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Bring your imagination! We’ll teach you the rest. Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) and The Chang School have joined forces with Spin Master, Shenkar College of Engineering, and Design and Art to offer the Course Series in Toy Invention, the first program of its kind in Canada. This unique learning opportunity will give creative people like you with a passion for toy invention the knowledge and skills needed to enter the professional toy market.
In collaboration with:
Classes for the Course Series in Toy Invention will be hosted by The Catalyst at FCAD.
Earn a Professional Development Award from The Chang School on successful completion of all courses in this series. Visit our “Course Series Requirements” section to learn more.
What Will You Learn?
Learn how to make your best toy ideas a reality. You’ll develop a set of skills and know-how to design, prototype, and test concepts for new toys. You'll also learn relevant aspects of professional toy invention, including inventive thinking, knowledge of the toy industry, and marketing. This program is highly experiential and project-based, and it will include in-studio learning as you progress through different stages of the toy concept development process.
At the conclusion of this course series, you will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:
- Describe the principles of toy invention and elements of gamification.
- Apply creative tools and methods to find novel ideas for toys.
- Prototype a toy concept.
- Conduct market research.
- Identify the relevant intellectual property protections required for a toy invention.
- Successfully communicate a new toy concept – verbally, in print, and in video.
Who Should Enrol?
If you're interested in toys and would like to create them in your spare time or as a new career, this program is designed for you. Our students come from a variety of diverse backgrounds, including – but not limited to – education, psychology, storytelling, design (industrial, graphic, etc.), engineering (mechanical, industrial, etc.), and other technology fields.
Who Teaches the Courses?
Paul Reynolds is a veteran toy designer and inventor with Spin Master, a Canadian global toy and entertainment company that has been designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing consumer products for children around the world since 1994. Over the past 15 years at Spin Master, he has led design teams in the creation of numerous new brands and innovative new products. Highlights include Pixos, Dr. Dreadful, Marshmallow, and Bunchems, which won him a coveted Toy of the Year Award. Paul has a passion for innovation and inventing toys that inspire children with a sense of awe and wonder. He has lectured and judged at many colleges, universities, and design competitions and is passionate about bringing the best out of others’ ideas.
Dr. Ma-Lorena Escandon-Quintanilla is an Assistant Professor for the School of Creative Industries at Ryerson University. Lorena is a creative animator and a consultant in innovation, creativity, and new product development. She studied Information Technology at the University of Monterrey in Mexico, earned a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship at Lund University in Sweden, and holds a PhD in Innovation Management from the École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal, Canada. In her research, she combined theories of idea generation with the use of information technologies – specifically, how to use data analytics to create innovative ideas. Her academic fields of expertise include innovation management, collaboration processes, and innovation tools and techniques. She is interested in helping individuals and teams identify areas of opportunity for innovation, facilitating collaboration, and knowledge dissemination.
Course Series Requirements
- Successful completion of 4 required courses
This course series is cohort-based; all participants will move through the completion of the four required courses as a group. You should be prepared to commit to completing the entire course series, which will take place over one academic year (Fall and Spring/Summer terms). CDTI 100 and CDTI 110 will take place in the Fall term, and CDTI 120 and CDTI 130 will take place in the Spring/Summer term. As this program is highly experiential and project-based, all courses will take place in person, on campus.
How To Apply
We are looking for creative, curious, open-minded participants who are willing to play, share, and work with others. The application process for this course series involves the following steps:
- Email a letter of interest (one page maximum) explaining why you want to participate in the program, along with your curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé, to Lorena Escandon, Academic Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your contact information.
- The program instructors will review your application and contact you to arrange an interview.
- Following the interview, selected applicants will be given an assignment to complete (instructions and timeline will be provided). The program instructors will review the assignment submissions and communicate the decision of acceptance to successful applicants.
- If you have been accepted into the program, enrol in the two Fall term courses (CDTI 100 and CDTI 110).
Applications will be accepted until the program capacity has been reached.
Spin Master is a leading global children’s entertainment company that creates, designs, manufactures, licenses, and markets a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products, and entertainment properties. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands including Zoomer®, Bakugan®, Erector® by Meccano®, Hatchimals®, Air Hogs,® and PAW Patrol®.
Since 2000, Spin Master has received 103 Toy of the Year (TOTY) nominations and 30 wins across a variety of product categories, including 13 TOTY nominations for Innovative Toy of the Year. To date, Spin Master has produced eight television series, including the recently re-launched Bakugan Battle Planet and current hit PAW Patrol, which is broadcast in over 160 countries and territories globally.
Spin Master has 28 offices and employs over 1,700 people globally in Canada, United States, Mexico, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and Australia.
Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art
Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art is a top-ranked public academy in Israel. It enjoys high acclaim among international academic and professional circles for the quality of its graduates and for the innovations that emerge from its laboratories. Shenkar’s goal is to foster an interdisciplinary environment where designers and engineers work together shaping the future of technologies.
Shenkar was founded in 1970 as a “College for Fashion and Textile Technology,” with the goal of providing a skilled workforce for the then-blooming Israeli textile industry. Shenkar has since expanded to represent all classic design and engineering disciplines within its six fully-fledged design and art departments and five engineering chairs, as well as its twelve specialized research centres.
Shenkar’s toy invention program started at its School for Continuing Education and Diploma Studies at 2013. Led by Tal Schreiber, the program has dozens of graduates; over 70% are now professional toy inventors. The program’s success led to internationalization of the program, accompanied by collaboration between academic centres around the world.
Toy Invention in the News
Check out these articles featuring our Course Series in Toy Invention.
Not child’s play: The serious innovation behind toy making (The Conversation Canada, December 12, 2019)
Questions? Contact Lorena Escandon, Academic Coordinator.
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 543455