April 23, 2016

Why Jonathan Adler is Fisher-Price’s New Creative Director

In a match made in industrial design heaven, classic American toy brand Fisher-Price has enlisted potter turned product maven Jonathan Adler as its creative director.

The Mattel brand behind toddler favorites like the Thomas and Friends and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse toy series—not to mention View-Masters and Chatter Telephones—first encountered Adler when it enlisted him to work on Barbie’s 50th anniversary in 2009.

Now, as creative director, Adler, who recently keynoted at Interior Design’s Giants of Design at his Parker Palm Springs in California, will seek to target millennials with fond memories of the 85-year-old brand who are now becoming parents themselves. “Jonathan’s influence will bring a modern sensibility to our iconic design,” Fisher-Price executive vice president Jean McKenzie said in a statement. “While staying true to what we’ve always stood for—enriching developmental play, quality, and safety—we are contemporizing form, function, and style.”

Adler’s first line of baby gear, newborn toys, crib bedding, and nursery décor will debut this fall while his multi-year agreement will have him consulting on style direction for children up to five years old. “My goal is to marry modern with the brand’s expertise in early childhood development,” Adler said in a statement. “Babies—and parents—deserve baby gear and toys as stylish as they are.

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