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Meet Torrance Toy Designer: Jeff Aguilar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Aguilar.

Jeff, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was little, I love toys like every other kid. I was into Power Rangers when I was little, even doodling them during class. I eventually came up with my own version of Power Rangers, designing their costumes and their robots. I even figured out how exactly the robots combine together. That was the start of having an interest in designing toys.

My design career started as an intern in a small interior design firm, designing retail spaces for clients such as Build-A-Bear Workshop. I finally reached my goal of being a toy designer when I landed a job at Mattel. As of now, I designed toys for multiple brands, such as Hot Wheels, DinoTrux, and DC Superhero Girls.

Has it been a smooth road?
At first, I wasn’t sure of pursuing a career in toy design. I worried about standing out from the sea of talented designers. But as I continued the path of being a toy designer, I valued competition as a way to see what my strengths are, and what I need to improve on. Because of that, I realized every designer is different; I have a set of skills and talents that are unique to me, which transformed competition into collaboration. Working with different designers gave me a different approach to toy design, bringing out better concepts which I couldn’t do on my own.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m looking forward to being more involved in the toy industry. I would like to meet more people, such as designers, inventors, and anyone who are involved in the toy industry. I would also like to make a name for myself in the industry. Being where I am now, brings me this great opportunity; at the same time, develop my design skills while working for one of the top toy companies in the world.

Let’s dig a little deeper into your story. What was the hardest time you’ve had?
I could say that one of the hardest times in my career when I was in between jobs. At first, I thought I wouldn’t get another job when I got laid off from my toy design job. Thinking that the toy industry is very small compared to the amount of talents out there made me feel that it would be hard to get the same toy design job. I was disappointed at first when I didn’t receive any responses from applying to toy design firms. I then got a couple interviews but I didn’t get hired.

Even though I was let down, I still didn’t give up. My goal was to apply at least 1 job application every week. It took me almost 3 months until I got a job offer. The funny thing is that it was a referral from a previous co-worker. This is one of the reasons I value collaboration with designers. Now I have a connection with different people so that I have access to any opportunities which needed my skills.

Do you ever feel like “Wow, I’ve arrived” or “I’ve made it” or do you feel like the bulk of the story is still unwritten?
One of the moments that I realized my career is working out was when I finally see my design work come to fruition for the first time. When I saw the Build-A-Bear Workshop store in Downtown Disneyland, I noticed that the store designs look very familiar. I actually worked on their newly designed retail spaces during my internship when I was in college. Seeing my work in public places made me proud of what I do as a designer. I can tell people I know: “Look at that! I designed that one!” This realization made more impact to me when I saw my first designed toy in stores.

Contact Info:

 

0-shinseioh 1-dinotrux-pullbacks 2-ww-invisible-jet 3-mega-chompin-tyrux 4-revvit-reptool 5-babwImage Credit:
DC Superhero Girls – © & ™ DC Comics, ©Mattel
DinoTrux – © 2016 DreamWorks Animation LLC, ©Mattel

4 Comments

  1. Ms_faye

    December 4, 2016 at 07:09

    Wow! Your toys look awesome! Great job Jeff! 👍🏽

    • Noeloel

      December 4, 2016 at 16:35

      Nice work Jeff! You’ll do amazing things, your career has only just begun! Can’t wait to see what the future had in store for you!

  2. CY Meimban

    December 4, 2016 at 17:38

    What an insightful read! Thanks for sharing your story and designs, Jeff. You’ve got a creative mind and an excellent work ethic. Very inspiring. 🙂

  3. Kathreen Canlas

    December 5, 2016 at 00:39

    Keep up the amazing work, Jeff! Continue to inspire others to never lose hope and embrace uniqueness as the strength towards success in the toy industry.

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