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Toy Makers designs and manufacturers a range of toys for the enjoyment of children or for customers in the toy collectibles market. Professionals who make toys need to be artistic and creative. Also known as commercial and industrial designers, toy makers create, design and test concepts for toys. They understand kids and design products that cater to them.The toymaker designs and makes toys, and typically operates in two market sectors: toys designed for children to play with, and toys designed for collectors.
Toy makers need to have the artistic skills to create concepts, management skills to coordinate production and presentational skills to pitch and market their ideas to a manufacturer.
There are no formal academic qualifications required to set up as an independent toy maker, although some form of design qualification (either a BTEC or foundation degree) will give the potential candidate some of the skills needed in order to succeed.
Becoming a toy designer requires the ability to effectively combine a variety of skills in different areas, including:
- Computer Skills: Toy designers need to understand how to use computer programs, especially computer aided design and drafting programs (CADD), as they play a crucial role in executing various functions, such as documentation, illustration, rendering, animation, drafting and three-dimensional modeling.
- Manual Design Skills: Even though computers play an increasingly large part in the work of toy designers, they still rely heavily on their hands and their manual dexterity for creating sketches and working with materials in the development of prototypes.
- Knowledge of Materials and Processes: In order to create designs that are aesthetically appealing, durable, functional, safe and profitable, toy designers must have thorough knowledge of the materials used in the development of their designs. Many toy designers must also have knowledge of mechanics, electronics and robotics, depending on the types of toys they are responsible for designing.
- Business Management Skills: Toy designers that are considering self-employment will require basic business marketing and management skills. They will need to know how to find consumers that want to buy their products, introduce those consumers to their products, and ensure that the capital, time and materials are available to make and deliver those products.
The following types of organizations typically employ toy designers, on a full-time, part-time or contractual basis:
- Toy design firms
- Toy manufacturers
- Self-employment as owner of own toy company
- Self-employment as a freelance toy design who sells designs to manufacturers
Most toy designers are in-house employees of companies that manufacture toys. There are however, toy designer jobs found with toy design firms that sell their ideas to toy manufacturers.
Aside from working for a toy design firm or a company or a toy manufacturer, toy designers may also be self-employed; they may be designers and/or inventors that run their own companies.
Some toy designers, for instance, may design and create toys that they sell on their own, by contacting toy stores, attending trade shows, opening their own stores (‘brick and mortar’ or online stores) and by other means. Others, however, may just sell their toy designs to manufacturers, who then go on to mass-produce the toy.
ARE YOU FIT FOR THE JOB?
This career requires the professional to truly enjoy children. They should be able to think like a child. If the drawing ability is good, it helps. An active and an excellent imagination are qualities of a soft toy maker. They should know basic sewing. If you are such a person, no need to think again you are fit to choose the career.