2.00B | Spring 2008 | Undergraduate

Toy Product Design


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Labs: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


Toy Product Design is a MIT Public Service Center learning design course offered in the Spring semester. This course is an introduction to the product design process with a focus on designing for play and entertainment. At the end of the course, students present their toy products at the Playsentations to toy designers, engineers, elementary school children and the MIT community.

In this course, students work in small teams of 5-6 members to design and prototype new toys. Students work closely with a local sponsor and experienced mentors on a themed toy design project. Students will be introduced to the product development process, including: determining customer needs; brainstorming; estimation; sketching; sketch modeling; concept development; design aesthetics; detailed design; prototyping; and written, visual, and oral communication.

For additional information about this course, see the 2.00B Web site .

Almost Required Readings

McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York, NY: Harper Paperbacks, 1994. ISBN: 9780060976255.

Norman, Donald. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Every Day Things. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2005. ISBN: 9780465051366.

Ulrich, Karl T., and Steven D. Eppinger. Product Design and Development. 3rd ed. Boston, Mass: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2003. ISBN: 9780072471465.

Suggested Readings

Ashby, Michael, and Kara Johnson. Materials and Design: The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002. ISBN: 9780750655545.

Sutton-Smith, Brian. Toys as Culture. New York, NY: Gardner Press, 1986. ISBN: 9780898761054.

Bee, Helen L., and Denise Roberts Boyd. The Developing Child. 10th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2003. ISBN: 9780205340989.


There will be one lab instructor and one mentor assigned to each lab section. Lab instructors are professors or graduate students that have a strong background in product design. Mentors are undergraduates who have previously taken Toy Product Design and have shown great interest and skill in the subject.


Individual lab instructors assign the grades for all students in their section. Instructors collaborate to ensure that there is equitable grading between lab sections. Half of the total grade is based on individual work and the other half is based on teamwork. Class and lab participation grades are based on both attendance and quality of in-class activity.

Class participation (Individual) 15%
Lab participation (Individual) 15%
Brainstorming assignment (Individual) 5%
Idea presentation (Team) 5%
Individual sketch model (Individual) 5%
Team sketch models (Team) 10%
Final presentation (Team) 15%
Final prototype (Team) 20%
Design journal (Individual) 10%


The calendar below provides information on the course’s lecture (L) and lab (Lab) sessions.

Week 1
L1 Toys and course overview
Week 2
L2 Play
L3 Brainstorming and innovation
Lab 1 Hasbro design and engineering tour
Week 3
L4 Theme presentation
L5 Site visit
Lab 2 Team brainstorm
Week 4
L6 Sketching and industrial design drawing
L7 Graphic design and visual information
Lab 3 Concept selection and poster design
Week 5
L8 Finalizing posters
L9 Idea presentation
Lab 4 Shop safety
Week 6
L10 Sketch model techniques
L11 Pull toy completion or planning
Lab 5 Sketch model construction
Week 7
L12 Estimation
L13 Sketch models
Lab 6 Individual sketch model presentations
Week 8
L14 Design aesthetic
L15 Interactive narrative and games
Lab 7 Sketch model 2.0 construction
Week 9
L16 Plastic
L17 Plastic (cont.)
Lab 8 Sketch model 2.0 construction
Week 10
L18 Design consulting
L19 Design consulting (cont.)
Lab 9 Prototyping
Week 11
L20 Design for manufacture
L21 Prototyping
Week 12
L22 Designing presentations
L23 Designing presentations (cont.)
Lab 10 Prototyping (cont.)
Week 13
L24 Presentation prep
L25 Presentation prep (cont.)
Lab 11 Presentation prep
Week 14
L26 Presentation review
L27 Practice presentations
Lab 12 Final playsentations