The reality of toy design is far from Geppetto’s world

As creative director of a toy design consultancy, I read Yolanda Zappaterra’s article on Kurt Naef with great interest (DW 22 June).


His approach to toy design is one that I am sure many in my field of design would love to be able to entertain. The reality, however, is a requirement to fulfil our clients’ needs for high-volume, high-margin product that meets all required safety standards, while also appealing to our market of infants to ten-year-old kids. We also need to create product design with proprietary features or mechanisms as we work on a fee and royalty basis.


A good example of this is a range of playset designs we created for Matchbox. We took the principles of a pop-up book and engineered them in injection-moulded plastic with steel hinge pins, which made the structures sturdy. This allows kids to take playsets with them when they go out.


Unlike Naef, we can’t compare ourselves to Geppetto from Pinoccio, but it is amazing how often we are compared to Tom Hanks in Big.


Lucas Tyler, Creative director, Evolve NPD, London SW8

Latest articles