Invest now in Guardians of the Galaxy collectible toys! O.K, I was wrong about Beanie Babies & Longaberger baskets. But I should have trusted my gut and bought a second Pee-Wee Herman Doll in 1985.
Kelly Weihs is a 2010 grad from Kutztown University’s Communication Design major with a dual concentrations: graphic design and illustration. She designs the packaging for Diamond Select Toys, including the new Guardian of the Galaxy figures.
She and one other graphic designer do all the packaging there. I asked her how she came to have such a cool job….
Kelly: “My internship at Crayola is probably what made me seem appealing to my current employer. I have learned a great deal about packaging since my internship! I didn’t expect to end up at a job doing package design. Diamond is a small toy company in Maryland, part of a larger comic book distributing empire. 80% of the time I make packages for collectibles and toys. Since I’ve been here, the licenses have changed some and we’ve gotten some more popular things within the last year. Lately, I have gotten to make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and My Little Pony packages and related things – and those are quite popular.”
Kelly: “We have a line of small 2-inch toys called Minimates – characters from films, comic books and even our in-house characters. Last year was their 10 year anniversary. We did Guardians of the Galaxy as Minimates. Since we make products so far in advance sometimes I lose track of time and think the movie has already been released.”
What are your favorite projects?
Kelly: “My favorites are probably the ones that are Marvel-film related. Iron Man, Thor and Avengers characters have been fun because I enjoy the movies and they’re neat to see in action figure form.”
How much time do you get to work on a project?
“The time I have to work on projects varies. We have factory deadlines to keep up with and licensor approvals so things must get done in a timely fashion.”
“Besides Marvel, I design packages for Disney, Star Trek, Star Wars, Universal Monsters, The Walking Dead comics, Batman, Kevin Smith properties, Mass Effect games, Miramax films like Pulp Fiction and other things I am probably forgetting.”
“We’ve been branching out at work into new products besides action figures and toys – we even make silicone ice cube trays and bottle openers featuring your favorite characters.”
When Kelly is not sitting at a computer she likes to time travel by reenacting history at the actual historic sites. This summer she was at Monocacy Battlefield, Maryland, on the side of the Union Army.
More of Kelly’s design and illustration work can be seen on her Behance site here. Diamond Toys has a blog worth visiting if you are a collector.