Designer toys have been growing in popularity since the early 2000’s. Each artist has their own style and theme to their designs and you can quickly become addicted to collecting their work. It’s a hobby that can get pretty pricey when some toys can run you anywhere from $50 to $1000 or more! These designers are not just creating toys, but works of art. While they cost a pretty penny, these toys are well worth it. Here are five designers to keep an eye on.
Jason is probably best know for his anatomical toys that give you an inside look at Lego mini figures, Barbie, and Gummi Bears. He trained in Industrial Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY and started designing the surreal toys after the birth of his son. His stuff is a mixture of childhood innocence and whimsical science. I particularly love his Egg Head and Yolkel design. You can find prints and toys in his shop at https://jason-freeny.myshopify.com/.
Images Credit: Jason Freeny/DeviantArt
Amanda Visell has done animation work for The Simpsons and the feature film Elf. Many of her designs are inspired by vintage Walt Disney and remind me of images from the Little Golden Books I read as a child. I really adore that some of her toys are made out of wood and her “Sea Horse and Rider” series just screams little girl power! She is also a fantastic painter, by the way. You can pick up her figures at myswitcheroo.com
Images Credit: Amanda Visell
Bubi Au Yeung
Can we talk super cute for a second? Bubi Au Yeung’s figures are adorable. She is a designer out of Hong Kong who has been creating toys since 2005. Bubi has since published her first book Treeson and Other Stories which is based off of her popular yeti-like figure, Treeson. My favorite, as seen below, is “I Am Ok”. You just want to hug the little yellow fellow with the broken arm to make things better. You can find a bunch of Bubi Au Yeung’s figures on Amazon.
Images Credit: Bubi Au Yeung
Bruce Whistlecraft (A.K.A Doktor A)
Set your steampunk levels to maximum! Doktor A designs Victorian futurist toys jam packed with all the brass fittings you can handle. Living in the Yorkshire moors in the UK, Doktor A’s work has been shown all over the world. If you look at all of his works together, they begin to form a world all of their own, where steam powered robots have taken over. You can purchase his cog driven cephalopods and mechanical maidens at Doktor A’s Emporium.
Images Credit: Bruce Whistlecraft
Jordan Elise calls her line of crafted taxidermies, Horrible Adorables, and I have to say there is nothing horrible about them. Well, except, maybe the eyes. Why are they so realistic? Why are they following me? Anyway, each piece piece is hand crafted out of foam and covered in wool felt. She has designed for some big companies such as Hasbro, Little Tikes, and JoAnn Fabrics. You can buy her Horrible Adorables on her Etsy shop, but also make sure to check out her super cool fabrics featured on Spoonflower.
Images Credit: Jordan Elise
Who are your favorite toy creators? What kind of designer toys do you like? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image Credit: Mechtorians.com