Introduction: Vinyl Toy Design

About: Alejandro is an industrial designer who focuses on creating impact through his designs. He has a broad background having worked at a graphic design agency, a furniture manufacturer, founded a successful furnit…

I wanted to design and make a vinyl toy for myself and since this year we have the World Cup I decided to design a toy that would look like one of the best soccer players ever: Diego Armando Maradona. After I designed the toy I 3D printed and hand painted it. Overall it is a fun and quick process. It is definitely a unique toy and collectors item in my bookcase.

Step 1: Materials

Step 2: Inspiration and Design

My inspiration for my toy were the Japanese wooden dolls: Kokeshi. I'm a big fan of wooden toys and every time I travel to some country I bring one home. I wanted to expand my collection with one of my own designs.

I started by observing some photographs/cartoons from other artists. I would google: Maradona Cartoon/Toys/Art/Drawings... Look at all of the images and try to capture what were the most outstanding points of the character.

I used Rhinoceros to model the design in 3D and used Illustrator for the graphic design. The tool I used the most in Rhinoceros was REVOLVE since all of the pieces are made by revolution. This means that if you want to turn the toy on the woodlathe you can!

After I was happy with my 3D design I opened Illustrator and started playing with the design of the face, tshirt and rest of the body.

Step 3: 3D Print and Primer

Now that you feel comfortable with the design it is time to 3D print the files (or you can use the lathe to turn these pieces too). In our office at Pier 9 we have some beautiful Connex 500 3D printers and I used an ABS like material because it was available on the printer. You can use any printer or material.

Once you have the pieces you will need to spray some white primer on because we will be painting it with como colored acrylic paints and we want a smooth and white finish before we color it.

Step 4: Acrylic Paint

Use some paintbrushes of different sizes and paint the toy. To make it quick you leave the darker colors last so it doesn't matter if you cross the line. Both the hair and the shorts were colored black, as you can see in the 2 images I colored them pink and blue before painting it black.

Step 5: Permanent Finish

Acrylic paints are not very durable so I decided to give a protective finish using Krylon Matte Finish Spray. I gently pulled the arms, legs and head and then sprayed the whole toy. After I let it dry for a couple of hours and pushed back in the parts of the body.

Step 6: Enjoy and Design Another Character!

Now you can enjoy your new action toy and make another one. I used the same form to design one of the best power strikers I've seen: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima and Darth Vader from Star Wars.