BFA in Toy Design

Otis College of Art and Design offers one of the only fully accredited four-year degrees in Toy Design in the world.

The Otis College BFA in Toy Design is an immersive program in which students learn to push boundaries, acquire industry experience, build technical skills across a range of categories, and gain an understanding of the evolution of toys from concept to consumer.

Toy Design at Otis

The Toy Design program develops creative skills and an understanding of the design process through an innovative curriculum led by faculty and guest mentors. With some of the world’s largest toy and entertainment companies just a few miles from campus, you’ll study at the center of a dynamic, multibillion-dollar industry. Many Otis students who intern at nearby companies go on to work for them after graduation and build thriving careers.

What You’ll Learn

Toy Design is a specialized major that prepares students to work across a broad range of toy categories—plush, preschool, dolls, action figures, and games, to name a few. To build the strongest possible foundation, we focus on a variety of skills such as:

  • Design Process
  • Ideation
  • Sketching, Rendering and Illustration
  • Prototyping 
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Pitching and Presenting
  • Business Practices
  • Child Psychology

With an added understanding of product safety, sustainability, packaging, materials, and manufacturing, Toy Design graduates gain an in-depth understanding of the evolution of a toy from concept to consumer.

Program Curriculum

How You’ll Grow

During your Foundation year at Otis you will dive deep into areas that will strengthen your skills and expand your understanding of art and design. These are just a few examples:

Student toy design

Contemporary Issues

Topics in art, design, film, and culture from 1960 to the present

Student toy design

Ways of Knowing

The role narrative plays in shaping our understanding of diverse personal and collective identities

Student toy design

Birth of the Modern

How social and cultural changes in the modern world impact art and other forms of cultural production

Student toy design

Math Elective

Connections between math and art in two and three dimensions

Student Work

Career Possibilities

A major city has major advantages. Los Angeles is home to a long list of prominent companies with toy departments or divisions, many of which offer internships that can jumpstart your career. The Toy Design program’s hands-on curriculum will help you build a portfolio that showcases your innovative ideas and technical skills across a wide range of categories.

Toy Design graduates have gone on to work at the following companies, among others:

  • American Girl
  • Aurora
  • Bandai
  • Basic Fun
  • Big Monster Toys
  • Danu
  • Disney
  • Educational Insights 
  • Far Out Toys
  • Fisher-Price
  • Funko
  • Funrise
  • Hape
  • Hasbro
  • Hot Buttered Elves
  • Imperial Toys
  • Jada
  • JAKKS Pacific
  • Jazwares
  • JMP Creative
  • Just Play
  • Kids II
  • Lanard
  • Lego
  • Mattel
  • MGA Entertainment
  • Moose Toys
  • NBC Universal
  • North American Pet
  • Phat Mojo
  • Playhut
  • Playmates
  • Skyrocket
  • Spin Master
  • Strottman
  • Wham-O
  • Wild Planet
  • Zuru

Toy Design Alumni Stories

Some of our graduates choose to work at small companies or for themselves. Others join the world’s largest franchises and brands, including major animation studios.

Daphne Yap, Movie Concept Artist

James Cameron credits Daphne with creating the dazzling, textured look of the creatures in the Avatar film.


Student working in Otis shops

Otis Labs and Shops

Our on-campus facilities offer cutting-edge equipment to transform your unique concepts into design prototypes.On-site experts staff the wood and metal shop, model shop, printmaking lab, sculpture studio, ceramics studio, and much more.


Toy Design Faculty

Otis College faculty are nurturing mentors who are also respected professionals within the toy and entertainment industries.

Jennifer Caveza portrait

Jennifer Caveza

Chair, Toy Design and Product Design

Department: Toy Design, Product Design

Joyce Mesch’s Picture

Joyce Mesch

Assistant Chair and Professor

Department: Toy Design

View All Faculty

Contact Us

Wherever you are in your college search, we want to meet you! Our counselors are here to answer your questions about Otis College and help you with the application process.

Phone: 310-665-6820
SMS: 323-870-6820

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