The very first toys designed by Charles and Ray for mass production were large head and body masks for children and adults. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, they were using masks as props in exhibitions, photographs, and theatrical skits with friends.
They also experimented with projecting 35mm transparencies onto people’s heads to create a mask-like blend of the two-dimensional image with a three-dimensional form. They began developing large, brightly colored animal forms. Some of the bird, fish, and animal heads and bodies extended down the torso and could be worn as costumes. The masks were to be manufactured and sold as kits of die-cut shapes that could be colored and assembled by the buyer.