his seven years at Mattel, Ian Ayton was involved in the development of
many toy products. After a few years he gained the reputation of being
one of the companies most talented mechanism designers at a time when
Mattel was recognized as being the worlds most creative toy company.
During this period he developed a half dozen complex mechanical toys.
Perhaps the most creative of these designs was “Sew Magic”, a
child's sewing machine that joined fabric with a latex glue. There were
many innovative features of this design but the daring concept of a
flexible drive shaft resulted in a major simplification of the drive
mechanism. This product received the “Best Toy of the Year” award
the year it was introduced.
1992 Ian was hired by Gallob Toys to develop and prototype a
mechanically complex toy helicopter to be manufactured in China.
The design of this product was accomplished in less than 6 months
including the fabrication of a working prototype and all the
engineering drawings. The complexity of this toy was deemed by
some in the industry as being impossible to accomplish in China
within the time constraints defined.
Toys enlisted the aid of Ian to investigate the feasibility of
developing a radio controlled toy motorcycle powered by one of
their model airplane piston engines. Development of this product
was discontinued when it became apparent that development costs
and lead time exceeded the expectations at Cox. Even though this
particular product did not find it’s way through to
production, the working prototype, based on production design
parameters, performed to a level indicating that such an
ambitious product could if fact be made to work. Many original
creative insights were incorporated into this design.
very innovative diaphragm air pump designed by Ian Ayton was one
of the major reasons for the highly successful air brush toy
painting product introduced in 1998 by Ohio Art. This pump was
particularly interesting because it incorporated design features
that reduced the product costs to levels that made it available
at a very attractive price. This product was a huge success due
in large part to the sales volume induced by its high apparent
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