Play meets business with toy design – Deccan Herald


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If one is creative and has a flair for designing toys and games, then designing toys can be a rewarding and fun filled career.Toy designing in India is still in its infancy, though we have a rich tradition of making indigenous toys, and there is huge potential in this field for growth and development, which can offer interesting opportunities to talented designers.Toy designers create toys, board games, educational games, puzzles, computer games, robotic toys, stuffed animals, scientific toys, action figures, remote-control cars, and games for therapy and also play installations.A toy designer makes toys and games for entertainment, along with considering its function, aesthetics, safety and cost of manufacturing.They also conceptualise and build the prototype of a new creation. A designer has to work with a variety of materials like clay, paper, wood, electronic, plastic, fabric, rubber, metal etc.Skills neededA toy designer should also be creative, imaginative and curious by nature, and have a passion to play. Possessing skills like drawing, sketching along with a proficiency in computers, especially design software, is important.The field of toy design is mostly multidisciplinary in nature. “One must be able to work with the head, heart and hand together in this profession and have an insatiable desire to experiment,” says Surabhi Khanna a designer who is a faculty of Industrial design at the National Institute of Design in Haryana.“Tough toys are for fun, they also help in the development of motor skills, problem solving ability, and aid in the growth of emotional and social well-being,” Surabhi says.Today, toys are not just meant for kids but are also seen as stress busters that aid in recuperation and therapy. They are also being used for bonding between family, friends and for team building in corporate organisations.EducationTo enter this field, one ideally needs a degree in Product and Industrial designing but even students with a degree in engineering, psychology architecture, and education can make a career here.A few institutes in India like the National Institute of Design, Gandhi Nagar offer Master of Design programmes in “Toy and Game Design” to help students develop a professional and creative approach in the field.Career prospectsToy designers can work as independent designers, entrepreneurs or team up with manufacturers, engage in marketing, branding etc.  One can work in toy and game industries in the areas of mass manufactured toys, play equipment, table top games and board games.One can also work with NGOs, cottage industry, craft heritage centres, or along with child psychologists, educationists to develop educational play material.Toy designers can work along with architects to design schools based on theme-based toys. Today, even huge play equipment is being designed specifically for malls and parks.  There are also toys for pets.Besides, one can also conduct workshops on Play, Design and Education.There is  huge scope for those looking to pursue a career in this field and it all depends on one’s talent, passion and potential.
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