Week 6: Interactivity and Extras


It may seem strange that we recommend little to no interactivity for our art toys.  But here are a few examples of what (little) interactivity has been added to art toys.

Alexander Calder – Circus


Artists to Watch

Andrew Bell
Refreshment Toy

Things I Saw This Week

Falling Apart Show
Five Points
New York Comic Con
David Weeks Studio Cubebot Prototypes


Toys are interactive by nature, but there isn’t much “interactivity” in the art toy world.  These toys aren’t even meant to be played with.

The most popular forms of interactivity seem to be very subtle interactivity.

SparkFun MicroView


There is little technology found in most art toys.  Rarely even lights.



Custom Electronics

Custom electronics are usually found in one-off’s or small runs.  Rarely in high runs of art toys.

View this post on Instagram

Meet iDunny and his pal Puck. A 3” Custom Dunny and Labbit set based on the original Bondi Blue iMac and its mouse. ➡️ scroll for more pics, vids and how he reacts when the lights are out 💤 This is a one-of-a-kind prototype, and may be for sale at some point, still figuring out details on making a small run of these guys (probably with less or no electronics to keep price down), so lemme know if you’d have interest in one. Thanks to @mrbruceyan for some pixel-pushing on the face and for staying on my case to finish this as it has been in progress forever. #idunny #customizedifferent #dunny #kidrobot #apple #imac #fanboy #labbit #customtoy #thinkdifferent #sorrynobeige #designertoy #doublenerd #bondi

A post shared by J(ason) Fo(rbes) (@the_jfo) on


TV Moong by Taezoo Park

TV Moong




Making things move is always challenging.  If you’re going to make your art toys move, I advise keeping the movements “small”.

Waving Lucky Cat, simple battery powered (or solar powered) arm movement.

Plastic waving Lucky Cat figure

A vibrating motor can create a shaking or wobbling motion, like Wobble Bot.


Simple internal mechanisms can be used.


Wind Up


Windup toy mechanism

Windup toy mechanism

The mechanisms can be involved, but the movements should be contained.

Seven Basic Exercises – Juan Pablo Cambariere


Glow in the dark

Glow in the dark effects can come from the paint, the material, or a powder added to resins.



Pose-ability can be a desirable quality for an art toy, add to the “shelf-appeal”.

Ball and Socket Joints

Magnetic Joints

Toy with magnetic joints

Machine Beast with magnetic joints

Articulated figure disassembled into many pieces
Action Figure Toronto has taken apart an off the shelf articulated toy, so many parts

Action Figure Toronto creates custom pieces, he usually starts by taking apart articulated figures.


Lenticular Stickers

“Printed images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.” – via




Wind up Spark Dino toy

Spark Dino


Smoke Effects

eCigarettes make great smoke effects.


QR Code




Other Common Toy Gimmicks

Color Changing Material



You can always add more to your toys.

Pins – PinMart, The/Studio
Stickers – Sticker Mule
Patches – The/Studio, Patches4Less
How To’s – Joe Ledbetter, Build Pumpkin Pi Bots, How to Manufacture Your Own Designer Toy




Finals are due next week.  You will all present your final 4 toys, your packaging, mockups, prototypes, drawings, etc.  Present anything and everything that tells the story of your project.

You will speak for 5-7 minutes and take questions and feedback from the class.


Related Reading/Viewing

Adding Smoke and Sound to Toys