FIT's pioneering Toy Design program
celebrates 25 years

FIT's Toy Design BFA program -”the first of its kind in the world- has at its heart a respect for children and for play. That's why the program has been so successful, producing graduates who shape the industry, working on some of the world's most iconic toys as well as brand-new ones that will inspire generations to come.

About Judy Ellis

Judy Ellis is the founder and chair of the Toy Design program and is depicted here as a coloring-book character by Han-Yuan Yu, Illustration MFA '15, with some of FIT's alumni and current students' toys, products, and prototypes in her office. Ellis was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2013. Watch the video below to see the impact of the Toy Design program.

illustration of Judy Ellis surrounded by toys

Alumni Career Insights and Highlights

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As part of the process for developing a toy, each student creates a book
that tells a story and builds a world around their product's character.

  • It is a happy talent to know how to play.

    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Alice, burning with curiosity ... ran across the field after (the white rabbit), and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit hole under the hedge. In another moment, down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was going to get out again.

    - Lewis Carroll

  • It'™s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

    - John Wooden

  • A child loves his play, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.

    - Dr. Benjamin Spock

  • Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

    - Carl Sagan

  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    - Winston Churchill

  • The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.

    - Helen Keller

  • Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent, with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.

    - Henri Matisse

  • A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him.

    - Pablo Neruda

  • I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.

    - Louisa May Alcott

  • "œReal isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real."

    - Margery Williams

  • All grown ups were once children ... but only a few of them remember it.

    - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  • Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.

    - Joseph Campbell

  • One can be serious about the frivolous and frivolous about the serious.

    - Susan Sontag

  • You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

    - Plato

  • How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

    - Satchel Paige

  • Play is the royal road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance.

    - Joseph Chilton Pearce

  • Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

    - Benjamin Franklin

  • We don'™t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

    - George Bernard Shaw

  • Play is training for the unexpected.

    - Marc Bekoff

  • I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.

    - Dr. Seuss

  • Leap and the net will appear.

    - John Burroughs

  • "œThe mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled".

    - Plutarch

  • "the important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing"

    - Albert Einstein

  • We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create and dream.

    - Robert Coles

Share your favorite toy or moment #FITToyDesign25

Special Thanks

For supporting FIT's Toy Design Program's 25th Anniversary Event

Founder's Circle
Champion Benefactors Supporters Leader's Circle
  • Matthew Brady, Eyerus
  • Roseld Laguatan
  • Daniel Seifert,
    Hi-Fructose Magazine