Redesigning the Boxes, round 3

The boxes the Minions have come in up to this point have been great.  

The first round of boxes were hand drawn and hand cut and were pretty plain.

Then, when we were gearing up for The Portland Mini Maker's Faire, where over 2000 people were expected to attend, my dear friend automated the boxes and made them on her computerized cutting machine.  They were amazing!
(THANK YOU JOELLE.  The Minions can never repay you!) 
These second version of the boxes were perforated, clean cut, 
and all we had to do was tape together and go.  

But they took WAY too much time for her to make, and now that they are all sold out, it was time to re-think the boxes once again.

Since the top of the box where the Minion's ears come out originally said "Insert ears here to start regeneration cycle", we noticed a lot of customers kept their boxes to "regenerate" their Minions when needed.  So we wanted to expand on that theme a bit.

I went to my team of experts (my boys), and asked for their input and together we came up with a rough sketch of what it might look like as a full blown Regeneration Pod.

Buttons, dials, and lots of readouts.

Inking in the final right side...

...and the left side.  

We all decided that the fire extinguisher was installed on all the Regeneration Pods by Blau after an incident involving an unnamed Minion, who spilled coffee inside his pod and started a fire.

Pylon is such a naughty Minion.

But redesigning the inside meant that the brick work on the outside kinda made no sense.  
It was fine for the original box, with them peeking over bricks all stealthy like, but it didn't make much sense now that they were in their Pods.  So we had to make something more like a door or safety gate to go with the theme.

The rough draft for the outside wrap is coming along nicely.
We still need to design the back of the wrap cover, then we should have the finished product ready to go!

We're all super excited about the new design, and can't wait to finish them and get them into the hands of new Minion sponsors!

10 facts about Bruno


Little Known Facts about Bruno Mallinav:

1.  Bruno Mallinav is the youngest of the two Mallinav Brothers.  His older brother (by two minutes) Allinav also is part of the MDF working as head chef.
(sometimes BRUNO is not always the most helpful in the kitchen.)

2.  BRUNO is the muscles and brawn behind the MDF.

3.  BRUNO has a thick Russian accent and hails from Murmansk, Russia.

4.  BRUNO is married...
to his muscles.

5.  Bruno's favorite vehicle is a Ford Flex, 
because BRUNO is always of the FLEXING 
of his very large, very muscular muscles.

6.  Bruno likes all the Minions he works with, however he is often irritated with Pylon, who often confuses him for a very large coffee bean.  

7.  Bruno cannot work next to, or regenerate near DayGlo, because the radiation from DayGlo makes Bruno very, very sick (and weak).

8.  Bruno has a pet salamander named Babushka.  
Babushka is currently training under Bruno to develop his own muscles.

9.  Bruno was unsure what to feed Babushka when he found him, so he fed him a tree branch.  Which Babushka liked.

10.  Bruno is so strong, he can even lift himself, with his ears,
suspended in the air by sheer muscle power.

Bruno says "No one should have let the Orange Minion get a car."

Behind the Scenes at HQ #1

Around the studio at MinionHQ...

Working on my drawing skills, to hopefully, someday, be able to publish a book and/or coloring book.  Here's a peek inside my sketchbook.

 Andy Warhol inspired?

We have lots of squirrels that hang around HQ to help us practice sketching.  
Don't let their innocent faces fool you, they're plotting, and planning, especially that one on the bottom right.


Mafia boss Minion?
(And that little 'S' Minion is a sketch by my son, and shows a little known fact about the Minions. 
When they don't like things --like being called "bunnies", for example-- they bend into an 'S' shape right before they go berserker.)

Sad Minion

I was watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon with the boys last week and realized how much I like how Bugs' ears are drawn.  So I brought home a book to practice sketching like them.


 There's a BRAND NEW line of Minion Apparel up on the site now.
 Three different hat and scarf sets especially for the Minion in your life.

And there's been a complete update on the website, with lots more to come.  
Pop over and let us know what you think!


Minion Headquarters -- The Begining

We get asked all the time, where we came up with the idea for the Minions... I'll tell you the full story in a minute, but really, I think the Minions were inside our boys all the time, we just had to let them out.

The longer story, however, goes more like this:

One evening, many, many years ago, I found an Amigurumi crochet pattern for little oval balls with a white square for eyes and little ears (kinda like a hacky sack--with ears) that I thought was weird and fun and something that my boys would like... they were called Ninja Minions.

So I made a few.

And they loved them.

And they threw them at each other.

And it took approximately 27,000 hours to make each one.

And each time I sat down for just a second the boys would helpfully bring me my yarn and crochet hooks.

Did I mention that they took approximately 27,000 hours to crochet?

And patience?

So after making way too many, I finally told them if they didn't want to give me arthritis, we HAD to figure out a faster, better way to make these things.  Because THIS. WAS. KILLING. ME.

So we tried a few different things:

We tried sewing them from t-shirt material, which resulted in a very fat, very floppy eared slob Minion.

We tried cotton fabric, which worked, kinda, but not really.

We tried fleece... which worked, worked well, and gave us lots of options AND ears that stood up.

I made little eyes, skipped the mask, changed the body shape, ear shape, and added weight at the bottom so they could stand up... and WOW!  The Minion was born!

Then the fun REALLY started happening.  When we first made the Minion pictured above we thought he'd just be a fun little guy to hide in weird places...

But he was orange, just like a traffic cone (which is officially named a pylon), so we named him Pylon.
Soon after, we somehow (again, most of this is in our boys' heads) realized that he was slightly addicted to coffee.
And then he was also the biggest trouble maker because of his "do anything for coffee" problem.
And because the fabric store had an almost unlimited selection of colors, I took my boys to the store, and we picked out a few more colors.

Bruno was the brown Minion, the color of a coffee bean, which makes Pylon slightly crazy.  
Because my oldest boys can do amazing Russian accents, Bruno became Russian.
And because he has a deep Russian accent, he also became very, very muscular (because the word muscles is just too fun to say with a Russian accent).  And then he became married... to his muscles.

And he had a brother, who was made from white fleece, whose name HAD to be Allinav (there was NO room for any questions here), who had the last name Mallinav (because that's fun to say with a Russian accent --no matter how poorly you do it), and they became 

The Brothers Mallinav
From Murmansk, Russia 

 (Go ahead, say it, like Hans and Franz from the old SNL skits... you know you want to!)

And from there, the crazy, creative, make-me-laugh-till-my-sides-hurt Minion idea took off.

We made a few for friends, who loved them.
We made a few more to give away to the kids at our church's AWANA ministry... and when the kids started swarming with questions on how many Minions were in the prize bag, and would there be more, and could they trade their candy bar prize in for a Minion, no matter how long they had to wait, and when there were a few tears of joy shed over winning one, we thought that maybe, just maybe, this could be a THING.
There are many, many more Minions that already have names, back stories, personalities, accents, and jobs who have yet to be made.

There are just as many who have been made, but nothing has been made public about their back stories.

There are stories behind the boxes they come in,
the bio cards they are sold with, 
the accessories currently made, and planned.
The books,
the coloring pages,
the unlimited potential they have to be played with, 
taken on hikes, 
or just the backyard.

There are awesome stories about the special needs kids who have not stopped talking about them,
the kids who will play with them creatively, unplugged.
The many, many adults who have bought them as travel buddies, taken them on vacations, or across-the-state bicycle riding trips.

There is SO much more to come from the Minions in 2014 and beyond!

This blog is one of the things.
Be sure to sign up to get all the blog posts for lots more back stories, pictures, videos, and insider information!