How Dinosaur Toys Are Made

We have a lot of new dinosaur toys arriving in September 2019, but how do we choose which dinosaurs to make and where to make them?

Our Dinosaur toys all started with our knitted T Rex toy. The first design was an easy choice as the T Rex is definitely the dinosaur which most kids know. We chose green knitted fabric for our knitted T Rex because we wanted a bright colour, and we also knew that both boys and girls like dinosaurs so we didn’t want a colour which could be associated with either gender.

The T Rex was an instant success. This was really great because it meant we had the fun of moving to plan our full dinosaur toy range.

However expanding our dinosaur toy range was a little more difficult than the first dinosaur toy. We obviously wanted the better known dinosaurs but we also needed to keep the practicalities of toy safety in mind and what was possible to make as knitted toys certainly have their own distinct features. We knew that we wanted to keep the colours bright so that the range would appeal to kids of all ages, but picking the right colours for the dinosaur toys was more tricky than we could imagine.

How we make dinosaur toys is that we sketch out the dinosaur we are interested in making in to a toy including the size we want and the details such as embroidered eyes, brown stripes, red mouth etc. The magic happens when this 2D drawing is turned in to a 3D toy by our very clever production partners. We have been making dinosaur toys for almost 20 years and we still get a huge thrill the first time we see our sketches made in to a dinosaur toy.

Sometimes the toys instantly looks great but other times the design doesn’t work as a toy. We considered Velociraptors which were made so popular by Jurassic park but they just looked like a skinny T Rex when made in to a dinosaur toy, similarly the Allosaurus looked like a more sturdy T Rex so they were both ruled out.

The Stegosaurus has an instantly recognisable shape so he became our 2nd dinosaur toy, quickly followed by another popular and distinctive dinosaur, the Triceratops in bright red.

Funnily enough one of our most popular dinosaur toys, the Diplodocus, almost didn’t happen. We were looking at both the Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus, both dinosaurs with the familiar long necks, but following a trip to the Natural History Museum we decided that any range of dinosaur toys was just not a proper dinosaur range until it had a diplodocus toy in it.

 

At this point we were stumped. We really want our toys to appeal both as a soft toy and also to promote play which is why we look to animals which are fascinating to kids either because of their huge size, or their ferocity or their distinctive shape. We were struggling to find a dinosaur that kids would recognise and which had distinctive features so to avoid the problem we actually took a detour in to pre-historic mammals.. This led us to the Woolly Mammoth (huge!) and the Sabre Tooth Tiger (scary!) which were introduced together.

How we actually make the dinosaur toys is with knitted fabric which we cut to shape and sew to a pattern. This means that we can include a lot more detail than if we hand knitted them. We have some beautiful hand crochet, fair trade baby dinosaur toys and they have a distinctive chunky look and feel.

Machine knit fabric is finer and enables us to add the features that make our dinosaur toys so popular.

Now that we have established our knitted dinosaur toy range we are experimenting with different materials to use. Firstly, we introduced natural rubber dinosaurs which are ethical, practical and brilliant to use either as teethers or bath toys. Kids love them as much as our knitted dinosaur toys as they have all the same fun but they swim better!

 

Now we’ve got the hang of how to make popular dinosaurs we are going to spread our wings over the next couple of months, new dinosaurs and new materials are going to make this a roooaaaaringly good Xmas.

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