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MarcAnthony Smith molds his life in toy design

Senior+MarcAnthony+Smith+experiments+with+many+medias+in+order+to+craft+his+own+action+figures.+In+the+above%2C+two+are+molded%2C+two+are+3D+printed+using+a+specific+3D+Design+program+and+one+was+created+using+a+beading+technique%2C+of+which+he+made+up.+
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MarcAnthony Smith molds his life in toy design

Senior MarcAnthony Smith experiments with many medias in order to craft his own action figures. In the above, two are molded, two are 3D printed using a specific 3D Design program and one was created using a beading technique, of which he made up.

Senior MarcAnthony Smith experiments with many medias in order to craft his own action figures. In the above, two are molded, two are 3D printed using a specific 3D Design program and one was created using a beading technique, of which he made up.

Photos courtesy of MarcAnthony Smith, Graphic by Andrea Davenport

Senior MarcAnthony Smith experiments with many medias in order to craft his own action figures. In the above, two are molded, two are 3D printed using a specific 3D Design program and one was created using a beading technique, of which he made up.

Photos courtesy of MarcAnthony Smith, Graphic by Andrea Davenport

Photos courtesy of MarcAnthony Smith, Graphic by Andrea Davenport

Senior MarcAnthony Smith experiments with many medias in order to craft his own action figures. In the above, two are molded, two are 3D printed using a specific 3D Design program and one was created using a beading technique, of which he made up.

Andrea Davenport, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Trinkets, toys, tools, gadgets, games, doo-dads — toy design is the center of children’s, teens’ and adults’ family-fun memories. Friends crowding on the floor, giggling and cheering; family members sitting around the table with jokingly serious expressions plastered on their faces.

But it’s not always fun and games.

Toy design is a cutthroat industry, one of which many people are unaware. Despite the failures the industry may produce, DGS senior MarcAnthony Smith will be attending Otis College of Art and Design with a major in toy design this fall.

“I’ve always loved toys. When I was little, I really liked action figures, and it’s kind of like, you know how a knight is like an extension of his sword? Action figures were mine. That was how I could show my own creativity. … It’s always had a big impact on me. When I was little, I would see things I didn’t like on action figures and think about what I could do to change them,” Smith said.

According to toy designer Burt Meyer, creator of LITE BRITE, ROCKEM SOCKEM ROBOTS, MOUSE TRAP and many more, the term “toy design” refers to the creation of an idea and its development into a marketable product.

“If someone wants to do this, they need to be a free thinker, constantly aware of the world around them and how people are responding to the everyday stuff affecting their lives,” Meyer said.

Until the second semester of his junior year, Smith was undecided about his college plans. For the last year, Smith has been taking more creative classes such as painting, 3-D design and animation in order to enlarge his knowledge on the creation of toys.

“I hope to just expand my creativity because I know right now, I’m hopefully one of the only people around Downers Grove who wants to be a toy designer. I have always thought of myself like, ‘oh this is so cool, it’s so unique,’ around here, but I know when I get to the college space, there [are] going to be so many other people that do the same thing as me,” Smith said.

Similar to Meyer, who worked at Marvin Glass & Associates, Smith plans to begin his career at a larger, major toy company; however, he feels he may want to sell his ideas to other toy companies and receive more recognition for the work he will be doing.

“I can see myself right when I get out of college, and maybe a little before, being at a large toy company and starting out there, and kind of get a feel of how it is, how my own creativity can expand and learn from other people. Then, probably, I’d have to make a decision at some point, I’m not sure how many years or months after that, decide if I want to stay with them or be someone who is solo and they can go to other toy companies and sell their ideas, because I know that if you’re at a company and you think of something, it’s not your idea, it’s the company’s idea, so you really can’t do much after that if you leave,” Smith said.

Meyer said that knowing he has contributed to people’s happiness has given him a satisfying life in the toy business. Smith hopes to follow in a similar direction and aims to bring smiles to children’s faces.

“I am just hoping to expand my knowledge and background on just every single toy, so that I can make something so cool and that every kid would want,” Smith said.

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MarcAnthony Smith molds his life in toy design