Toy Development | Character and Theme Design

Toy design is a unique category and requires a unique product development process. Beyond the key elements of usability, aesthetics, and manufacturability that should be considered in all products, character and theme can dramatically impact the success of toy.

Form Follows Function

Ever heard of the phrase form follows function? In many toys, form and storytelling inspires function. When you are designing something playful, you want a look and feel that inspires imagination. 

Applying a character or a story can make a feature come to life. The ridges on an alligator’s back can become a toy xylophone, sections of a turtle shell become buttons, a play mat with simple features can be a jungle where the toys facilitate a story. 

Toys evoke an emotional response in us, nostalgia, excitement, curiosity. The right story will create a memorable toy and experience.

Toy Design & Prototyping
Designed by Sarah Brand for Kids II. Sarah is now a senior designer at D2M.

Unique Character Design

A unique character style can also define a brand, so your product line is instantly recognizable. The company Skip Hop does this very well. Battat Toys in Canada does this with a unique and specific colour palette. Colour and style should not be an afterthought, it should be engrained in the brand and be thoughtful to the age category and type of toy.

Character development can be very subjective, and what children and parents will be drawn to will vary greatly depending on age. Knowing your market and the feel of your brand will make a big difference. If you are breaking into a crowded market, a thoughtful and unique take on character can make you stand out. Market research surveys on style can help give confidence in your choices and steer you towards appealing look.

how to produce a product

Do you have an innovative toy product idea?

We’ve worked with a number of clients to bring innovative toy products to the market. 

Do get in touch if you have a toy project or any type, we’d love to hear about it! If you would like to carry on reading more about designing toy products click here. 

If you’ve got a project for a toy product but don’t know how to go about developing it, contact us today and we can arrange a call to discuss it. 

Do you want to discuss a toy project?

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