Monday, December 16, 2013

Wanted: Elf

Have you ever created a toy or a game?

What if your career was in toy-making---without living at the North Pole?

Check out this video from Hasbro-it talks about the process of making toys:    
Triogenius was surprised to find that, through mergers with other toy manufacturers,  Hasbro makes the following: Tonka Trucks, Playskool, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Tinkertoys, Mr. Potato Head, GI Joe, Sesame Street, Lite Brite, Lincoln Logs, Pound Puppies, and games like Battleship, Candyland, Cranium, Jenga, Scrabble, Dungeons and Dragons, Ouija Board, and Pictionary.

Here is the design process of how Transformers toys are made:

What steps are involved in the process?

  • Design: does the toy do anything? Does it connect with a computer or phone or controller? Is it part of a series of related toys? Does it have accessories? Does it come in different sizes?
  • Is it a building toy with many parts that fit together?
  • Manufacture--process and product-people need to design the machines that produce the toy
  • Use of motors or mechanics within the toy
  • Materials used to make the toy (plastic, metal, fabric, etc.)
  • Safety
  • Design of outside paint and decals
  • Design of packaging
  • Planned changes for future models
  • Testing: do the mechanics work, if any? Is it durable?
  • Sales-how will you sell the toys? Online? In other stores, or in your own store? How do  you price them?
  • Packaging
  • Website design and maintenance
  • Accounting
  • Law as it applies to patents, copyrights, and liability
  • Marketing, including naming the toy, and tie-in products such as books or clothes featuring that toy
  • Or, for example, Pixar may make a movie and want toys to sell that are related to it-how do you create them?
  • Management
Thus, any number of degrees could tie in to this business: Business Administration, Art, Engineering, Web Design, Marketing, Law, or Accounting, are some examples.

Some toy manufacturers employ child life experts to see what toys are appropriate for which ages, so you may be able to use a degree in Child Development, Education, or Psychology to work for one of these companies.

A video of how K'nex are made:

Manufacturing toy trains:

Here is a great interview with a self-employed toy manufacturer:

Some info about product research at Fisher-Price:

Let's not forget Tickle-Me Elmo (Playskool): What made that toy so successful?
You might want to make a specific kind of toy, such as educational toys.
There is a market for 'green' manufacturing (making things with as little environmental damage as possible); simpler toys, wooden toys,

 dolls, stuffed toys,

building toys
Here is a history of the Lego company, based in Denmark:

....or toys for a specific age group.
There are toys meant to be played with outside...

As well as games and puzzles; and toys for children to imitate grownups:
And don't forget science experiment toys:
What was your favorite toy when you were little?
It's good to have some fun every day---what if you could work with toys all the time?


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