Steve Casino

Class of 1988

Artist and Toy Designer

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Biography

Attended Mercer Area High School in Mercer, PA before enrolling at RIT.  While at RIT majored in Industrial design with a heavy elective concentration in Illustration.  Moved to NYC after leaving Rochester and found work making props for TV commercials and illustrating for magazines.  Eventually started working for various small toy companies asa product and graphic designer.  Became a toy inventor after meeting other inventors trying to sell their products to companies I worked for. 

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In 2000 created a successful line of girls toys for Mattel called Diva Starz. They pioneered a new style, animatronics and interactivity in dolls.  Eventually became a member of Bang Zoom Design in Cincinnati.  They are a top inventing group of the toy industry with every major toy company as clients.  In 2012 Ijokingly created a human character using a peanut shell.  It was so much fun I began making mini peanut characters of many celebrities.  The artwork went viral and I eventually found myself on Good Morning America, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, NBC, MTV, and most recently AMC.  Using the peanut artwork as a springboard other art has followed while the toy invention career is still going strong. 

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“I had 7 days to make 12 characters.  It normally takes me a day to make one character so I had to cut a lot of corners (and sleep) in the process.”