Buster the Buffalo Ignites Excitement at Midwestern Propane Company!

“This costume is incredible! The new fur made all of the difference and really brought out your essence. You really hit this one out of the park! I can’t be any happier with the results.”

Matt Litter, President, Litter Quality Propane

Irene Corey Costumes Client

When Matt Litter of Litter Quality Propane in Chillicothe, Ohio contacted me about giving birth to Buster the Buffalo, my first step was to listen. There were so many questions to ask, so much to understand about the evolution of this beloved beast. Matt Litter had found http://www.irenecoreycostumes.com on the web and liked the quality of what he saw in our portfolio. We discussed similar costume ideas, such as Lion Cowboy and T-Bone Long Horn—and how he felt Buster would strengthen his company brand.

Here was my beginning checklist as the concept for this furry friend began to take shape. He must: 1. Stand on two legs. 2. Show the Litter logo prominently. 3. Appeal to all ages without scaring the little ones. 4. Be adorable, memorable and approachable.

The Challenge:

Matt Litter talked with such pride and heart about his respect for his Grandfather, who started this successful family-owned business as a coal company in Chillicothe Ohio in 1928. “Now is the time to reach out to our community in a fun and friendly way,” expressed Matt. “We have never had a mascot costume before.” Matt envisioned a buffalo mascot in keeping with the company’s branding–and sent great pictures of majestic buffalo. In fact, Matt’s family owns a herd. He imagined a big friendly smile with a western or “Old West” theme. He even plans to publish a children’s coloring book. So, stay tuned. . .

Bringing Buster to Life:

As I sketched, he just seemed too realistic. He needed to project a personality and whimsy with an infectious, bright, friendly smile. I found inspiration from Beauty and the Beast and I revised the pencil sketch four more times. I revised the preliminary clay sculpture form at least three times. We placed the company logo on the back of his vest in beautiful, custom embroidery.  And the yellow color used is the same used on the propane tanks. Buster would definitely humanize the brand and the service image.

We also had to rethink his fur. In fact, this custom-made main of buffalo fuzz atop his head seemed to create his personality instantly.

Be sure to find Buster on our Facebook page and on the Litter Quality Propane page. Or, visit him in person during the Southern Ohio Home and Garden Show-– April 9, 10a.m.-11a.m. Join us at the Ross County Fairgrounds near Chillicothe, Ohio. Please contact Litter Quality Propane for more information. Bring the kids and take a picture with Buster!

All rights to Buster Buffalo image and costume are owned by Bob Litter’s Fuel and Heating Co., and cannot be use without written permission.

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The Concept: The Loveable Dinosaur

Can you imagine Barney as a Stegosaurus, Triceratops, or  Giraffatitan? Early sketches, like ancient cave drawings from centuries gone by, explored many options for the original pudgy purple pal—before he actually came to life  It all started around a table. The television show’s producers, creator, and the Irene Corey Costume Design team considered the possibilities. They began with the idea of a plush toy dinosaur—closely resembling a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which comes to life.  He would enchant children with stories and songs that teach basic human values, such as good manners, acceptance, honesty, sharing, loyalty, and generosity.   They defined the attributes first—approachability, “hug-ability,” and playfulness. Though somewhat awkward and bumbling, the affable creature dances, cheers, and sings with great zeal. Therefore, they also needed to build special functionality to allow his mouth to move freely.

As the team fine-tuned its evolving concept, they determined the realism of dinosaur teeth and claws were just too threatening. They paid great attention to the eyes—wanting his expression to convey compassion and caring in an almost human way.  They envisioned a soft, plush, seamless surface texture.  And the team added a extra sense of whimsy with fewer fingers, “simplified hands,” and a bouncy tail that floated and bobbed above the ground.

After many consultations and collaborations between Irene Corey and the creative staff, the iconic purple dinosaur was born! And he can still be seen—romping to the hearts and homes of adoring children, translated into many languages worldwide.

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Wit and wisdom from Magic and Sky

Greetings from the imaginative world of fantastic foam characters, 3-D company logos, and walk-around body puppets. Here’s where your brand comes to life—literally.

My name is Magic, and let me introduce you to my creative colleague, Sky.  Welcome! We are delighted that you are here. And we are excited to begin your behind-the-scenes introduction to “making magic” with the incredible Irene Corey team.

Just think about the iconic costumed characters of your youth.
Which ones come to your mind first?  And where were you when you first saw that goofy purple dinosaur?

These characters are more than 3-D logos; they are pals and friends. They make brands magic, and they are probably more important than ever before!

A strong brand mascot gives your brand personality. This is a key differentiator in our brave new “social media” world.  Your unique character personifies your brand attributes—tangible and intangible.

For instance, Barney’s comfy, colorful appeal and kooky voice communicate with as much strength as his message – “I love you; you love me; we’re a happy family.” Barney and Friends ™ resonate with their marketing target –toddlers and young children. They feel loved and empowered to use their imaginations. In fact, children reportedly drove the demand for the Barney and Friends ™ show, stage productions, videos, etc., so the branding power is undeniable.

Be sure to check in with me and Sky next week for Step I in the exciting, creative journey that will invigorate you brand. Think about it. What is your brand’s personality?

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