Toymakers create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition made of various materials such as plastic, wood and textile. They develop, design and sketch the object, select the materials and cut, shape and process the materials as necessary and apply finishes. In addition, toymakers maintain and repair all types of toys, including mechanical ones. They identify defects in toys, replace damaged parts and restore their functionality.
The following job titles also refer to toymaker:
metal toy maker
soft toy maker
hand toy maker
play thing repairer
plastic toy maker
electric toy repairman
craft toy maker
maker of toys
electric toy repairer
Although the manufacture of toys is typically classed as a low-risk profession, those candidates who choose to become employees of larger toy makers tend to be exposed to higher risk manufacturing processes, such as the use of pattern cutters and stitching machines.
A high school diploma is generally required to work as a toymaker.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Toymaker is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Toymaker career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to toymaker.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of toymaker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of toymaker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of toymaker.
- Woodworking processes: Steps in the processing of wood for the manufacturing of wooden articles and types of machines used for these processes such as drying, shaping, assembling and surface finishing.
- Toys and games categories: Categories and age limits of games and toys.
- Woodworking tools: The various tools used to process wood, such as planers, chisels and lathes.
- Sanding techniques: The various sanding techniques (such as gang sanding), as well as the different sanding papers necessary for which surface.
- Toys and games safety recommendations: Safety instructions of games and toys, according to the materials they are composed of.
- Types of toy materials: Field of information which distinguishes the nature and different types of toy materials, such as wood, glass, plastic, steel, etc.
- Types of brushes: Tools with bristles used for a wide variety of purposes such as cleaning, painting, putting on make up and grooming hair. Materials used for bristles include animal hair, synthetic fibers and plastic. Various shapes exist such as cylindrical brushes and twisted-in wire brushes for cleaning brushes, and flat, round or mop for painting brushes.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of toymaker.
- Maintain records of maintenance interventions: Keep written records of all repairs and maintenance interventions undertaken, including information on the parts and materials used, etc.
- Repair toys: Replace or fabricate parts of toys, from all kinds of materials. Order these from different manufacturers and suppliers or several kinds of stores.
- Maintain equipment: Regularly inspect and perform all required activities to maintain the equipment in functional order prior or after its use.
- Use repair manuals: Apply the information, such as periodic maintenance charts, step by step repair instructions, troubleshooting information and overhaul procedures to perform routine maintenance and repairs.
- Pack goods: Pack different kinds of goods such as finished manufactured products or goods in use. Pack goods by hand in boxes, bags and other types of containers.
- Ensure quality of final product: Ensure that finished products meet or exceed company specifications.
- Maintain customer service: Keep the highest possible customer service and make sure that the customer service is at all times performed in a professional way. Help customers or participants feel at ease and support special requirements.
- Operate battery test equipment: Operate equipment used for battery testing, such as a soldering iron, a battery tester, or a multimeter. Detect flaws affecting the battery’s performance, test the battery’s capacity for accumulating charge, or test its voltage output.
- Estimate restoration costs: Estimate the cost implications of restoring and replacing products or parts.
- Extract products from moulds: Remove finished products from moulds and examine them in detail for anomalies.
- Replace defect components: Remove defective parts and replace them with functioning components.
- Apply a protective layer: Apply a layer of protective solutions such as permethrine to protect the product from damage such as corrosion, fire or parasites, using a spray gun or paintbrush.
- Assemble toys: Fit body parts and accessories together using different tools and techniques depending on the toy materials such as gluing, welding, screwing or nailing.
- Use tools for toy repair: Utilise hand and power tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, hammers and mallets to repair toys.
- Operate sandblaster: Operate an abrasive blaster using sand to erode and smoothen a rough surface.
- Provide customer follow-up services: Register, follow-up, solve and respond to customer requests, complaints and after-sales services.
- Inspect toys and games for damage: Identify damage and cracks in games and toys in the store; take appropriate actions to remedy.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of toymaker. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Toys and games industry: Types of products available in the games and toys industry and of the major suppliers in the field.
- Textile materials: Have a good understanding of the properties of different textile materials.
- Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
- Types of plastic: Types of plastic materials and their chemical composition, physical properties, possible issues and usage cases.
- Adhesives: The categories, production and the chemical components of adhesives such as non-reactive adhesives (drying adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, contact adhesives and hot adhesives) and reactive adhesives (multi-part adhesives, one-part adhesives).
- Manual cutting processes for leather: Cutting rules, variance of the leather properties on its surface and elongation directions of the footwear pieces.
- Types of wood: Types of wood, such as birch, pine, poplar, mahogany, maple and tulipwood.
- Toys and games trends: Latest developments in the games and toys industry.
- Casting processes: The various practices used in the casting of metal, plastics and other cast materials, including mould filling, solidification, cooling, and others, all relating to varying approaches in case of different types of material.
- Metal smoothing technologies: The various technologies used for the smoothening, polishing and buffing of fabricated metal workpieces.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of toymaker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Finish plastic products: Finish the product by sanding, branding and polishing the plastic surface.
- Sew textile-based articles: Sew different products based on textiles and wearing apparel articles. Combine good hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and physical and mental stamina.
- Manage schedule of tasks: Maintain an overview of all the incoming tasks in order to prioritise the tasks, plan their execution, and integrate new tasks as they present themselves.
- Manipulate plastic: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of plastic.
- Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
- Mark designs on metal pieces: Mark or engrave designs on metal pieces or pieces of jewellery, closely following design specifications.
- Assemble metal parts: Align and arrange steel and metal parts in order to assemble complete products; use the appropriate hand tools and gauges.
- Join metals: Join together pieces of metal using soldering and welding materials.
- Join wood elements: Bind wooden materials together using a variety of techniques and materials. Determine the optimal technique to join the elements, like stapling, nail, gluing or screwing. Determine the correct work order and make the joint.
- Operate welding equipment: Use welding equipment to melt and join together pieces of metal or steel; wear protective eyewear during the working process.
- Manage a small-to-medium business: Manage the organisational, financial and day-to-day operation of a small-to-medium enterprise.
- Manipulate metal: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of metal.
- Maintain plastic machinery: Maintain machinery and equipment for making plastic goods, to ensure that it is clean and in safe, working order. Perform routine maintenance on equipment and adjust when necessary, using hand and power tools.
- Maintain relationship with suppliers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with suppliers and service providers in order to establish a positive, profitable and enduring collaboration, co-operation and contract negotiation.
- Manipulate wood: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of wood.
- Assemble electronic units: Assemble and maintain electronic components and electronic circuits.
- Perform toys finishing: Put the finishing touches to toys such as painting details, adding embroideries or markings, mounting hair, eyes and teeth.
- Repair plastic machinery: Repair broken components or systems of machinery and equipment used for making plastic products or parts, using hand and power tools.
- Create smooth wood surface: Shave, plane and sand wood manually or automatically to produce a smooth surface.
- Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
- Ensure compliance with warranty contracts: Implement and monitor repairs and/or replacements by the supplier in compliance with warranty contracts.
- Operate handheld riveting equipment: Operate various kinds of tools and equipment used in riveting processes, such a pin hammer and a rivet set, handheld squeezers, a hammer and bucking bar, a pneumatic hammer, a rivet gun, and others.
- Demonstrate functionality of toys and games: Demonstrate to customers and their children the features and functionalities of games and toys.
- Maintain professional administration: File and organise professional administration documents comprehensively, keep customer records, fill in forms or log books and prepare documents about company-related matter.
- Operate plastic machinery: Operate machines and equipment used for creating plastic parts and products such as injection, extrusion, compression or blow moulding machines.
- Cut metal products: Operate cutting and measuring instruments in order to cut/shape pieces of metal into given dimensions.
- Use painting equipment: Use brushes, rollers, spray guns and other painting equipment in accordance with the work.
- Assemble plastic parts: Align and arrange plastic parts in order to assemble complete products, using the appropriate hand tools.
- Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
- Heat metals: Heat steel and metals in fire; adjust and regulate heat controls to reach appropriate pouring temperature.
- Negotiate supplier arrangements: Reach an agreement with the supplier upon technical, quantity, quality, price, conditions, storage, packaging, send-back and other requirements related to the purchasing and delivering process.
- Apply stitching techniques: Apply footwear and leather goods stitching techniques using the appropriate machines, needles, threads and other tools in order to obtain the required model and to comply with the sewing technical specifications.
- Cut textiles: Cut textiles fitting to customers’ desires and needs.
- Estimate restoration costs of antique items: Estimate the price of the restoration process of antique products taking into consideration the time required for restoration.
- Sell toys and games: Sell and provide information and advice on a wide range of toys and games, taking into account different age groups.
- Set up the controller of a machine: Set up and give commands to a machine by dispatching the appropriate data and input into the (computer) controller corresponding with the desired processed product.
- Stuff toys: Fill toys made of textile with mushy materials such as straw, cotton, synthetic fiber or wood wool.
- Issue sales invoices: Prepare the invoice of goods sold or services provided, containing individual prices, the total charge, and the terms. Complete order processing for orders received via telephone, fax and internet and calculate the customer’s final bill.
- Operate wood sawing equipment: Operate various machinery and equipment to cut wood in different sizes and shapes.
- Operate soldering equipment: Use soldering equipment, such as a soldering gun, a soldering torch or a gas-powered iron, to melt and join together pieces of metal or steel.
- Keep stock records: Keep written records of the amount of stock in storage, incoming and outgoing products required for the proper operation of services, repairs and maintenance tasks.
- Develop product design: Convert market requirements into product design and development.
ISCO group and title
7317 – Handicraft workers in wood, basketry and related materials