While most people acknowledge that technology is everywhere around us, there is no doubt that it is visible in some areas more than it is in others. The market for children’s toys is one of the most consistent in the world, and one where the consumer traditionally only gets to see, or has knowledge of, the finished article.
We explored the role technology has to play in the design and construction of toys, and how it leads to the pristinely packaged product we see on store shelves and on e-commerce sites on a daily basis.
Does it Exist?
The first use of technology is a somewhat obvious one, but when it comes to inventing a new toy, it is crucial to identify whether or not it already exists.
Can you imagine the frustration of coming up with an idea that you believe will revolutionise playtime for children around the world, only to find that such a product already exists and, actually, isn’t very spectacular?
Once developers know whether an idea is unique, they can move onto the fun stuff.
While initial designs may be drawn up on paper, powerful design software such as T-Splines is widely used by both professional and independent designers around the world to create the perfect image of their product.
Using such software, designers can come up with 3D designs featuring all of the attention to detail that will ultimately feature on the manufactured product. Any moving parts or special features can also be built into the design, so that a manufacturer can see a full ‘virtual reality’ mock-up of a toy prior to production.
Although there are some popular brands of toys that are handmade, the vast majority of modern products are mass-produced in warehouses so that high levels of global demand can be met.
Generally, the process will first see an initial prototype, or even a whole batch, produced so that the designers can gauge the quality and accuracy of the product against their design. This stage could also lead to the identification of flaws, or ideas for improving the toy, and start the whole process again from the design software stage.
Powerful machinery is used to mass-produce toys when final prototypes have been signed off, and ensure consistent high-quality as well as the repetitive production of all lines – you don’t see Barbie coming in all shapes and sizes, do you?
From the initial idea through design and production, technology has a huge role to play in the development of toys, despite consumers often only seeing the finished product.
This is an article has has been provied by the A Girl For All Time content writer; Kate Carson. Kate has always researched and focussed her career on gift ideas for girls such as dolls, novels, and keepsake books about the doll industry that are a throwback to the past.