO Doctor Dreadful toy line from when it was first out in 1995-97 when they were little. I have a big file of really cute and funny letters that kids sent in to Doctor Dreadful back then with their own gross food recipes. They are just hilarious to read! It would be cool to reconnect with those 1st generation fans today!
The DrD character in the original ads was wonderfully played by John Kassir, who was also the TV version of the Cryptkeeper . The first ads won a bunch of advertising industry awards:
It sold over $100MM worldwide and kicked off a trend of "gross food" and candy.
That was then -- this is now:
For this re-launch we worked with the designers at Spinmaster of Canada (the makers of those cool miniature RC helicopters and of Zoobles, those mini balls that pop open to transform into oddly cute animals).
Given today's kid's exposure to Twilight, zombies, and all the amped-up monstery elements of current pop culture, we tried to make Doctor Dreadful even edgier than before. There's a wide assortment of different "looks gross--tastes great!" candy-making toys.
What better item to put in your holiday shopping cart than a "looks gross --tastes great!" Doctor Dreadful food-making toy!
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects