Getting your foot in the door...

I am a graduating senior of industrial design. I will be graduating this December and my primary interest is toy design but I am willing to move into different fields. I was curious though, after talking with a local toy designer last year I was told its really hard to get in to the toy design field but once you’re in you should be fine. I had an interview and I am trying to work my connections the best I can… is there any advice that anyone has on how to get quality experience in difficult field?

It’s not particularly difficult to get into the toy industry, certainly not more difficult than getting into any other corner of ID. Since you’re a graduating senior, I would hope that you’ve had some internship experience - that is the best way for a student to do real-world design work and meet people to network with in the future.

If you don’t have any internship experience and you don’t have any luck landing a full-time job, you could try and get a summer internship at a company like Hasbro or Fisher Price even though you’ve graduated. That would basically be a 3-month job interview for you to prove yourself.

It also depends on what you want to do in the toy industry. Are you a mechanism/inventor type, or do you focus on character design and sketching? There are a lot of facets to it that would direct where you’d look for work. If you like mechanism work, maybe an invention house like Big Monster Toys would be what you’re looking for. If you like doing younger-age characters, focus on preschool brands, etc etc etc

oh, and polish up that portfolio. That’s what really matters. You could get a job with no experience if you have a great, focused portfolio.

Honestly, when I graduated, I don’t remember anyone asking me about experience or even glancing at my resume. It was the portfolio & sketchbooks they were interested in.