University of Sussex students triumph in toy design competition
Students at Sussex have won a toy design competition with their idea for an interactive wristband that vibrates and changes colours.
Product Design undergraduates from the University went head to head with fellow design students from Brunel University London and London Metropolitan University to create a brand new toy concept at the Inventors Workshop conference last week (22 September).
The teams were given a design brief in the afternoon, before pitching their ideas to execs from global toy manufacturers, high street retailers, investors and successful designers at the end of the conference.
The students’ brief was to design a toy or game that people their own age would engage with, and the Sussex team emerged triumphant with their ‘Bandit’ wristband concept, scooping the inaugural Inventors Workshop New Designers Award.
The Bandit is an interactive silicone wristband that allows users to connect, interact, compete and socialise with other players.
The wristband would be fitted with LEDs that change colour, and would also vibrate and deliver mild static shocks, meaning that a range of games could be played, with the potential for more to be added by users.
Each wristband would come with a free app, aimed at building an online community who share ideas for new games involving the bands. The students’ tagline for the toy was “Get Bandit, and Band Together”.
The University was represented by Chatura Fernando, Megan Walker, Kenia Lozano Perez, Conor Shimizu Moore and Ameenah Begum, who were able to use the skills they gained during a module on Toy and Game Design at Sussex, taught by Course Leader Diane Simpson-Little.
Sussex undergraduate Kenia Lozano Perez said: “Going to the Inventors Workshop was one of the most accomplishing challenges I have ever undertaken.
“Within three hours we were able to brainstorm, sketch, design, prototype, brand and present a toy that fit sharply to the brief set by very important toy companies such as Hasbro and Ooba.
“I could not be more proud of our work, and I think we proved very well that even under such pressure, our enthusiasm and love for design goes above anything.”
Ms Simpson-Little added: “It was a real privilege to be asked to attend the Inventors Workshop with my students.
“The competitive element of working on a live brief, within a limited timescale really challenged their design skills and ability to work as a team, under pressure.
“But they responded brilliantly, and I was really proud of their organisational skills and their confident, well-communicated and fun pitch to the judges, where they received some excellent feedback.”
One of the judges was Rich Mazel, director of Global Toy Acquisitions at Hasbro, who congratulated the Sussex team for its ideas, presentation, holistic approach and great gameplay.
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