Toy Design: Plush Teddy Bears

One of my regular clients is DecoPac, Inc., a local company that designs and manufactures many of the toys you find adorning the birthday cakes at your local grocery store bakery. Most of my work for them involves licensed properties (Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, etc.) but every once in a while I get to create something completely from scratch.

Last year they asked me to design a small plush teddy bear about six inches high, something cute and cuddly that could be decorated with various clothing and props to suit a number of themes (i.e. graduation, birth of a baby, etc.). The real challenge was to create something cute and appealing that was still a little different from the hundreds of teddy bear designs that already exist.

I started by doodling and brainstorming using small thumbnail sketches. Here’s a few of the initial ideas I submitted:

After some discussion and a few more sketches we finally settled on this design:

I also created versions based on four themes: Baby boy, baby girl, fairy bear, and graduation. Recently DecoPac sent me copies of the finished bears. Here’s how they turned out:

My daughters keep asking to play with them so I guess that means they were a success.