I live in the US, though not a citizen (It's going to be pretty interesting looking for a job after this). So, it's my last year and I've been through weird (not like art classes you think it would be) classes about toy design / design / illustration / modeling / sculpting and kids.
proof: here's one of the plush toys i've made. and a Blue's Clues hand held game on my desk.
Edit: Did I answer all the questions? if not let me know, I'll look for them!
Thank you so much!!! I will definitely contact you.
How would you respond to an idea of a skyscraper that transforms into a robot?
Too similar to transformers.
How many Legos have you stepped on in your college career?
A LOT! and it hurts the same every single time. Now when I step on a lego, it just connects with the other ones that are already stuck to my feet.
How similar are you to Stu Pickles?
Very! tho I don't have purple hair.. mine is red =]
Degree or diploma? How much did your education cost?
It's bachelors degree, 4 year major. 1 year tuition is $38,300.00. At least we have scholarship options.
Im mot trying to be condescending, i am genuinely curious, how likely is it that you will find a position/career path that justifies spending 160k?
it's actually very likely considering almost all Otis toy design graduates have their jobs ready.
I am a former toy packaging designer. High five!
Tell us one of your toy design ideas. Ill tell you of id play with it.
My works are more towards collectibles and vinyl toys. Think like Marvel and DC comics.. Or designer toys, like Buff Monster or Tara McPherson's stuff.
Are you ever around the /r/vinyltoys subreddit?? We'd love to have you post about your experiences there.
i will check it out.
What do you think of the idea of a robot that transforms into a skyscraper? I think that would make BIG profits.
and this I would consider.. however it's would be boring to the point that you would have to take your eyes out with a rusty spoon.
Is the rusty spoon sold separately?
yes, yes it is. Keep away from children.
Toy Designer here (With a Mechanical Engineering Background). What software to they teach you? Are you able to take things from concept all the way through to manufacture? What are your job prospects?
They teach us the basic programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and everything Adobe as well as Rhinoceros and V-Ray. Yes, we start with a concept and stick with it until the manufacture. I don't want to work for a really big company like Mattel, I rather work for a smaller US based company. I like having freedom and this way my creativity would actually come to use.
Do they teach you about manufacturing methods? Draft angles, molding, extruding, etc, etc? I'm only curious because in a lot of design-related fields there are people who do the design and people who actually make those designs possible. I work for a company where I am the only guy designing and engineering and working with China. It's cool to have tools on all sides and I think it's a huge benefit to understand manufacturing methods and requirements when approaching design.
yes they do, we have a class called methods and materials. They teach us different types of molding (injection, vacuform etc..)
Do you learn how to make toys that are in some way didactic/sell well or a combination of both?
I'll send you my student ID in a sec. Yes, we do have classes based on marketing and creating toys that would be on the market for a long time, such as Barbie or G. I. Joe. It's really hard to make it because almost everything is out there.. Now all we can do is change, combine or improve. If you're interested, the book "Creating The Ever-Cool" by Del Vecchio is about this.
don't send HIM your student ID, send it to the mods
make sure to black out any identifying info
don't worry, thankfully I know my internet well =]
How would you change or improve Pikachu?
Pikachu is pretty much awesome! I wouldn't dare to change it. Pika!
Where do you go?
Otis College of Art and Design.
Pratt I.D. grad here. I like the AMA. Most people don't know what products designers actually do.
Nice, I almost went to Pratt instead of Otis. I'm thinking about going there for MFA. I always get weird questions about what I do =]
Art Center College of Design ID student here. I'm currently interning in Marina Del Rey so I drive past your school often. Good luck!
thank you =] and I think art center graduates are talented as hell! good job!
Comm Arts grad here (gainfully employed designer for over 15 years!). Chest bump.
congrats! i love the comm arts department.. except the freaky hair lady.. she scares me.
I used to design toys! (For Lego, McDonalds -including some cool Star Wars toys - and more...)
Good luck, you're going into a fun career!
Funnily enough, my route in was a bit strange - I studied automotive design, did toys for a bit (including a stint with Lego in Denmark) and have now gone (almost) full circle and design aircraft interiors for a living.
In fact, the only time I ever post on reddit seems to be regarding designing toys!
OP - if there is anything you need to know/ways I might be able to help you out then get in touch ;)
thank you so much, i love lego, how did you get into contact with them? my friend is desperately trying to get an interview!
What is your favourite toy of the past 10 years?
The new Monster High series. I think they have great styling. Different than Barbie and not as spoiled as Bratz. And the webisodes are a cool twist. They make nice collectibles as well. They say being different is ok and I love that!
What, in your personal opinion is the coolest thing you have ever designed?
That would be my high-end collectible fashion doll line based on the decade fashions. The main idea was to create couple dolls for each decade with stories for them. And it would be possible to buy their outfits for yourself. If there is a fashion style of an era that you like the most you would be able to find clothes. From the 20's to sub-fashions like steampunk.
That's pretty cool. Did this idea ever go into production/manufacture? And thanks OP for the swift response!
No, it didn't because I'm working on it right now =]
Why do Hasbro's My Little Pony figurine range deviate so much from the style of the show?
Do they not care about show accuracy, or are there difficulties achieving it?
Is this a major problem in the industry?
The style changes from time to time, sometimes because they can't exactly sculpt the character or it costs too much. I think it's a dangerous move, but it's Hasbro, it wouldn't cause them trouble. Sometimes they change the style because they think it would sell better that way.
Have you ever seen the Disney toys? the plush princesses have nothing to do with the actual characters. It's because they can get away with it. People still buy them.
How do you have time to be on reddit? I literally never saw my Toy Design friends when I was in school...unless I accidentally wandered down that weird dead end of the C building...
hahahahah, yeah.. I work really fast, its a good quality I guess. And I definitely need my internet time... and social life.
Does your school have any data on the hire rate after leaving the program? If so, how many graduates work in the industry after graduation?
%85 of the toy design major graduates find jobs, otis is the only school with a 4 year toy design program. So the companies are all over it. Especially Mattel.
I always thought a cool toy would be a dissectible, edible alien. With hard candy skeleton, gummy brain, florescent sour blood, stomach full of alien bugs, sponge candy lungs etc. could ship with plastic scalpel, clamps etc. what do you think? :D
I think it's brilliant!! (however a candy store idea, Toys R Us would be covered in gooey candy)
What do your parents think?
They think what I do is very interesting and they are supporting, at one point I even thought of changing my major but they wanted me to continue with it. Amazing people!
Are your expertise also applicable to the design and implementation of sex toys?
Molding and casting doesn't change. So yes, I can make sex toys as well.
When will Pickles' Toys be put on the map?
hahahaha, hopefully soon. and if i ever end up openin up my own toy company that will be the name.
Are your mental faculties in check?
The market is good. Even though it's all about video games now, people never give up on classic dolls or boardgames. And now the collectible vinyls are super hot. Kid Robot stuff.
If you work for a big company like Mattel, then you would have licenses and then have to work with characters that are already out there, but it's always possible to come up with something totally new.
I was applying to many art schools, and I had no idea there was a toy design major until I came across it on the schools website. But I've been collecting toys since I was 9, so I thought it would be great for me.
Vinyl toys and designer toys. I especially favor Buff Monster because of his style. The destroyer (green/pink) is my favorite. Oh and the new BoobBall.
How many classmates do you have?
If Packaging Science is an actual major then I have no problem believing that is an actual major.
Now for my question, how do you plan on getting a job from this?
That is what I think about daily. I'm job hunting as I answer these questions. Looking for companies in NYC.. Figuring out what I'm gonna do after this, just because I don't want to work for a big company. If i wanted that it would have been easy.
Is your major more engineering focused, art and design focused, or a little bit of both?
What made you pursue toys as a major?
Do you have focus groups completely made up of 5 year olds?
little bit of each, but i'm more into the design and sculpture part.
i've been collecting toys before, so when i saw the major i jumped in.
hahahahah, we don't but i have seen a couple of those and it's hilarious.
What is an entry level job like for someone with your degree? Do you want to work on a major line, like G.I. Joe, or something smaller/more niche? Are you a toy collector, and if so, what toys do you collect?
Definitely something more niche. I don't like the idea of sitting in a cubicle and draw something thats already out there. I want to create. I collect vinyl toys, yes. More designer toys than Kid Robot stuff (even tho Frank Kozik is awesome). I love Buff Monster, Joe Ledbetter, Nathan Hamill, Amanda Visell. Also known collectibles like Marvel, DC, Domo etc.
I've never heard of such a thing . . .
That sounds really cool, but difficult. Do you have any idea of what kind of pay there is? I'd imagine you'll have Hasbro/Mattel people lining up ready to give job offers.
Yes. Mattel, Hasbro, SpinMaster, Jakks Pacific.. all of them come to our presentations and shows. The pay depends on your level at the company, but it's good =]
is Barry Kudrowitz your hero?
He's somewhere up there, yes =]]
What's your take on how 3D printers will affect the industry, either in design/prototyping or manufacturing?
I use 3D printers all the time.. they make it easier, but only when prototyping. It's too expensive for manufacturing right now.. But I'm sure it's going to be cheaper soon.
How much can you expect to make as a toy designer? Is it like most design jobs where you're over-worked and under-compensated?
it depends on where and who you work for. big companies, you make a good living. If you wanna take your chances and start up your own, then it's up to how good you actually are and luck.
What is the most hated toy ever created?
Oooooh! Probably those weirdly structured toys.. Like the He-Man which looked like he was jacking off when activated.
Is this a job that would require you to eventually relocate to a big city? (If you're not already in one) Or is the toy design job market more spread out? I'm imagining big ridiculous toy factories in LA or something, I really have no clue how it works.
I am currently in LA, and Mattel, Hasbro, Disney, Jakks Pacific, SpinMaster are here. But surprisingly there are a lot of smaller toy companies around the US. A lot of them in New Jersey, Philly and such.. But I'm definitely moving to NYC.
What sort of toys are we talking about? I immediately thought of toy designers and the designers of dolls/action figures, but there must be other things too. Do you design the character or the concept of the toy? Elaborate!
I do, I create new concepts as well as work on older ones. Other than dolls and action figures, there are gils and boys life style toys, like nurturing toys (cabbage-patch kids) or styling toys (beads, stickers and such).. And also collectibles for older people.. designer toys and vinyl toys.
What is your opinion on (wind-up) Tin Toys? Will they ever make a comeback?
They are back! There is a new huge line of wind-up toys. You can even find them at Toys R Us.
What was your favorite toy growing up, and what is your favorite toy currently on the market?
i was not a very traditional kid, i was never into Barbie or dolls like other girls (and yes i'm a girl). i was painting and drawing and making stuff out of random things i find around. My cousin and I were the same, we made things and sold them, actually made a lot of money too.. =]
I have been in the toy industry for years let me know if I can help (Salesdingo.com)
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