Why we’ve launched Mojo Nation
Hello and welcome to Mojo Nation. We’re a body for toy and game creators of all levels, from design students and one-man bands to R&D teams within toy firms or anyone with an idea.
There are three key aspects to what we’re all about:
- Celebrating the achievements of the toy and game design community.
- Bolstering opportunities for toy and game inventors.
- Helping new blood break into the toy and games space, be it design graduates or creators from other industries that can apply their skills to this sector.
The toy and game design community is a thriving hub of creativity.
Whether it’s in-house talent at toy companies of all sizes and specialities, freelance designers or teams of innovators at inventor agencies, these inventors are backbone of the industry.
And while other industries like film, TV, art or video games are incredible at celebrating the achievements of its creative communities, the world of toys and games has so far lagged behind.
D&AD looks after creative sparks in the advertising space; UKIE, Games London’s London Games Festival and titles like Develop have ensured that everyone knows about the incredible work being done by video games designers; BAFTA regularly celebrates and unites the creative underbelly of film and TV (a sector whose creatives – be it actors, writers, directors or producers – are already positioned front and centre).
Is that down to a wider view that toy design is an industrial pursuit rather than a creative one? Is it a result of most PR in this sector being understandably centred on the products themselves rather than the creators and the design process behind them? Who knows, but toy and game creators are an incredibly passionate bunch, and their stories, and the tales behind their creations, are well worth telling.
So we’re here to celebrate the achievements of this community, shout about what they’re up to and lift the lid on the creative process behind everything from the latest hit pre-school toy to games making waves in the tabletop space.
WHETHER IT’S IN-HOUSE TALENT AT TOY COMPANIES OF ALL SIZES AND SPECIALITIES, FREELANCE DESIGNERS OR TEAMS OF INNOVATORS AT INVENTOR AGENCIES, THESE INVENTORS ARE BACKBONE OF THE INDUSTRY.
How are we doing this? Via our news site, brimming with stories, opinion pieces, interviews and features centred around creators and tailored for our readership of designers (and anyone interested in the creative process behind toys and games) as well as via speakers talking to our members at conferences and special events, like our Play Creators Festival – but more on that below.
Speaking of events, this forms our primary means of expanding opportunities for toy and game designers and uniting this community on a regular basis. Mojo Nation members get access to a wide range of exclusive networking events, pitching days and design challenges. Our main event for this year is the Play Creators Festival. This three day event brings together some of the brightest design talent to share ideas, give advice and help toy and games firms of all sizes and specialities uncover their next hit product.
The first day of the festival takes the form of a conference focused on creativity, innovation and design with a range of exciting panels and keynotes from the talent behind some of the industry’s most iconic creations. The second day hosts a Student Design Challenge and the Mojo Pitch event, which sees delegates pitch their toy and board game concepts to inventor relations gurus from a range of companies, all searching for their new major product launch.
The third day of the festival plays host to the Play Innovation Summit, a one-day conference that brings together experts working across sector shifting disciplines such as Video Games, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Virtual Reality and 3D Printing to look at how emerging technology is set to shape the toys and games of the future, and change the ways in which kids (and big kids) play.
And the Festival’s Student Design Challenge forms just one part of how we aim to help new blood break into the toy and games space. Our Pitching Day will give anyone, regardless of experience, the opportunity to pitch their concepts to toy and games companies, and we’ve got tonnes going on for students who sign up to become a member of Mojo Nation through their university.
There are waves of brilliant toy design talent going into other industries because the connections between education and industry just aren’t there in our sector. We aim to change that.
All of our university members benefit from student rates to all of our events, and we even pair them up with our toy company members for year-long initiatives spanning graduate schemes, work placements, industry days and design challenges. It’s a win-win – toy firms and design agencies get exciting new talent to work with and universities benefit from being able to give students hands on experience, advice and job opportunities.
The same applies for firms working on what currently seem to be the fringes of the toy space. Toy Fairs and most industry get-togethers don’t properly reflect the growing number of tech firms doing really exciting things in the toy, game and general play space, so we’re doing all we can to show off the tech toy innovators, bring them into the industry more and give them opportunities to network and familiarise themselves with the wider toy industry so it becomes a true reflection of what’s out there.
So that’s Mojo Nation, in a rather bloated nutshell.
Whether a toy design stalwart, a product design student or a toy/game industry outsider looking for a route in, we’re here to champion the industry’s creative backbone and ensure the greatest play ideas don’t just stay ideas.
For more on becoming a member, click here.
Or if you’d just like a chat about what we can do for you, press enquires or to work with our community on an event, email firstname.lastname@example.org