EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Behind the Scenes with Haslab Cookie Monster Senior Product Designer Bill Rawley

Cookie Monster’s had many great moments over the first 50 years of Sesame Street.

Now, thanks to Haslab – Hasbro’s crowdfunding platform for super-special collectibles – Cookie’s on the cusp of another great moment.

He’s about to become Hasbro’s biggest Sesame Street collectible to date… but only if 3,000 of his closest cookie-eating companions place pre-orders by August 25!

A Showstopper For Any Sesame Street Collection

The Haslab Cookie Monster is the most gorgeous and joyous Sesame Street collectible you’ll see celebrating the show’s golden anniversary.

Hasbro Senior Product Design Manager Bill Rawley and the Haslab team have crafted Cookie with meticulous reference to both the on-screen Muppet and the photorealistic puppet Sesame Workshop uses in photo shoots.

This Cookie Monster is 38-inches of fully poseable, plush-covered, googly-eyed glee.

If you ever wished you could sing, play, and chow down on cookies side-by-side with one of Sesame Street’s most consistently popular residents, this photo puppet replica is the centerpiece your collection needs.

Cookie Monster Q&A with Hasbro’s Bill Rawley

Since we first brought you this Muppet news flash a few weeks ago, we had a chance to talk with Bill about the Cookie Monster Replica project.

Here are a few morsels from our conversation:

Entertainment Earth: Sesame Street is full of famous and beloved characters. How did you choose Cookie Monster as Hasbro’s showcase collectible for the franchise’s 50th anniversary?

Bill Rawley: We had a shortlist of characters we’d be interested in making. Cookie was always right at the top, but originally, we had an Elmo concept and started a conversation with Sesame Street about that.

As both teams talked, though, we came to understand our target was a more mature fan, one who maybe hadn’t grown up with Elmo. And when Sesame Street let us know their plans for Cookie this year, we ended up going with him instead.


EE: One of this figure’s most impressive features is its exacting duplication of Cookie Monster’s armature, so collectors can pose him almost any way they want. What’s that armature made of?

BR: Cookie’s armature is made of metal and plastic. We’re making sure the stuff inside can take a beating.


EE: Sounds like you think Cookie might see some serious playtime! Will he be safe for kids?

BR: Well, we are age-grading it. I believe the packaging will say Cookie’s suitable for ages 8 and up, but we tested him for ages 2 and up. Theoretically, he’s safe for a 2-year-old, even though he is a replica for fans.


EE: You kept Cookie’s accessory under wraps for a while, but now…?

BR: Yeah, we just released information on it – the fabric cookie. He can hold the cookie in his hand. He can have it in his mouth. It even has a bite out of it!


EE: And what can you tell us about the special commemorative packaging?

BR: It’s an amazing look, very nostalgic. It’s in the style of a Sesame Street children’s book. It looks fantastic!


EE: How about the two special lithographs that will be included?

BR: They’re both great collector’s items.

One’s a photo of Cookie with Ernie, taken on the Sesame Street set by famous photojournalist Stephen Shames in 1974. It’s a classic episode where Cookie and Ernie are having a sleepover, complete with midnight snacks!


The second litho is Jim Henson’s original sketch of Cookie Monster from the late ‘60s. Back then Cookie was “the Wheel Stealer,” because Jim designed him for a commercial for a Canadian snack food called “Wheels.” He had an impressive set of chompers, but when he eventually made his way to Sesame Street, he lost the teeth and gained his love for cookies!


EE: The crowdfunding period for this project is getting short. What happens if Cookie Monster doesn’t meet his goal?

BR: We just turn off the project and he doesn’t get made. The factory needs a known quantity to turn on their machines. We calculated how many we’d need to mass-produce to keep the price down at $300, and figured out it would take 3,000.

Hasbro’s policy is, if we don’t hit 3,000, the project doesn’t get made. Now, if we get over that number, that’s the quantity we’ll make. But if we don’t hit at least that number, this amazing Cookie Monster will never be.


EE: Are you optimistic about meeting the goal?

BR: Well, Jabba’s Sail Barge was priced at $500 and saw a lull right up until the end. Then there was a rally, and it was 176% funded!


Place Your Pre-Order Before the Cookie Crumbles!

Bill also told us he thinks this Cookie Monster Replica would be a great investment for collectors since there hasn’t been any other Muppet replica like it in the market.

Given its lavish, loving attention to detail and high artistic and technical standards, we’re inclined to agree.

But we know you collect what you love, right?

If Cookie Monster was one of your childhood heroes – not just for his love of sweet snacks, but for his wit, his warmth, and the way he lives all of life with that enthusiastic “om nom nom nom” attitude – then you need Haslab’s Cookie Monster Replica to be on his way to your street, making your collection A-OK!

Place your pre-order before 11:59:59 pm Eastern on August 25 and help make this first of many more great moments for Cookie Monster happen!



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