I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

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I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby TequilaMockingbird » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:31 am

I just wanted to share that yesterday I started taking a Toy Design course this semester. I have always been curious about the toy design process and what goes into the development. I was inspired in the New Year to finally take this course. There is a lot of drawing involved, learning perspective and sketching images to appear "3D". But we get to design our own toys throughout the class (sadly, no prototypes yet, thats more advanced learning. Who knew it takes like 2-3 years to create a toy??). The professor is really great. Its so fun to be in a studio with a group of adults that are all passionate about TOYS! :lol:

Toys today are very different from what I had growing up. (Just look at what they did to LPS and IMP pets :cry: ) We can choose our age ranges and "girl/boy" and such. I might be coming back here asking for thoughts on a few concepts. I will most likely be focusing on the 5-8 year old girl toy concepts :lol: :lol: :lol:
If anyone has any ideas or interesting things to share I'd love to hear about it! I have a very limited experience so far. Thank you!

Now, off to the toy store....
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby jillrose » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:09 pm

Ooooh this makes me miss NYC! I loved taking 3D design class in college; I designed some toys, although the class was not toy-specific :) Such fun!
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby Tosh » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:50 pm

Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing!! You have so much talent too, it will be fun to see what you end up doing in the class!! :D Definitely let us know if you need feedback or survey's or anything, that sounds like a lot of fun!
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby jenna444 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:44 am

God, I'm jealous! That would be a dream come true for me! I work at a college, but I don't think anything like that is offered. Please share your projects with us, I'm so curious!
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby Waylah » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:37 am

That is very cool and I am super jealous!

I've thought a lot about toy design. There are things I remember as a kid thinking that toy designers just didn't get about toys. Things like - when you fix a character toy in a pose, especially a pose that's intersecting with an object, you ruin a whole lot of play possibilities with that toy. Like a toy that's permanently asleep, or permanently holding a ball. LPS were pretty good about this, but even Kenner was not immune - think of the seals permanently balancing their balls/starfish, and the lovebirds, permanently stuck to their post. The chicks in the their eggs in the hen house, much worse than being miniature adult chickens, rather than yellow chicks, was the fact that they were stuck in their hay forever. I still loved my hen and her little home. But home much more awesome would it have been if those chicks could come out?

The best toys are ones that enable, not limit. Now, as an adult, I'm not playing with my LPS, so how they look is really all that counts. But as a toy, what made them great is what you could do with them. Parts that move. Saddles you can put on and take off. Characters that are free to be walked through little worlds and little stories.

As a collector, if I ever had a stint at toy design, I think I would have to make sure I had my 'child' hat on, and not my 'collector' hat on.

Also, on a completely different note, this is my view on 'boys' toys' and 'girls' toys':

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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby jillrose » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:58 pm

Waylah, those same design choices frustrated me as well!! :x LOL. I was also annoyed at the permanently asleep design of certain Li'l Litters kittens, as well as most of the original In My Pocket animals - that's why the few sets I have are mom & baby, because the animal were not posed with objects :lol:
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby TequilaMockingbird » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:37 pm

I definitely agree with that. It makes them so hard to play with so they really only are good for display. I think thats one reason I favored the LPS over the IMP toys. They were more moveable and less stiff.

And now I want to go rescue my lovebirds and baby chicks.... :(
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby jillrose » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:47 pm

I may have freed my under 3 hamster using a sledgehammer. I may have cut diwn the pin in his side to make him smooth. He may be running loose with the other hamsters now. :roll:
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby TequilaMockingbird » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:24 pm

Interesting tid-bit I learned in class tonight. We were talking about toy molds, and apparently they're really expensive to create. Like 10s to 100s of thousands of dollars. Which would explain why so many of the LPS mold were re-used for several sets. And also probably why fakies with the same molds exist. I'm just curious if Kenner allowed another manufacturer to use the molds for a fee to create the fakies or if it was done on the sly in China....
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby dIGITS » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:10 pm

I am really jealous! I never have had an option around here to take a class like that but it has been one of my top interests. When I had an interview for an internship at an ad agency I even told them it was my dream job. I think the nerves got me really telling a partial truth there. :lol: I did get the internship ( Ad agencies- probably not really my thing- even this super hip culturally amazing agency that it was). I have only just scratched the proverbial surface of looking into doll-making myself and it does not surprise me about the time and cost. It's really hard to be an independent start-up toy maker I think! :roll:
I would love to learn more. Please let me know if you find and recommend any resources- books, websites, etc..
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Re: I am taking a Toy Design Class...!

Postby dIGITS » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:14 pm

Waylah wrote:That is very cool and I am super jealous!

I've thought a lot about toy design. There are things I remember as a kid thinking that toy designers just didn't get about toys. Things like - when you fix a character toy in a pose, especially a pose that's intersecting with an object, you ruin a whole lot of play possibilities with that toy. Like a toy that's permanently asleep, or permanently holding a ball. LPS were pretty good about this, but even Kenner was not immune - think of the seals permanently balancing their balls/starfish, and the lovebirds, permanently stuck to their post. The chicks in the their eggs in the hen house, much worse than being miniature adult chickens, rather than yellow chicks, was the fact that they were stuck in their hay forever. I still loved my hen and her little home. But home much more awesome would it have been if those chicks could come out?

The best toys are ones that enable, not limit. Now, as an adult, I'm not playing with my LPS, so how they look is really all that counts. But as a toy, what made them great is what you could do with them. Parts that move. Saddles you can put on and take off. Characters that are free to be walked through little worlds and little stories.

and yes, and yes, and yes... I saved the frogs from their lilypads as a kid. My mom was not too happy I got into the sharp things. .... :lol:
The other animals that angered me I set aside... they were usually the first to get kidnapped by the bad guys and sometimes even sacrificed before they could be saved :lol: :lol: (I didn't like dolls as a child so my pet shops lived very interesting lives)

As a collector, if I ever had a stint at toy design, I think I would have to make sure I had my 'child' hat on, and not my 'collector' hat on.

Also, on a completely different note, this is my view on 'boys' toys' and 'girls' toys':

maybe NSFW: https://reluctantmom.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/1312_suitable-for-boys.jpg
Is seriously addicted to all things adorable.
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