Bigshot Toyworks' Icons Confront Serious Issues
Subversion is an art form. Taking popular images and finding something new to say about them requires a delicate balance between respecting the original message and finding the kernel of new truth. This is a balance that Bigshot Toyworks understands completely. They’re masters at the form of reinterpretation, having worked on some of the most recognizable characters in pop culture. “It’s always fun to play with those characters, whether it’s for the actual company to reimagine what the character looks like with a bit of a twist, like we’ve done with the Quik Rabbit, My Little Pony, My Pet Monster, developing them for an updated look,” says Klim Kozinevich from Bigshot Toyworks. “It’s always fun to play with that and we always try to have a sense of humor about it and not be gross and disrespectful to the brand.” At the end of the day, they want to maintain the integrity of these characters, borrowing them to make a statement, without changing their souls.
For the latest cover of Bloomberg Business magazine, Bigshot Toyworks got to try their hand at Tony the Tiger. Kellogg’s Cereals has seen a dip in sales lately, and Bloomberg’s reporting found a trend between that dip in sales and consumer confidence in the brand. When buyers are more sensitive to particular ingredients (like GMO corn, high added sugars, and dietary preferences) they’ll avoid the products that haven’t adapted to the lifestyle changes they’re making. It’s time for Kellogg’s to catch up to consumer demands.
The image Bigshot worked on went through a series of revisions to strike the right tone. They started with more aggressive imagery, finally arriving at an image of Tony the Tiger regarding a bowl of cereal: radioactive in its unappealing existence. It walks the line of framing a major issue without striking a death knell. It’s a gut check, but not a final blow. Tony sees the problem, now it’s time to adjust. Bloomberg was kind enough to show how this revision process proceeded, and we’ve included their visual representation of the development.
For the cover of AdWeek, Bigshot got to subvert a whole other set of characters. Like Kellogg’s need to bridge their consumer gap, Hasbro’s My Little Pony empire is in the process of recalibrating to market pressures. Where Kellogg’s is dealing with content, Hasbro has to change delivery. Their current readjustments follow the passions and interests of their fans, which are constantly changing in the evolving market. As kids move away from the television and towards more mobile media, Hasbro’s more conventional media investments are not finding the success they need. So it’s time to change. Klim explains the illustration of these issues in their composition saying, “It’s a My Little Pony character absorbed in all different devices while not paying attention to the TV behind her.” Hasbro’s television network is facing the most serious trouble, and they have to follow their own successes to ensure their brand’s future.