Otis College Toy Design students and faculty participated in the recent Toy Fair at the Javits Center in New York City earlier this month. Student work including senior projects, artwork, and plushies was displayed, alongside resumes, in a dedicated gallery space at the venue. In addition, Toy Design Chair Jennifer Caveza delivered a keynote at a meeting of the Toy Fair Student Congress. Otis students were given exclusive showroom tours by Jazwares, Moose, Crayola, Aurora, TY, Basic Fun, Bandai, and Playmates Toys. To cap off the experience, students attended the Toy of the Year Awards ceremony, and two of Otis’s three Women in Toy scholarship recipients got to attend the Women in Toy Wonder Women Awards.
“I’d dreamt of attending Toy Fair for the past decade and my first venture was everything I hoped for.” —Otis College Toy Design student
Owned and operated by The Toy Association, Toy Fair is the world’s largest and most comprehensive play-focused trade event. Connecting key players in business development and sourcing, attendees include manufacturers, retailers, media, sales representatives, licensors, inventors, designers, financial professionals, and more. Featuring thousands of new and unique toys, games, edutainment, entertainment-driven experiences, and more from around the world, Toy Fair offers attendees a competitive edge no other trade event can match. In all, 18 BFA Toy Design students traveled to the Toy Fair as part of the Toy Association’s support of the department, which gives Otis students complimentary memberships in the association so that they may take advantage of industry networking and other professional development opportunities. One display, presented by University Games, featured new products that were designed by Otis students during their University Games-sponsored class and are now being produced and sold.
“We are thrilled to highlight the work of our talented students from Otis Toy Design,” Caveza said. “After all, these emerging designers are our future, so it’s wonderful to introduce them to our industry during Toy Fair.”
“Things I worked on during my internship were on display. It was very exciting to see them.” —Otis College Toy Design student
Otis College offers one of the world’s only four‐year Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Toy Design. Guided by renowned toy and entertainment experts, the curriculum encompasses toy creation and market integration. During the program, students learn skills across a variety of disciplines, including concepting, sketching, rendering, 3D modeling, child psychology, and more, plus a holistic understanding of product safety, sustainability, and manufacturing. Situated near industry giants, the college provides an unparalleled launching pad for emerging designers. Summer internships frequently lead to employment opportunities, and graduates depart with distinctive portfolios that position them for impactful careers.
“At Toy Fair, we take great pride in fostering an environment where students and aspiring toy industry professionals can showcase their innovative work and forge meaningful connections,” said Kimberly Carcone, executive vice president, global market events at The Toy Association. “We believe in the power of collaboration and are dedicated to providing a platform that nurtures the growth of these talented individuals while enriching the broader toy community.”
“Seeing the displays gave me great ideas for my senior show.” —Otis College Toy Design student
“Listening to how people presented gave me ideas on the best ways to pitch my products and ideas.” —Otis College Toy Design student
All photos courtesy of Joyce Mesch/Otis College of Art and Design.