Marvel's Jesse Falcon - Don’t be afraid to fail!
What exactly do you do in the industry?
I oversee the PD side of all hardlines items worldwide for Marvel, so toys, collectibles, construction, consumer electronics, novelty & I look over the O&O business for Marvel that are sold through Disney.
What is your claim to fame in the industry?
Probably the work that came out of working with the TOY BIZ team. I developed the Marvel Legends line and developed products for all of the Marvel movies from back in 1994. Those include the original X-Mem/ Spider-Man/ F4/ Hulk / Daredevil / Blade trilogy, As well as the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy toys.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
I started making my own toys when I was very young. And continued to do so through grade school – when I was into a character that didn’t have an action figure Id make one out of the materials I had at my disposal – other toys and D&D paints plumbers’ putty. I did that although school and when I had my interview with toy biz I brought all of those and the gentleman took one look and hired me on the spot.
What are you working on now?
What advice would you give a young adult graduating from high school or college today?
Take Rabbi Dr. Abraham Tweskis advise on growth… “The lobster’s a soft mushy animal that lives inside of a rigid shell. That rigid shell does not expand.
Well, how can the lobster grow? Well, as the lobster grows, that shell becomes very confining, and the lobster feels itself under pressure and uncomfortable. It goes under a rock formation to protect itself from predatory fish, casts off the shell, and produces a new one. Well, eventually, that shell becomes very uncomfortable as it grows. Back under the rocks. The lobster repeats this numerous times.
The stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow is that it feels uncomfortable. Now, if lobsters had doctors, they would never grow because as soon as the lobster feels uncomfortable, goes to the doctor, gets a Valium, gets a Percocet, feels fine, never casts off his shell.
I think that we have to realize that times of stress are also times that are signals for growth, and if we use adversity properly, we can grow through adversity.” – Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski
Also! Don’t be afraid to fail. Trying and failing is one of the most fundamental parts of human development.
And, find a community (any community) a Dungeons & Dragons Online team, a Comedy Troup, or a running team. Meeting and experiencing other people and ways of thinking is also something that I’d highly suggest.
Do you have a typical work day and how does it play out for you?
I used to like to stay up late & work and now I get up early and work. There is always a lot to do in a day with the Marvel brands there are many driving forces that are moving the property forward and I like to be as prepared as possible.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing my kids enjoy the things that I’m working on. I always have some kind of finger food toys in the house and I love to interface with kids (and adults!) about what they think of what I’ve been working on.
What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?
How small is too small and how big is too expensive?
What and/or who inspires you?
How do you define creativity?
It’s the voice in my head that finishes my sentences. I got involved in long form improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade in 1997 when they set up shop in NYC and their motto is “don’t think”. And as much as I love to perform, the tools for creating comedy are incredibly useful in making toys for a living. I think that mottos appropriate.
How do you define innovation?
When you bring point A to point Z in one move.
How do you recharge or take a break?
Starting a new project.
What was your favorite toy or game as a child?
GAME – THE JAWS game. Favorite toys were the bounty hunters in Star Wars. They spent less than 7 seconds on film and I spent years playing out their adventures with toys and in my head.
Where were you born?
What was your life like growing up?
Full of seasons and outdoor play with friends in the woods and creeks next to our neighborhood.
Who might be role models for the work you do?
People that have the ability to fully execute on a vision.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I tend to do that a lot. Amy Poehler was always so generous with her laughter when I was her student and it’s one of the many lessons that I still carry around from her.
Favorite movie of all time?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that I really didn’t like. I love stories in general and even when a film goes off the rails I can still find things to enjoy.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Probably a toy designer.