Oct 17– Caleb Chung


Thursday, October 17th, 7:00 – 9:30pm

The Zen of Innovation

In The Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

Caleb’s accomplishments and experiences have spanned entertainment, mixed media and the toy industries. He has acted, written and produced critically acclaimed stage shows as well as designed special effects for film and TV. He is an inventor with over twenty patents. Forbes Magazine named as one of the nation’s top 10 innovators. Caleb has spoken at a number of institutions and conferences including Siggraph, MIT, The Tech, Pop!Tech, EG and TED.

Caleb gained film credits after appearing in feature films and TV shows which include Francis Ford Coppola’s One From The Heart, the television series The Jeffersons and Movie for TV Summer To Remember. Caleb served double duty as writer and actor on the popular Disney Channel shows You And Me Kid, Dumbo’s Flying Circus, and the NBC series Mr. Smith.

In 1979 Caleb formed a very successful comedy team. Schwartz and Chung performed on David Letterman, The Thicke of the Night, Comedy Tonight, George Schlatters Comedy Club and became regulars on America’s Funniest People.  During this time Caleb also became skilled in designing mechanisms and creating special effects for his shows. Later he worked on mechanical effects for the films Total Recall and Darkman.

In 1985 Caleb shifted to a new challenge and accepted a position at Mattel Toys to designing toys in the New Business Concepts R&D Division. He generated numerous toys for all of the brands including; Infant & Preschool, Boys Toys, Barbie, Activities and Games.  Caleb’s prolific conceptual abilities and design skills in applying new technology has created toys that are widely acclaimed throughout the Toy Industry, eventually landing him a spot on the David Letterman Show featuring cool toys.

In 1990 Caleb left Mattel and opened, “Giving Toys” a toy design company. He developed products for Fisher Price, Mattel, Bandai, Hasbro, Disney, Microsoft Corporation, and Tiger Electronics.  Caleb co-invented the 1998 hot toy of the year “Furby” which sold over 50MM units worldwide, generating over $1.2B in sales.

Soon after the success of Furby, Caleb opened Toyinovation, a high tech toy design firm based in Redondo Beach, California.  Among other products to come out of “Toy” was “Power Max” a bipedal walker for Fisher Price, “Norbert” an animatronic dragon for Mattel, and “Miracle Moves Baby” a super realistic animatronic infant for Mattel that was featured in the September ‘2000 issue of Wired Magazine.

In 2001 Caleb founded Vercel Development, whose focus was to build design and build a wireless handheld internet browser/media device for teens. Their first product, ED.1 (entertainment device) won the “Best of Innovations Award” at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show.

In 2006 Caleb co-founded UGOBE. In 2007, UGOBE released Pleo, it’s first “lifeform”. Pleo is  a super realistic robotic dinosaur pet, named as one of the coolest inventions of 2007 by Popular Science and featured in Wired, Make and Forbes magazines, and is currently selling worldwide.

Caleb joined forces with Francis Fox and Joseph Coffland to form BOCOLAB (Boise Cooperative Labs) to further explore the intersection of art, technology and culture. Their first piece “OS0”, an open source robotic sculpture was recently featured at the Boise Art Museum, winning second place at BAM’s triennial exibition. More recently, BOCOLAB has just been awarded first place in the 2010 BAM triennial exhibition for their “Objects With Empathy” installment. A trio of robotic sculptures that evolve over the duration of the exhibition.

Since 2009, Caleb and his wife Christi have taken a very active role in supporting  “ArtsWest”, a private non-profit school for the performing and visual arts, located in Eagle Idaho. It is the best school of its kind in the state.  Their goal is to make it the best in the country.

1 Response to Oct 17– Caleb Chung

  1. Chris says:

    I would like very much to get in touch with Caleb Chung. I crewed aboard the Double Eagle in St. Thomas VI from 1970 to 1972. I also crewed aboard its delivery from St Thomas to Ft Lauderdale Fl during Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972 after it had been sold. I would love to share my experiences with him and perhaps fill in a bit of history about the boat during that period that he may not be aware of. Please have him contact me at the email address provided if this is at all possible. Thanks.

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