Toy Inventor

Cambridge, MA +2

IDEO’s Play Lab is looking for a talented designer to join our toy invention team. You’ll work closely with a skilled team of designers and engineers to dream up and bring toy concepts to life through prototyping. IDEO’s Play Lab creates innovative, fun, and engaging products and experiences with a focus on toys for kids. Show us your passion for toys and abilities to design and prototype them.

This role may be based in any one of our three US studios: Cambridge, Chicago, San Francisco (preference for SF), or remotely anywhere in the US or Canada. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a deadline of August 14, 2022, 5:00PM EST.

Check out some of our inventions and our instagram page:

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

We believe that play has the potential to connect with people at a deeper, emotional level that captivates, delights, and inspires. It has the power to inspire curiosity, enhance learning, and motivate positive behavior change.The IDEO Play Lab has brought toys and play experiences to kids around the world through partnership with Mattel, Hasbro, Fisher Price, Spinmaster, & Moose. We hone in on our expertise in play, play principles, game mechanics and storytelling, to create toys that sparks joy, laughter, curiosity, memories, and so much more.

Once here you will:

  • Join an experienced, interdisciplinary team of designers, engineers, design researchers
  • Generate new to-the-world toy ideas for kids 0-8 years old.
  • Tinker, explore, and validate toy concepts
  • Create high quality working prototypes
  • Solve complex mechanical challenges
  • Explore and push concepts further through sketching
  • Create engaging videos of prototypes and concepts
  • Grow your design skills
  • Have fun!

Relevant Experience and Mindsets:

  • A passion for toys and playful experiences
  • Experience in the toy and game industry
  • Understanding of how kids play
  • Ability to identify trends and translate them to toy concepts
  • Skills in sketching, hand prototyping, rapid prototyping, and CAD
  • Great communication and collaboration skills
  • Motivation, initiative, and attention to detail
  • An interest or knowledge of how things are made
  • A drive to improve your design and prototyping skills
  • Video making and editing skills


Submit a resume and a portfolio showing examples of your work and capabilities - Design projects, toy experience, mechanisms, electronics, sketching, personal projects, shop skills, etc. 


  • Include your answer to the following question in your cover letter (yes, we absolutely read them!)
  • If you could redesign a toy, what would it be, why should it be redesigned, how might you make it better?


IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

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