In the Artist's Own Words:
My name is Bradley and I run StormieStudios and ever since I can remember I have been a fan of Rainbow Brite. I was born in 86 and from what my mom tells me- I’ve loved her since day 1. I can remember growing up with a Twink and desperately wanting a Rainbow Brite birthday when I was six- until the Power Rangers took over. As I grew older and the magic of color was replaced with the mighty megazord- I still kept a small corner of my heart dedicated to that rainbow clad hero.
Growing into the man I am now, I’ve been influenced by the best toy generation I can think of. I’ve gotten to live through the glory of the 80’s. the experimental 90’s, and the tech boom of the 2000’s- and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s what drove me into toy design. I mean, people always say to do what you love, right?
I’ve been playing with the idea of Rainbow Brite re-emerging as a Magical girl since 2008. As an avid lover of Sailor Moon- I always wanted RB to make a comeback and team up with the color kids on a different level- a more comic book inspired magical powered playing field. Now this idea has been pulling at my brain off and on for years. This past November when I was planning my launch onto Instagram with StormieStudios I decided it was time to do something big- something nostalgic and bold- I wanted to reinvent Rainbow Brite.
Okay. Reinvent it a big word. More like reboot the story with more of a superhero edge. With a single sketch- I was on the ground running.
I know, I know. It’s not exactly original in it’s inception. There’s definitely some Sailor moon mixed with the 2009 Rainbow Brite remake and some small bits of Cardcaptor Sakura sprinkled in. It was enough for me to fall in love. I immediately set out and designed fabric for Rainbow Brite and the color kids along with Stormy and Moonglow and started looking at scale. My original choice was to take the original 16” dolls and drop their heads on a modern 18” doll body and work from there- but it just didn’t seem updated enough for me. As cute as the original dolls are, I wanted something with less of and 80’s vibe. I mean this was the NEW Rainbow Brite.
For a brief period of time I was going to use some knock off 18” dolls from a local craft store- but after buying one to take a closer look at- it still didn’t work. There was no diversity, no energy.
That’s when I got an email from the Disney Store online with info on their December sales and found the final piece of the puzzle- the Disney Animator’s Collection dolls that would soon become the bases of my new rebooted color crew. You could say- I saw the shining light. And I was ready to go.
It was less than two hours after my office holiday party (and a trip to the bank to deposit an incredibly unexpected bonus) that I was on my computer doing a marathon shopping spree. I had planned to launch my Instagram by January 1st and I wanted to at least have Rainbow Brite finished. Between buying the base doll and paying for the custom printed fabric, the price was piling up- until a rainbow broke through the clouds.
Within 24 hours I got a wonderful holiday bonus, an unexpected early Christmas gift check from my grandparents, and there was a sale at the Disney Store online marking the Animator’s Collection dolls down to $15.00 each (as opposed to their usual $24.99 price tag)- so I did it. I bought everything I needed to not only complete Rainbow- but the whole crew. Well, the color kids at least. I didn’t order the fabric for Moonglow and Stormy. At least not just yet. Once I had everything I needed- I was ready to roll!
While I definitely didn’t meet my January 1st deadline, I am still very proud of the work I have done! I posted my first preview of the dolls up on Instagram with a single shot of Rainbow Brite. Almost immediately I had messages asking me how to make it. I even gave one user a full walk through and he ended up posting his own Disney Animator’s Collection Rainbow Brite in a classic look.
I obviously went with a more casual look for the crew- giving up the space age inspired aesthetic for more of a dreamy streetwear vibe. They did, however, all keep some things in common to show that they were a hero team. The white boots, the silver accents, the white star decor and silver chains- all of it was to link them together as a team. While they’re not exactly in super suits- I imagine they change up their looks daily but keep everything in these fabrics.
I made a lot of changes to the characters and lore of Rainbow Brite. The biggest changes include changing Canary Yellow from a girl to a boy, adding in animal companions/pets, and giving them each a new duty protecting the earth and all it’s colors.
I am still debating whether or not I want to create more versions of these characters in a smaller, more traditional fashion doll esque scale. While I love the toddler-ization of the dolls, I’m not sure I could sew all these outfits on smaller bodies haha. Who knows- I guess you’ll just have to keep an eye out! All I can say for sure is that I would be giving up the yarn hair for saran or nylon. (even saying it now, my heart skips a beat with excitement!)
List of Stormie Studios Customs