Step by step guide to becoming a toy sculptor

One of life’s simplest truths is that children and toys go hand in hand, and they always have. While “cavechildren” probably didn’t build and smash LEGO® forts or shave their Barbies’® heads, historians believe that they still played with primitive toys. Even if they were just sticks and rocks, chances are these primitive children found some sort of playful use for them.

Toys are a necessity for children. Not only do they provide entertainment, but they can also provide excellent learning experiences. There is no shortage of toys to choose from either. New toys hit the shelves every day, and parents and children alike are bound to find something useful and fun. No matter what a child’s interest is – well, there’s a toy for that.

What many people don’t realize, however, is that there is no magical toy machine that pops out new and amazing toys at regular intervals. Designing and creating toys is a major process. Behind every new toy – from the simplest building block to the most complicated new fangled robot – sits a toy designer.

What does a toy sculptor do?

A toy sculptor designs toys. Sound simple? It’s not! Though there is usually some play involved in a toy designing career, like the majority of other careers, it also involves hard work.

Every toy starts with an idea. It is usually the job of a toy designer to come up with this idea. After he has a good idea of what the toy will look like and how it will function, a toy designer can then put his idea on paper. This often involves drawing the toy with either a pencil and paper, or computer software.

Once the design is down on paper, a toy designer will then usually build the toy, if he has the proper tools and materials. This idea and prototype can then be sold to a toy manufacturing company.

Toy designers that are directly employed by toy manufacturing companies may be responsible for original toy designs, but he will also usually work with a team to develop other ideas as well.

During their careers in toy design, many professionals will often specialize in a certain type of toy, or toys for certain age groups. One toy designer may create nothing but board games, for example, while another may create original action figures.

Another major concern for toy designers is safety. Children, it appears, are slightly more fragile than most adults, and the wrong toy design can result in injury or even death.

What kind of skills are required?

Since they design products specifically for children, toy designers should truly enjoy children, and have the ability to think like a child. Drawing skills and an excellent imagination are also necessary skills and qualities for a career in toy design.

A toy sculptor should also be adept at building and working with their hands. Depending on their specialty, skills like sculpting, sewing, and woodworking will often come in very handy for most toy designers.

The steps to becoming a toy sculptor

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree or diploma
  2. Decide what kind of toy designing would you like to pursue as a career
  3. Based on special interest take courses and robotics, CAD designing, etc.

Salary information

The salary level of toy designers can vary greatly, depending on a variety of factors. For example, depending on their employment structure, some toy designers may earn an inconsistent and fluctuating income, while others may earn a more stable and reliable income.

Aside from their employment structure, the salary level of toy designers may also be influenced by the following factors:

  • Their level of education
  • Their level of experience, skill and aptitude
  • The region in which they work
  • Whether or not they are self-employed
  • The size and type of their employer
  • The type of toy they specialize in (if applicable)

Helpful resources