How Outcast Began
The idea of Outcast Otter began on a trip to the U.S. in the summer of 2012. My son, Tristan, my wife, Claudia, and I were off to Colorado. We travel frequently. In fact, by the time he was three years old, Tristan already had American Airline’s Gold Membership status. Each time we prepared for a trip, Tristan would find himself in a quandary as to which stuffed animal would accompany him. The chosen character differed every time.
As a creator, I examined this situation. What if Tristan had a travel companion? What if he had a character who was always on standby: forever reliable for good times and adventures?
I reviewed a cast of characters – some famous, some less so – and one animal instantly came to mind: an inquisitive, cute, fury, lovable critter that, for reasons unbeknown to me, had never entered the children’s plush animal realm. Of course, I was thinking of a river otter!
I envisioned a character that would stand out from the blank faces, brown eyes, and forced smiles that litter global toy stores. I wanted that moment; that moment in a toy store when a child first meets his or her lifelong companion. That friend with whom they will share joy; who will be their bravery in times of fear; their consolation in times of sadness; their rock in times of change. It was immediately apparent to me that, for an entire generation of children, that moment will be with this otter.
Outcast has many distinctions – a blue baseball cap, red handkerchief, solar timepiece – but his most pronounced feature are his mismatched eyes – one blue, one black – which have earned him the name, Outcast. Every child has at some point felt different or out of place; among the wondrous qualities of Outcast is that he embraces his uniqueness. He is proud to be different and teaches children to adopt a similar philosophy: to be proud of their unique personalities and features, too.
In creating Outcast, I envisioned a character sweeping children to foreign destinations, rendezvousing with people from all countries, expanding their knowledge of the world, and introducing ‘globalization’ – allowing children membership in the Outcast club.
Outcast members transcend the boundaries of geography, inspire innovation, and with excitement embrace the future. They are curious, brave, and open-minded; they see the world and recognize its immense possibilities.
Outcast members’ cross-cultural understanding will enrich the world: they are the creators, the ones propelling all of us forward. Outcast Otter is not just a toy, he is a friend, and a lifestyle...