(Mark, Linda, Matt, Michelle, Nico and Lucas)
How does a typical day begin at Design Edge studios?
“On my way to the office this morning, I was stuck in a traffic jam behind truckloads of fake palm trees that were headed for a film set,” says Matt Nuccio.
Located on the Gold Coast movie studio lot in Bethpage, New York, Nuccio’s business address is wildly colorful and a little unpredictable. Neighbors also include a pyrotechnic company and a candy company, making it the perfect atmosphere for the explosive creativity that’s been coming from the Nuccio family for more than 30 years.
The company has earned a well-deserved reputation for pushing the envelope with skillful, modern design that tests creative boundaries. Packaging that jumps from the shelf in the store aisle and product development that finds a better way to do things are hallmarks of their work. Paired with bigger-than-life personalities, deep industry relationships, a thirst for learning and a knack for creating win-win situations, Design Edge rocks the 21st century toy business at a time when the industry ranks are skewing older and young, fresh talent is in high demand.
Making–do Breeds Genius
Founder, Mark Nuccio, grew up in the 1950s and 60s in a modest New York city household in the borough of Queens. His father fought in World War II, then worked for the postal service, and had his family later in life. Both parents were creative people and encouraged creative play in their children.
But money was scarce and store-bought toys were a luxury they could not afford. Instead, they supplied their children with plenty of crayons, paste and modest art supplies. So, Mark and his brother, Chris Sr., made their own toys using these and other found items.
This was the era of the legendary Louis Marx Toy empire, a time when cowboys, the wild west, and historical events dominated pop culture and the airwaves in the emerging Golden Age of Television.
Marx created a long series of children’s playsets during this period, inspired by action-packed weekly shows like Gunsmoke, Roy Rogers, Robin Hood, Davy Crockett and the Alamo.
The young Nuccio brothers were enchanted with those television programs… and captivated by those unattainable Marx playsets.
“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”
Not to be denied, the boys began to implement, building their own versions of the popular toys they coveted.
Using crayons, paste and an endless supply of discarded cardboard shirt liners (thanks to a neighborhood drycleaner), the resourceful boys spent countless hours, painstakingly duplicating the store-bought Marx playsets that were out of their financial reach. They would make their own cannons, teepees, forts, figures and buildings.
Little did they know at the time, that their seemingly depri