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Parts used more often for uses other than their original design...
The sausage thread got me to thinking how many parts are used in ways the original part designer would’ve never intended thanks to the creativity of set designers. The one that always comes to mind for me is the elephant trunk/tail. It seems to be used more often in decor/furniture, or sometimes even as other animal tails, rather than the short lived life the part had as an actual elephant tail.
So with that said, I’m kinda curious:
1. Who approves new part designs? Who sits down & says y’know what we really need in our back catalog is an elephant tail. With it we could design elephant themed sets, & that’ll really make our quarterly numbers. Someone has to approve the investment in tooling for new molds for new parts.
2. Now once the part is created, designers are of course free to use it in ways other than it’s original design purpose. There must be many other parts like this that everyone can think of that designers found creative uses for & extended their lifespan.
3. Having said that, eventually the molds have to wear out. What is the decision process then? Do the designers get told thank you for finding new uses for an odd part to help us recover our investment in molds, but we’ll no longer produce it. Or does manufacturing say wow we’re cranking out piles of elephant tails for other sets, even though we don’t make elephants anymore, so we’d better make a new mold to keep producing this odd part?
Thoughts? Does anyone know how the thought process around weird parts works? Or does anyone want to nominate a part that has creative uses far beyond its original design?