What is your favorite toy? Chances are that just thinking about it put a smile on your face! Now think about why it is your favorite. Do you enjoy it because there are a lot of pieces that you can take apart and put back together? Do you have fun with the toy because it is something you and your friends like to play with together? Perhaps it is a dollhouse or a race car track which both allow you to use your own imagination and create your own stories and adventures!
But what if the toy sat on the shelf and you weren’t allowed to touch it? That wouldn’t be much fun! In the same way, Toy Design isn’t about creating the toy itself, it is about creating the fun that someone has in playing with it!
A Toy Designer is a creative person that is able to think of a new idea for a toy and bring it to life. He or she spends a lot of time watching others play with toys and thinking about the ways in which the toys could be improved. Ideas for toys are first sketched by hand or created in a computer model so that the ideas can be shared with others. Toy Designers use a variety of materials such as plastic, metal, electronic parts, fabric and stuffing. Designers are often responsible for the look and feel of the toy packaging that is displayed at a store. Toy Designers must understand toy safety rules so that people don’t get hurt.
Toy Designers have a bachelor’s degree (4 years) or master’s degree (bachelor’s + 2 years) in art, graphic design, industrial design, engineering, education or child development. College programs specifically for Toy Design also exist. Designers often take classes in art, computer design, modeling, marketing, safety and toy production.
Find Out More:
Get Inspired – Have you ever wondered what inspires Toy Designers to create what they do? Click the link below to read the stories about the inventors who created some of the most popular toys.
Learn what happens in a Toy Product Design class – Click the link below to watch a short video about what college students do in a Toy Product Design class at the University of Minnesota. You’ll watch as they brainstorm ideas, sketch out their toys and present their toy designs.
Check to see if your Favorite Toy won a Toy of The Year Award (TOTY) – Every year members and other key people involved with the Toy Industry Association (TIA) submit nominations for the Toy of the Year Award. Click on the links below to see the toys that were chosen for this high honor in the current and prior years. Are any of your favorites included? As you look through the winners think about why you think these toys were chosen.