“It was quite an honor to develop a vintage, classic story character into a plush design that could stand on his own or as a companion to the books.” - CD
"I chose a material that combines incredibly saturated color, a velvety soft feel, and a little stretch. I knew it would be perfect for Lyle." - CD
“I hope our plush will help a new generation discover and fall in love with Lyle and his many stories!” - CD
MT: How do you turn an illustration into a 3D stuffed animal?
CD: The first step begins with studying the illustrations and visualizing the character in 3D. Next I create a spec, which is a drawing and instructions regarding the materials, the size, details about the body shape, whether it should be soft or floppy, sit or stand, etc. Specs equip our factory’s designers with everything they need to make the prototype. We have worked together for so many years we intuitively know and understand each other’s design styles. It’s like a Vulcan mind meld.
MT: What was the biggest challenge in creating Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile?
CD: Capturing his facial expression…which is friendly, sweet, and innocent.
MT: Were there any questions you ran into while creating Lyle’s 3D design?
CD: Funny enough, it was tricky to determine the number of “fingers” to give him. In studying the
various illustrations, his hands were depicted with anywhere from 3 – 5 digits. I landed on 4, which matched his toes.
MT: He’s so huggable, how did you decide on choosing the fabrics and materials?
CD: It was important for Lyle to be squeezably soft! So, I chose a material that combines incredibly saturated color, a velvety soft feel, and a little stretch. I knew it would be perfect for Lyle. We also used a special stuffing, microfill fiber, to make him feel super squishy and cuddle-worthy.
MT: What’s your favorite part of bringing an illustration to life?
CD: My favorite part of the design process is seeing the sample for the first time - seeing how our 2D art comes to life in 3D. Even after creating countless toys and doing this for decades, it NEVER gets old.
MT: How did this collaboration come about?
CD: Barnes & Noble recommended us to Sony Pictures as a partner to help in creating a Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile plush character in preparation for the 2022 movie release. Sony reached out and the rest, as they say, is history.
MT: What did you enjoy most about this collaboration?
CD: I love this project because the Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile books were familiar to me when I was a kid. Lyle is such a sweetheart, so kind, funny, and charming. It was quite an honor to develop a vintage, classic story character into a plush design that could stand on his own or as a companion to the books. I hope our plush will help a new generation discover and fall in love with Lyle and his many stories!