Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Introducing My Peepz ®

Both of my daughter’s are now grown, but I know what it's like birthday shopping for a preteen girl. Scary. Scary enough to send this dad to the bank to make a cash withdrawal. I'd rather face a bank teller with a sorry bank balance than to face an Old Navy sales floor any day. This is where having a good wife comes in. But sometimes, the daughters stump her, too. When buying any product that feature images of people, we like to support those products that reflect diversity. Especially if the images are African American. I think its important for kids to see positive images that represent their racial heritage.

These kind of images can be hard to find. A couple Christmas' ago, the wife and I are shopping for last minute gifts. We checked out one of those calendar kiosks in the mall. Very cool stuff. There’s graphic images and photographs of unicorns and teddy bears; muscle cars and monster trucks; puppy dogs and kitty cats. There’s pinups, beefcakes, fairies and fruit. Images of people doing just about everything. Very few images featuring people of color. None featuring kids of color. "Where's the stuff for my peepz," I asked myself as I flipped through row after row of Dilbert, the Simpson’s and Barbie calendars.

So a few months later when I came across the Shades of Color website, a company that produces calendars of African American interest, I remembered that day and shot off an email proposal offering to create a tweener calendar. I had been developing some cartoon characters for product licensing purposes, I wanted something I could to market to tweeners, children 8-12 years of age. They liked the proposal.

Six months later, still in the nascent stage of design, I'd like to introduce the 2006 My Peepz® calendar(back shown above) featuring the My Peepz ®, Hoodwyncs ® and Lil' Peepz ® characters. The colors are bright, the characters are cute, and they are having fun as they ice skate in January, model swimwear on the runway in June, and shop till they drop in December. Mix the design with a little ghetto flava, and I have something that will be popular with your hip-hop tweener. Don't get mad, you know your kids got a little taste of ghetto in 'em. *smile* Mine certainly do and two of 'em served as models. The 2006 My Peepz ® calendar will be available for sale at major book chains, calendar stores and on the Shades of Color website this August.

Unrelated thought for the day:Is it right? Probably not. But I'll bet that little girl won't be acting up in class no more...excuse me...anymore, and I hope her momma won’t set a bad example and make a financial killing off her daughter's disruptive behavior. Lesson learned: Do not provide your child with any dicipline, basic home training or manners. Then sue the pants off the first person who has to deal with your incorrigible brat.

Word of the day: Nascent


ShellyP said...

I knew it! I knew you couldn't go without blogging for an entire week! That's alright though. I'm glad.

I'll have to look out for your calendar. That's good news. Ahh, to be creative!

princessdominique said...

Keep us posted on the calendar!

WIP said...

Kudos to you my friend. The calendar is awesome and so needed. ITA with you 200%! I'd definitely support it. I love Shades of the book and some of there calendars still. I actually have calendar pages professionally matted and framed and use as wall art. (I must photo some of them.) Shelly's right 'bout you and blog'n, but I digress. You too are on the money 'bout us having a bit of "hood" in us...As for the Floridian little girl...why you all of a sudden hate'n on my (and Shell's) state? I'm detect'n a little "hatorade?"

Black luv for ya!

The Gig said...

PROUD MOMMA says: Wow, what a creative mind!! You've done it again -- makin me do that proud thang. Anyway -- how do I get a calendar? said...

Wow, your characters are cute. Do your thang!!!
And on the little girl, I am glad that I am not the only one that feels that way. Now they should not EVER put handcuffs on a child BUT lock her in a small room or something until the mother gets there. The little girl needed a beat down from the mother.

Nikki said...

Cool calendar. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Kim said...

That is SO cool! I love it!

And, thanks for reading my blog. Yes, feel free to link and take links from mine....I've been "borrowing" your links for weeks :-) No, I'm not a blurker either...I've been posting here and at your mama's site!

Luke Cage said...

What's up mr. Tate? Man, that is a very impressive "My Peeps" Calendar man. I love seeing great work and this is definitely a feast for the eyes. Not to mention the "vibrant" colors in your work. This is a sure-fire winner my man. Nice job!

As for little honey-lol, I would think that she may have put her "acking out" ways behind her for good. At least, lets hope so.

Hopluv said...

Your calender is of da chain! It will sell like"hotcakes" contrats!

greggy said...

Very nice concept and I'm sure your calendar will be a tremendous hit. There is such a hunger and thirst especially from our younger minds for products that depict and magnify positive imagery of our culture. Have a great day tomorrow!

ninepoundhammer said...

I have no problem at all with the sentiments behind your post. However, why is it that white people who show pride in their heritage are villified?

Friar Tuck said...


I don't think people necessarily get mad when you are confident in who you are and where you come from. Even if you are a white guy who listens to country music and has a pick up truck. (I am listening to country music as I write this, and am the only adult male in my family not to have a pick up).

I have a few things to say in response to this:

1.) The problem is that every movement of "white pride" that I have heard of seems to be about putting other people down that are different, instead of building up their constituencies with opportunity and support. When white pride brings opportunity to the poor in Appalachia and to the chronically poor or their ilk in the inner city instead of burning down churches and lynching people of color, and standing at the border as a self-appointed border control in states that were historically Mexican and had nomadic people groups...well then I think they might get more support.

2.) When you are a majoirty of a population, you have much of your nation pushing images that are positive and look like you. Especially in America.

Case in point, look at most pictures of Jesus on display in America. Now we all know that Jesus was Middle Eastern, so why don't we have pictures of Jesus that look more like Saddam Hussein than a Norwegian underwear model?

3.) Aren't there lots of ethnic white pride movements? What is St. Patrick's Day if it is not a expression of pride of certain white people?

thegritsdotcom said...

All of us at are excited about the new calendar! Thank you for your creativity; for you are definitely a favorite with us!

blackgirliniowa said...

Oh wow! I'm really excited for you. I am also so impressed with your talent and you ability to hustle. Now that is what I'm talking about. A brother who uses his talent and stays on the grind coming up with new ways to have income coming in. Your wife must be soooo proud. CONGRATS!

Oh, so what's up. Are you down for the Iowa bloggers meet-up? *smile*

Oricon Ailin said...

Don, that is just totally awesome dude!!! Congrats on the terrific looking calendar!

I wanna get one to put up on my wall at work! I just think they are cute!

Keep up the great work!!


Shana said...

Wow. . .very brilliant mind. . .I love the idea and the calander is beautifully creative!

Brea said...

I agree with everyone else - awesome calendar. I can think of about six nieces and cousins right now I'd get one for. I'm sure you'll let us know when it is out - right?

Jared Chapman said...

That's awesome Don! Congrats! I'd love to see the calander up close... but how would I explain a twenty four year old guy with a calander like that? Maybe someone I know has a birthday soon... I'll have to check. Congrats once again. The images you posted look great!

Don Tate II said...

Thanks for all the support!

@ Shelly: Thats what my mom said, too!

@ Tiff: Hatorade!? I love Florida. I will be presenting there next month.

@ninepoundhammer: I don't know. DeBubba offered a good explanation though.

@Thanks GritsKidz!

@ blackgirliniowa: I didn't know about the meetup. Hopefully it will be during the first weekend in June, thats when I will be in Iowa.

Again, thanks for the support!

The Archivist said...

Congratulations on your sucess!