The show Little Einsteins was cancelled long ago, but its educational programming was pretty excellent for the developing minds of young children. That said, when my little one found a connection with the characters, I did some googling.
No toys are sold new anymore, and while used examples are available on ebay and the like, it appears the originals were not of good quality. Additionally, my son seems most interested in “Rocket”, the team’s sentient, shape-shifting transport. When he said he’d love to have his own Rocket, I really started digging.
The problem was really that there were no “screen accurate” toy versions made of this primary character! What a missed opportunity. That said… now, we have a target with a bunch of hard points. Let’s get to work.
Let’s get some reliable reference material. As the show is so old–and of only minor popularity–Google and Bing prove to be of limited usefulness. In fact, many still images, old product packaging, and marketing materials portray Rocket differently (and some not at all similar to how he appears in the show). As this is to be a screen-faithful version, we go to the screen.
Screencaps of the show reveal a very larger range of variation in the geometry of the ‘base’ configuration of Rocket, so an amalgam of sources must be made, and orthographics synthesized with the ‘quintessence’ of Rocket in mind.
Here’s a realtime rendering of the model I put together for this project. It has received the stamp of approval for screen accuracy from those familiar with the work. [click to interact]
As you can see, some creative license was required to build real three-dimensional geometry while faithfully portraying the character/vehicle.
Consequently, the end result is a blend of accuracy and perception based on screen captures from the show itself.
What good is a digital model of a toy to a 3 year old? Enter the real…