Students from the University of Sussex, Brunel and London Metropolitan University were invited to pitch their toy design ideas to industry experts at this week’s Inventors Workshop.

The brief was to create a toy or game that people their own age would engage with, and the University of Sussex’s team emerged triumphant with its Bandits creation.

“It was a real privilege to be asked to attend the Inventors Workshop with my students and the opportunity gave them an in-depth insight into understanding what it would be like to work in the toy industry, as well as gaining some great advice about entering the profession from the experts,” said Diane Simpson-Little, head of the BSc Product Design Degree and course tutor on the ‘toy and game design module’.

“They also got the chance to develop their professional, social, communication and design skills when they were challenged by the team to design a toy for the older market. The competitive element of working on a live brief, against other leading universities, within a limited timescale really challenged their design skills and ability to work in 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.

“Overall the day was an invaluable experience, however, I must admit the highlight for me, was definitely the University of Sussex winning the competition and taking home the prestigious award. Hopefully we’ll be asked back again next year to defend our title.”

Sussex student Chatura Fernando added: “The Workshop was an amazing experience that enabled us to meet the industry leaders and find out about how they made a name for themselves as well as getting a great insight into the toy industry. It also gave us the chance to meet other product design students from different universities and take part in an intense and tough competition to design a toy. Over all the day was great fun, educational and run extremely well, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”