Designer war stories from China

C’mon guys, a lot of designers are now based in china, specially toy designers. let this thread be a place for us to share our 'war" stories.

To enlighten those who are still studying design to what they will be facing in the future…

I am based in teh mountains of north Carolina, My partner is in Austin Texas, our engineers are scattered around the globe, so are the Sculptors, Prototype developers
our parts are sourced globaly and all the tooling and production is done in china.

yes it is true that a lot of designers are based in china these days, It would be foolish for anyone to assume that you can oursorce everything BUT design
and creativity.
TOy development as with any industrial process is a global networked
process, most of teh big companiews are finding that these days you can contract a knowlegable team to handle all development by interfacign their marketign teams with a knowlegable, reliable and capable produuction studio
that is the way of the future…

war stories are fun but complaining about the challenges of workign with overseas vendors is not really productiove.
more than half our team is in asia and they are hands down some of the brightest, hardworkign artists, designers, engeneers that I have ever worked with. It is a collaboarative process and I love having them on board

now thye definitly have a different sense of style and design but that is where we all jam together.

Mr. Bigshottoyworks, I am happy that you feel happy and satisfied with your experiences with your vendors in China. But the point of this thread is not to put China in a bad light. It is to share the truth, coming from those who have experienced it. I am sure a lot of people have something to share or want to hear about this.

I am a toy designer. As much as I respect western ideals of doing business, and long to do it the western way ( giving credit where it is due, coming up with your own idea etc…)

Yes, I have met some incredible creative people in China, notably sculptors ( unbelieveble skills some of these people have ). Which brings me to my first war story…

Back when I was a Junior Designer, I worked for this really mean Taiwanese guy. At this point when I started working for him, a lot of his senior staff had just left, fed up by the abuse they were getting.
At this time there was a backlog of projects that were piling up and there was only one sculptor left to do pieces for licensed european properties.
One day he and some engineers were fooling around with battery acid ( dont even ask me why they were doing this…) and some of it got splashed on his eye! Dude, it was’t a pretty sight!
You know what made it worse? For some reason, he didnt go get medical treatment and for the next two weeks, He worked with pus dripping from his eye, moaning lke a zombie everyday etc!
He eventually lost his eye, but like my boss said, at least he finished his projects, though some of them had to be redone later on.

Hey I have been working in the toy industry for over 15 years
on various levels and in different capacities, from teh inventing D&D side, to sculpting and model making as well as marketing
I have stories that will pop your eyes out with bot the US and asian people

I just have been dealing with a lot of issues on the US "design " side past few weeks that really put me on the defensive
If I had learned anything from al this time it is that you get more long term value by being good,honest ,respectful and hard working…
it takes a while and you definitely have to watch your back at all times but it is definitely worth it in the long run


One of the best and most insightful stories is this one