Toyful Wisdom: Top 20 Quotations from Legendary Toy and Game Designers of the Past 20 Years

by Don Wilder | 30 Mar 2023

The Bloom Report

Greetings, my fellow POP toy aficionados! Today, we pay homage to the visionaries who have graced our world with their plaything prowess. Join me as we dive into a treasure trove of toyful wisdom: the top 20 quotations from prominent toy and game designers and inventors of the past 20 years. Just like a finely crafted puzzle, each quote is a piece that, when put together, forms a beautiful picture of the playtime landscape.


  1. "Play is the highest form of research." - Albert Einstein
    While not a toy designer per se, Einstein's words remind us of the profound importance of play. It's through the toys and games crafted by brilliant designers that we all get to explore, learn, and grow.

  2. "The best toys don't come with instructions." - Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits
    Ah, the sweet taste of discovery! Bdeir's electronic building blocks encourage open-ended play, fostering creativity and curiosity. With littleBits, the only limit is your imagination.

  3. "My goal is to create a system where kids are empowered to be the creators of their own play experiences." - Ian Bernstein, co-founder of Sphero
    Bernstein's vision of kid-led play experiences has come to life through Sphero, the robotic ball that kids can control and program, forging their own adventures.

  4. "Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas." - Charles Eames
    Eames, one half of the legendary design duo, highlights the importance of toys and games as building blocks for our understanding of the world. Who knew that something as simple as a spinning top could pave the way for grand ideas?

  5. "A toy has no gender and no idea of whether a girl or boy is playing with it." - Andrea Barthello, co-founder of ThinkFun
    Barthello's words remind us that toys are for everyone, transcending gender and societal norms. With games like Rush Hour and Gravity Maze, ThinkFun challenges us all to think, well, fun!

  6. "As a game designer, I'm always trying to create a magic circle of wonder and possibility." - Brenda Romero, renowned game designer
    Romero's enchanting approach to game design has led to creations like Train and The Mechanic is the Message, captivating players and sparking important conversations.

  7. "I want to create toys that are open to interpretation, that encourage kids to create their own narratives." - David Horvath, co-creator of Uglydolls
    Horvath's quirky Uglydolls remind us that there's beauty in the unconventional and that our stories are as unique as the toys we play with.

  8. "Toys should be like good books—once you've played with them, you'll always remember them." - Cas Holman, toy designer and creator of Rigamajig
    Holman's philosophy is evident in Rigamajig, a large-scale building kit that sparks creativity and collaboration, leaving a lasting impression on all who play with it.

  9. "It's through play that we find our own identity and voice." - Tim Walsh, toy historian and inventor of the board game Blurt!
    Walsh's Blurt!
    , a fast-paced game of word recall, helps us find our voices, quite literally, in the chaotic world of wordplay.

  10. "A great toy should be 10% toy and 90% child." - Jesse Schell, author of The Art of Game Design
    Schell's wise words remind us that the true magic of toys lies in the hands and minds of the children who bring them to life.

  11. "Designing a toy is like composing a symphony, you want each element to harmonize with the others to create an unforgettable experience." - Will Wright, creator of The Sims
    Wright's groundbreaking game, The Sims, epitomizes this harmony, weaving together gameplay, storytelling, and creativity to form a symphony of digital delight.

  12. "Toys have the power to bring people together, bridging the gap between generations." - Reuben Klamer, inventor of The Game of Life
    Klamer's Game of Life has indeed brought families together for decades, proving that sometimes, the simplest of games can forge the most profound connections.

  13. "A good game is like a good conversation: engaging, stimulating, and memorable." - Jane McGonigal, game designer and author
    McGonigal's innovative games, such as SuperBetter and World Without Oil, challenge our perspectives and inspire us to think critically about the world around us.

  14. "The best games are those that teach us something new about ourselves and the world we live in." - Klaus Teuber, creator of Settlers of Catan
    Teuber's Settlers of Catan, a game that has brought countless players together in pursuit of virtual victory, encourages strategy, collaboration, and perhaps even a little friendly rivalry.

  15. "In play, we can be whoever we want to be." - Eric Lang, prolific board game designer
    Lang's diverse range of board games, from Blood Rage to Marvel Champions, offers players the chance to explore countless characters and universes, igniting our imaginations.

  16. "When you design a toy, you're designing an experience, a memory that will last a lifetime." - Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel and creator of Barbie
    Handler's iconic Barbie has inspired generations of children, providing them with an outlet for creativity, self-expression, and storytelling.

  17. "Toys are the building blocks of our imaginations, so let's make sure they're as diverse and limitless as our dreams." - Debbie Sterling, founder of GoldieBlox
    Sterling's GoldieBlox toys, with their focus on encouraging young girls to explore STEM fields, have broken down barriers and expanded the horizons of countless future engineers and builders.

  18. "Good toys are ambassadors of joy, bringing smiles to faces and uniting people in play." - Jerry Storch, former CEO of Toys "R" Us
    Storch's words capture the essence of what makes toys and games so special: their ability to bring happiness, foster connections, and create lifelong memories.

  19. "Toys don't define us, but they can help us discover who we are." - Alex Fleetwood, founder of Sensible Object
    Fleetwood's innovative creations, like Beasts of Balance and Fabulous Beasts, challenge our skills, test our limits, and inspire us to grow, both as players and as individuals.

  20. "When we play, we unlock our inner child, and when we design toys and games, we have the chance to make the world a more playful place." - Jesse Schell, author of The Art of Game Design
    Once again, Schell's wisdom reminds us of the power of play and the importance of the designers and inventors who bring toys and games to life.

And there you have it, my fellow toy-lovers: 20 nuggets of toyful wisdom from the legends who have shaped the landscape of play over the past two decades. As we revel in their words, let us remember that toys and games hold a special place in our hearts, awakening our imaginations, fostering connections, and teaching us about ourselves and the world around us.

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