A Less Successful 3D Project

December 22nd, 2009 | Posted in Freelancing

I had a few people ask me about what I termed the “Donovan McNabb Disaster” when I blogged about the release of the Obama bobblehead I designed for a documentary film promo.

What I was referring too was a project I did many years ago similar to the recent Obama bobblehead, but that did not turn out so well. The client was a private entrepreneur who was trying to develop a business making sports team giveaway items… you know the sort of stuff that pro teams give away to the first 10,00 people through the gates at a given game. These folks were from Philadelphia, so they naturally concentrated on Philly teams. Their product idea was for a “mug” made into the likeness of one of the stars of each team. I did several designs for players like the Phillie’s Chase Utley and Pete Rose, tennis star Andy Roddick and Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. The McNabb one was the only one they made a prototype out of.

Here’s my color conceptual drawing:

Here is the prototype “mug”:

As you can see the mug bears little resemblance to the drawing I did, and even less to McNabb himself. In fairness to the client and manufacturer they had to squash the proportions to make it into a functional mug, but the end results weren’t very successful. I assume the eagles brass didn’t like it as they didn’t pick it up.

Maybe they should resubmit it, and say it’s a mug of Michael Vick! Looks more like him than McNabb.


  1. Bearman says:

    As far as mug likenesses go, I don’t think it turned out too bad. Much better than the bobble heads of players they have at the ball game.

    • Bryan says:

      I agree, the vast majority of these types of memorabilia bear no resemblance at all to the real person. What Tom is considering a “failure” is still a better likeness than almost anything that actually does get made.

  2. Note to self: if I ever design a mug in the shape of someone’s head, use a head that’s actually shaped like a mug, not a stein.

  3. Corbett says:

    Frankly, I’m not sure I want to drink out of ANYONE’S hollowed out skull – regardless of it’s artistic integrity.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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