On 05, May 2012 | No Comments | In | By Cathy
Being a toy designer for 10 years, I consider ‘enjoyment’ as the most important element in my toys! Not only do I enjoy the process of creating them, I also have to envision the fun that my toys can bring to those who play with them.
Throughout my 10-year experience in toy design creating a new toy has been a challenging but fun process. I always begin a new toy with the question, “What kind of toy do I want this time?”. Then, I explore my options by reading a variety of comics, watching animated films, play and talk with children, and create short stories to allow my mind to wander freely without constraints, let it fly beyond my culture, my drawing board, reality, before sitting down to draw whatever comes to me. At this initial stage I will always unconditionally accept the character of the new toy, without regard to costs and safety issues, just like a mother loves for her child.
Only in the second design step issues like the target audience, play features, and style will come into consideration, before finally of course also other practical criteria need to be considered for mass production: size, materials, production method, target ex-factory price range, user safety. To produce a successful and marketable new toy, it must satisfy all these criteria, before its marketability is tested for example in the “Fun Lab Test” during which kids and parents give comments on a new prototype.
Unfortunately, toys I personally consider best are not always marketable, safe or realistic for general production. A professional toy designer therefore has to be patient, a good listener, open-minded, and able to accept feedback fom various stakeholders. To actually allow the new toy to be born at its best and accompany the target owners in the rest of its life, my design needs to be flexible enough to incorporate all kinds of technical and marketing issues. Nonetheless, in the end it will still be ‘my’ new toy.
Just like any mother, I consider my toys to be perfect and beautiful. If you want to become a successful toy mother also, I will share this advice with you:
– Open your heart;
– Free your mind;
– Communicate openly;
– Treasure your talents;
– Learn and be inspired by observation;
– Judge smartly.
Ms. Chan graduated from the MVA (Experience Design) in summer 2013.