Toy Design meets Pedagogy in Technology

Toy Design Course Descriptions

Otis College of Art and Design

Students develop an understanding of the creative process of toy design. Emphasis is placed on developing toys which engage children in what is referred to in the toy industry as “play patterns.” Students apply skills in drawing, model making and fabrication to create original toys which engage children in imaginative play and shape developmental skills and decision-making, socialization and creativity. Students learn to conduct market research and analysis to insure that their designs are appropriate for the category of toys they are designing. Using various fabrication techniques, students will translate their idea into 3D models, and present the final products to faculty and visiting toy industry professionals.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) New York

TY 326 — Toy Design I and Product Rendering

3 credits; 6 lab hours

This introductory course explores the design of toys in multiple categories. Students' broaden their ability to visually communicate age-appropriate play patterns, safety requirements, and category expectations. From researching to hand-rendering, they develop original, professional quality toy concepts that use various tools and techniques. Co-Requisite(s): TY 352 and TY 327.

Redesigning a Toy Design Course

This paper presents how we redesigned a CAD and prototyping course at Purdue University in order to offer a better framework for design, creativity and engineer. The objective is to give students with a framework to increase their innovation and creativity while designing the toys, which in turn are their mean to apply their CAD skills

What about mashups

Theoretical / Philosophical Paper Published: 05 January 2017

Towards a Theory of Toys and Toy-Play

Alan Levinovitz 

  • The distinction between toys and games is built into grammar itself: one plays games but plays with toys. Although some thinkers have recognized the importance of the distinction, their insights are often contradictory and vague, and the word toy is used unsystematically to refer to a wide range of objects and associated play-activities. To remedy this problem a phenomenological approach to play could be helpful, but those that exist rarely discuss the difference between forms of play, instead using playfulness as ambiguous shorthand for freedom from rules. Beginning with Charles Baudelaire’s 1853 essay, “The Philosophy of Toys,” the author surveys and synthesizes various theories of toys to produce a detailed account of those objects that conduce to toy-play, focusing on insignificance as the defining phenomenological quality of toys. He then uses speech act theory to offer a definition of a toy—an invitation to play with its identity—and explores how the existence of such an invitation depends not only on the intrinsic qualities of the object of play, but also its context and the identity of the player.


  1. 1.One may, of course, play “with” many other things—the idea of going somewhere, for instance, or oneself. My argument is that in constructions where someone plays with something, the activity is more likely to resemble what I describe as toy-play than to resemble gameplay.
  2. 2.My understanding of toys as an intersection in time between subject, object, and context fits well with Gregory Bateson’s classic argument that play is not an activity but rather a frame (Bateson 1955). Unfortunately, exploring the connections between his account of my play and my account of toys is beyond the scope of what is being presented here.
  3. 3.Playing with a toy still falls within the larger context of a rule-governed world. I could say “You should not kill your friend with that toy,” because no object, toy or not, should be used for murder. The toy itself, however, does not contribute to that normative judgment.


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The Toy Theory Of Western History by M.E.D. Koenig

The "military is in reality simply a gigantic communal toy owning organization".


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