client: Mattel

project name:  Seven Dwarves Mechanisms

designer credits: hamilton prototypes with peter solomon

Mattel Seven Dwarves Mechanisms

While working as a model maker and prototyper with Hamilton Prototypes, Mattel commissioned us to create sounds and movements for mechanical Seven Dwarves dolls. They already had a push button belly mechanism and needed to translate this pushing movement into appropriate sound and movements for each character of the famous fairy tale. Shown here are early prototypes of the most complex character; Sleepy. When you pushed on the blue button housed under the fabric of his body, the first thing that would happen is a comb like shaft would raise up through a drum head hitting a small pallet and making a deep vibrating sound while compressing a bellows, when you released the button the comb would return downward without making sound and the bellows would expand sucking air through a whistle, the two sounds making a typical snoring sound. The button also activated eyelids that would slowly drop and open. We made multiple tests of various mechanisms for sound and movement for each and the best was passed to Mattel’s technicians to copy and bring into production.