Development

For the early development prototypes made for Enchanted Camelot, check out our Enchanted Camelot Prototypes page.

Greg Autore on the Design and Developlment of Jewel Riders:

Part of the Kenner process is to always look for new properties or inventions.  When they arrive, Design and Marketing review them and some are picked to go to the next step to make test models and get early consumer feedback.  I was given several scripts and loved “Enchanted Camelot” when I first read it.  So, I pushed for getting it into the tests and was assigned to adapt it into a viable toy line. I was told that the production company was willing to work with us (Kenner) to make it better.  It was not until after the test results came back favorable and we decided to push forward that I met Robert Mandell and really dug into the project.

Incidentally, “Princess Tenko” was in the same round of testing, and I did make the models for that also, but it did not score as high.  Later, Mattel picked up that line but it did not perform well.

The other thing I had going for me was my imagination.  When I mentioned to my supervisor one day about, “Can’t you see there must be a Fair that Gwenevere is going to right over that hill?”  I thought everyone could do that.  My supervisor informed me, “Uh… No… that is not how MOST people think.”

This came in very handy for Gwenevere.  When the second set of episodes was turned on, the only two directions to start with were – 1) Search for wild magic jewels since the first set was all found 2) Use Morgana as the ultimate villainess instead of Lady Kale. One thing I wanted to do was to create a visible use of jewel power other than just shining.  I wanted something more like what certain superheroes can do with their power rings and create shapes to solve the issue.  This lead directly to suggesting the trio has an episode underwater to find a wild water jewel and use that opportunity to have them use jewel power mermaid fins.  Fortunately, Director Robert Mandell was open to many of my suggestions.  That second season had many episodes that grew from my concepts and a very rough storyline suggestion.

 

Toy Concept Art

Hand Painted Prototypes

From Greg:

At Kenner, they sculpted the figures to final scale then sent them to China.  In China, they resculpted the parts at 4 times size then used those to make the tools from.  They always lost a little in translation (which is why Mattel never did that) so if you look at those photos, all the heads and sculpted parts are just a little nicer.  Particularly, the Gwen head suffered the most.  We even planned to retool her head if the second year shipped.  

All 3 dolls have blended hair colors. Gwen’s is more subtle but it was part of adding more detail for free that I leveraged as far as I could. I was very careful when picking those exact shades.

There are several different types of models used in the production of the toys:

Wax models

  • These are sculpted by the Kenner in-house sculptors based on input drawings that I art directed with one of the Kenner designers who had an amazing drawing talent.  These waxes would have molds made so the next stage models would be more accurate.

Final models/paint master models

  • These are made from casts of the wax sculpted parts.  These are usually made in the Kenner model shop and painted by the painting department with clothing and hair rooting from the soft goods engineering department.  At this stage, it is no longer the designer making hand models but leveraging the skills of all the experts in the different departments to make models as close as possible to the final production.

Development models

  • These are the first models that have been shot from the tooling in plastic. The “first shots” are often not in the right colors and sent so the engineers can check fit and function. The soft goods are sewn from the final patterns and in all the right colors but the final fabric colors are often not dyed yet. That is one of the very last processes to happen before production.

Green Tag Samples/Aesthetic master samples

  • These are as correct as possible but not from the production line.  At least 3 of these are made. They are supposed to be absolutely correct and have a green tag on the back listing the name and is to be signed by appropriate people in many locations (safety engineers, engineers, designers, marketing, manufacturing). Sometimes, they are approved with a few minor changes.  One of these stays at the US company, one stays with the office in Hong Kong and the final goes to the factory.  The idea is that there is a standard in all three key locations that they have all agreed to match.

For earlier models made to produce the toys, check out our Enchanted Camelot Prototypes page!

Gwenevere

From Greg Autore:

“Armor – The other characters had plate armor. If you look at the sun burst Gwen, her armor piece is very traditional 15th century. It had the metal styling but the whole idea of the armor was that it emanated from the magic Jewels in a similar way to how Green Lantern makes shapes out of the green light.  It was probably my first change to the storyline that I was able to add – but it fit with the characters and the world so Robert loved it.  It also gave them an excuse to be in normal clothes or powered up.  Then the toy could amplify that by powering up the dolls with the light piping.  When I first showed that effect, people thought I had put in an LED light.  They had never seen it before. They told me I could not afford it.  I had to prove to them it was just one piece of acrylic plastic. The first time I saw that feature was on the GI Joe Mike Power Atomic Man – who was made to offset the Kenner 6 Million Dollar man.”

Fallon

Tamara

Drake

Unicorns – Sunstar, Moondance, and Shadowsong

Factory Prototypes

Princess Gwenevere Basic Action Figure & Prototype Kenner – 1995

6” tall action figure of Basic Princess Gwenevere from the animated TV series. This set contains a finished doll and one of the pre-production models that was never painted and does not have the legal markings molded onto its leg.

Princess Gwenevere Sun Power figure and 2 prototypes 1995 Kenner

6” tall action figure of Princess Gwenevere from the animated tv series this figure did not ship in the original assortment but was on the market the figure came with a crown a chest plate a shield/comb and a soft goods wrap.

When you raise her right arm up – her jewel shoots out a power ray.

This set contains a finished doll, a “first shot” preproduction sample (molded in incorrect colors to test the mold) and one unpainted pre- production sample for approval of the tooling before the paint masks are made.

Princess Gwenevere Deluxe Action Figure & Prototype Kenner – 1995

 6” tall action figure of Deluxe Princess Gwenevere from the animated TV series. This set contains one finished doll and one of the pre-production models with the incorrect eye paint (her eyelashes look a little too much like Tammy Fay Baker…).  The accessories are molded in different colors.

Princess Gwenevere Basic Fallon Action Figure & Prototype Kenner – 1995

6” tall action figure of Basic Fallon from the Princess Gwenevere animated TV series. This set contains a finished doll and one of the pre-production models that was never painted and does not have the legal markings molded onto its leg.

Princess Gweneve Deluxe Fallon Action Figure & Prototype Kenner – 1995

6” tall action figure of deluxe Fallon from the Princess Gwenevere animated TV series. This set contains a finished doll and one of the pre-production models that was never painted and does not have the legal markings molded onto its leg. It also has the dragon unpainted.

Princess Gwenevere clear armor parts 1995

These are clear parts from basic Fallon. These parts would have been painted with a purple tint to make presentation samples.  Comes with everything shown in the image.

Princess Gwenevere Basic Tamara Action Figure & Prototype Kenner – 1995

6” tall action figure of Basic Tamara from the Princess Gwenevere animated TV series. This set contains a finished doll and one of the pre-production models that was never painted and does not have the legal markings molded onto its leg.

Princess Gwenevere Deluxe Tamara doll & Prototype with purple cat Kenner – 1995

6” tall action figure of Deluxe Tamara from the Princess Gwenevere animated TV series. This set contains a finished doll and one of the pre-production models that was never painted and does not have the legal markings molded onto its leg. It also contains a purple molded cat with no painting

Princess Gwenevere Deluxe Tamara doll & Prototype with blue cat Kenner – 1995

6” tall action figure of Deluxe Tamara from the Princess Gwenevere animated TV series. This set contains a finished doll and one of the pre-production models that was never painted and does not have the legal markings molded onto its leg.

Princess Gwenevere Drake figure and prototype version 1995 Kenner

6” tall action figure of Drake from the Princess Gwenevere from the animated tv series. The figure came with a wolf shaped visor that flips back, a banner on flagpole and a soft goods cape.

When you pull his visor down, his power jewel on his chest lights up.

This set contains a finished doll, a “first shot” preproduction sample (molded in incorrect colors to test the mold) and one unpainted pre- production sample for approval of the tooling before the paint masks are made.

Princess Gwenevere Lady Kale figure and prototype version 1995 Kenner

6” tall action figure of Lady Kale from the Princess Gwenevere animated tv series. This figure came with a removeable shoulder armor peice, a jewel guantlet, a jewel arm band and a soft goods wrap.

When you turn her dragon headpeice so the dragon is raised and her eyes glow.

This set contains a finished doll and a first shot tooling prototype that is molded in any color available just to check that the tooling is correct.

Princess Gwenevere Sunstar Unpainted Test Shot, and color variation

This is a preproduction model of Sunstar from Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. It is molded in slightly different colors than final production and it is not painted. Also included is a production version in the correct color to make the color difference obvious.

Princess Gwenevere Moonglow Unicorn preproduction figure 1995

This Moonglow Unicorn was used as a presentation sample.  The saddle and mask are hand painted as well as some of the other parts.  Also includes a preproduction saddle that is not painted.