We here at It’s Not Funny’ have been quietly working on a number of initiatives that will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.
To kick off, we want to tell you about our latest addition to the team – a dashboard doll! Yes, these wobbly figures that you could find on many car dashboards in the 1970’s and beyond.
We wanted to produce something that had an entertaining feel to it and that reminded people living with Parkinson’s Disease as well as their loved ones to be positive.
So when we brainstormed ideas about an object that people could purchase we came up with the dashboard doll. This toy was popular in German cars in the 1970’s and some of the It’s Not Funny team members who grew up in Germany remembered them. The figures were called ‘Wackel-Elvis’ (German for ‘wobbly Elvis’) and there was also a ‘Wackel- Dackel’ (German for ‘wobbly sausage dog’) version.
You may have seen a dashboard doll of Elvis Presley in his famous beaded white jumpsuit of ’73 in a commercial some years ago. It was featured in an Audi car commercial in 2001, and enquiries were so numerous that the figure went into production, making 165,000 of them!
Bernie the model
One of the people that are living with Parkinson’s Disease and that have completely re-invented themselves is Bernie. He is an inspiration to many others, becoming a passionate artist after closing down his real estate business when he was diagnosed with the disease.
Bernie also loves music and has a good sense of humour. We told him about our plan to create wobbly dashboard dolls and he just loved it. He offered to be the model and that’s how our Bernie dashboard doll was born!
Finding a manufacturer
The next big task was to find a manufacturer who could produce the dolls. We wanted a high quality product that looked like a mini version of Bernie, ideally made in Australia.
We hunted around and were referred to Shane Rolton, from Wysiwyg 3D, who are experts in 3D scanning, printing and digitisation.
Shane listened with interest to our idea, and then he shared with us that his grandfather had Parkinson’s. Shane saw an opportunity to use Wysiwyg’s skills and expertise to contribute to a good cause, and he offered to support our project.
It is just amazing how many generous people we are meeting that want to support us in communicating a positive message about Parkinson’s Disease, and we are very grateful for that.
We were relieved that the big challenge of finding a good supplier for a quality product was resolved and we could finalise our concept.
Before jumping into the production we ‘road tested’ the idea of the dashboard/wobbly doll as an object that people could purchase to support Parkinson’s Disease. We spoke to a number of people and they all loved the thought of it.
So, off we went. And in our next post we will tell you all about the 3-D scanning of Bernie and the printing of the first dashboard doll – stay tuned!
Here is a link to the manufacturer: