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What Does a Toy Tester Do?

By K. Testa
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Generally, a toy tester is someone who is hired to play with prototypes or new products in order to help gauge the extent to which certain toys might be profitable. In addition to looking for characteristics such as being fun and visually appealing, a toy tester might also test a product for safety. One option is for a toy manufacturer to hire a toy-testing firm, many of which provide additional services, such as certifying toys as safe according to certain international standards, depending on where a particular toy will be sold. In many cases, an individual toy tester, such as a parent, might not be paid to test toys at home, but might be permitted to keep the toys or to be paid for publishing a written review. The kinds of toys tested can range from children's toys to pet toys and even adult products.

Before spending the resources to produce a large quantity of a new toy, companies usually like to get feedback from potential customers. If they plan to sell their products in certain countries, they might be required to have their toys certified and to verify that they comply with international safety standards or import regulations. Producing and marketing toys can be expensive, so testing can save money by soliciting customer feedback and ensuring a product's safety before it is distributed.

A toy tester evaluates toys according to certain criteria determined by the manufacturer. Usually, both kid and adult testers have their findings recorded, either by giving verbal feedback while playing with the toy or by submitting a review later. Children may be brought into a laboratory as members of focus groups, in which professionals observe them playing with the toys and record their reactions. Someone can also work from home as a toy tester; parents, for example, can evaluate children's toys by having them play with the toys and then observing and recording the outcomes.

In most cases, there are no specific qualifications necessary for someone to become a professional toy tester. It is usually beneficial, however, for that person to have some business or marketing expertise, in addition to a familiarity with the products. Some specialized knowledge or experience might be required of someone who wants a job inspecting toys for safety. Toy manufacturer websites are one option for finding toy tester jobs. In addition to hiring professional testers, they often have information available for parents and other people looking for unpaid toy tester opportunities.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Feryll — On Aug 23, 2014

Remember all the problems there have been with several of the toy companies in China. Some of the toys even had lead in them. We all know that little kids are at some point going to stick the toys in their mouths, and the lead can be very dangerous, especially to kids. I guess they don't have strict toy testing requirements in that country.

By Laotionne — On Aug 22, 2014

I bought my little cousin a toy truck for his birthday a couple weeks a go, and he loved the little red truck. He was so excited when he tore open the wrapping paper and then opened the box. You could see the excitement in his eyes. This made be really happy because I wanted to give him a present he would really enjoy.

His birthday party lasted a couple hours and he and the other kids were playing with his toys. Then out of nowhere, my cousin starts screaming and crying. We soon learned that this was because his new little red truck had broken.

The toy wasn't the most expensive one in the store where I bought it, but it cost enough, and it should have lasted more than a couple hours. Whoever is doing the toy testing needs to do a better job.

By Animandel — On Aug 21, 2014

I like the idea of company's sending their toys into the homes where parents can test them, and see how their children like the toys. After all, the kids are the ones who will decide in the end whether a toy is worthwhile or not. And the parents are the ones who will be the ones buying most of the toys.

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