Why Do We Choose a Career in Toys?

Why do people make a career out of toys? What causes grown adults, males, and females, to choose a profession so associated with childhood?

I think there are several reasons:

  • Some simply want a career, and any industry will do. They are indifferent about toys, shrug their shoulders, and keep at it. I don't think there are too many who choose toys for that reason.
  • Some are legacy members of the industry. Their parents and grandparents were in the business. 
  • Some have always loved toys and want to work with them.
  • Others and I think these folks make up the majority, want careers and prefer to work with a fun product category.
  • The rest end up in the toy business due to luck, and they stay

I think its an interesting question because to so many people, working in play much less getting a job with a toy company is a mystery. How many times have you mentioned to someone what you do for a living and had them reply with this response: "How did you do that?" I believe that we and circus people are the only ones who get that question.

And that's a problem.

Most college graduates never think of working with toys because it never occurs to them. The toy business seems exotic and unattainable. They instead choose the sexy industries that lurk in and around Silicon Valley in California and Silicon Alley in New York City.

We need to broaden the range of people who work with toys by actively marketing our industry to the best and brightest. We should, as an industry and as individual companies, be on campuses recruiting and encouraging.

Why did you choose the toy industry?

One thought

  1. I was a children’s artist, doing advertising and magazine art geared toward kids. I originally wanted to be a children’s book illustrator. Toys never entered my mind until I started freelancing for Mattel’s ad agency, and picked up a couple of jobs doing package illustration and puzzle art for a small LA toy company. When I landed my first “big job” at Mattel, and opted to be a product designer rather than a package illustrator, I realized immediately that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. 35 years later it’s still my dream job.

Leave a Reply