Q&A with the Toy Creator. Ask you questions and have them answered live on Toy-Creator Mailbag! An exceprt from our first episode about making a custom board game for under 25 bucks!
Hey everyone and welcome to the very first edition of Toy-Creator Mailbag. Now, it has been a few months since we first launched the Toy-Creator program, and since then a bunch of people have signed up and we have started a great little community of toy creators right here on the Internet. Now, that's an awesome and exciting thing, and it's only going to mean that in the near future there is going to be a lot more fun and exciting toys from independent creators out there, for us all to purchase, collect, and even be inspired by. Now, as a member of the Toy-Creator community, feel free to ask away with any questions you may have relating to creating toys. I will pick the most popular questions and answer them right here in an episode of Toy-Creator Mailbag. But don't just stop with your questions, feel free to let me know what you guys want as creators. If you think something like a message board or may be member galleries to show up your works and progress would be helpful, just let me know. I really want to do the best I can to help you guys, and I am sure you guys wouldn't mind helping each other bring your creations to life. So with all that said, let's get down to answering some of your questions. Our first question comes from Nick Maz in Stony Brook, New York. He writes, Dear Toy-Creator, I am in the process of making a prototype for my own board game, do you know where I can get supplies to make a realistic folding game board like they use in real board games? Once I get it, what's the next step on making the actual board look cool? Great question Nick. If you remember our video on prototyping, one of the quick tips I gave was to cannibalize existing toys in order to help you with your first prototype. That meant taking existing toys and using different pieces and parts from it to help you with your project. Now, the same goes for your board game. I went out to a thrift store and picked up a copy of Monopoly for about $0.50. Now remember, for projects like these, it doesn't matter if it has all the pieces inside, so you can really stock up on supplies the next time you are at garage stores or at thrift stores, for just a few bucks. Now, I want you to have an existing game board. You are going to use the same specs and format that we used in our video about packaging. Just measure the game area with a ruler and input the exact measurements into a program like Photoshop or GIMP, along with the other settings from the packaging video and start designing your game board right on your computer. So once you have your new game board designed, save it onto a CD because you are going to want to bring it to an oversize printer. Try any office supply stores such as Staples, and for about $20 you can get your new game board printed on some nice glossy paper at full size. From there, you are going to take your new artwork, some sprayed pieces and old credit card and carefully apply it to the old game board. You are going to use your credit card to carefully smooth out any air bubbles that might pop up in the process. From there, you can make some customized gaming pieces out of clay or plastic, use existing dice, or print up some gaming cards right on your computer, and for under $25, you have got yourself a great looking prototype. Once you have perfected this technique for such low production costs, you can make customized games for friends, family. They make awesome gifts, or you could even start selling customized one of a kind games right on eBay.