Final Project: Half and Half | Emma Tao Ren

Project Name: Half and Half

Basic Description:

In this project, we are asked to create a toy and the main idea of it is “uncanny”. The first thing came into my mind is the Hello Kitty doll. In 1990s HongKong, there happened a famous case of murder. Two men abused and imprisoned a woman in their apartment for 2 weeks, they finally killed her and hid her head in a Hello Kitty doll. The crime was so cruel and astonishing that, I immediately decided to use Hello Kitty doll as my main character of this project. My initial idea was that, the Hello Kitty doll I create is cut into half, the left part of it is made of soft toy, while the right part is the 3D print skeleton. By combining these two parts together. I can thus create a toy with “uncanny” feeling: The character we are most  familiar with turn into something terrifying. However, I didn’t manage to 3D print the skeleton out, in the end, I used my toy bear to create a similar concept. In this turn, the skeleton are made of soft steel wire, and get wrapped by white cloth.

Try 1:

  1. I found a human body skeleton model online and downloaded it.

2. Then I modified different parts one by one, and create a special skeleton for Hello Kitty.

3. I adjusted the skeleton a bit and went for 3D print, however, maybe the skeleton is too complicated, or maybe I used the file format as Maya obj, the 3D print didn’t work out. So I gave up this try and worked on the toy bear.

Try 2:

  1. First, I got my two toy bears and cut them into half half like this  

2. Then, I sealed them together with black thread and needle.

3. After that, I used some steel wires and cross them throught the right part of the bear like this/

4. In the end, I wrapped the steel wire with white cloth and imitated the white skeleton, and the final work came into this:


Tyler Roman- Toy Design Final (Godoy)


The concept for the final project is “Uncanny”.

Design your toy using any of the techniques we have seen during the semester. You will need to define a user and create a design concept while keeping in mind that this should have an uncanny element that will help to produce a playful experience.

Give your toy a name and present it as a product. In order to do that make renders, packaging, logo, comics or any resource you think will be helpful.


So following the original idea for my final I wanted to use something unique, but still soft for the body of the Yoo Doo Doll thus I decided to use one of my favorite materials, the silicone epoxy we use for molds. Thus, using some of the modeling clay I made a body shaped mold for the silicone and then let the body begin to take shape. Once the body was completed I essentially wanted it to have movable appendages similar to a normal voodoo doll and was thinking of using 3D printed joints in order to get the desired range of motion, however carving out silicone was not as much fun or as practical as I had imagined and so I was brought back to drawing board. Eventually, continuing on with the aspect of the voodoo doll and given the extremely soft nature of the silicone body I decided to test out whether or not I could just shove needles into the doll to connect all the parts and to my delight, it worked! With that solved, I went about making the accessories for the Yoo Doo Doll.

The accessories for the Yoo Doo Doll are for now essentially a book, a weight, and a burger/sandwich with each one representing a different thing you would like the Yoo Doo Doll to make you do i.e. reading/studying, working out, or eating/cooking. I made all of them using the different colored cloth and some hot glue and overall I think they turned out quite cute.

Then it was a process of creating the container that would hold the Yoo Doo Doll. Repurposing a laser cut box, hot glue was used to seal five sides of the cube together while the top remained free to be pulled off. A soldering iron was used to burn the words “Yoo” and “Doo” alternatively into the 4 sides of the box while a black marker was used to write forboding messages such as “Run Run Run” or “Inside Warning Death”. The marker was also used to write “666” and “444” on the inside walls of the box the former number relating to the beast and the devil in western culture and the latter being a pun on the word death as 4 sounds similarly in several Asian languages. In addition, a traditional pentagram was on drawn on the bottom of the box as the pentagram is known as a protective symbol to keep the evil inside.

The final pieces of the puzzle were a soft toy skull pin cushion, that my friend Maya Williams helped me to create, which was then hot glued to the top of the box and then, finally the trusty marker came once more, marking the bottom of the inside of the box with one final “Yoo Doo Doll”.


Looking at the finished product I am immensely happy with how it turned out and the simple, cute, and yet creepy design really worked with the overall aesthetic and uniqueness of the project. Looking forward I got really good feedback about having included a silicone head by which I could nail a person’s head to tie their essence to the doll, as well as the suggestion to use needles with grips at the end as the needles I was using were rather difficult to pull out.

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Assignment 10 (Godoy)

So for the silicone mold this week, I was super excited to use the food-safe silicone once I learned that it could be used to make actually edible things. Using a 3D printed Bulbasaur as the model I quickly went about mixing the super pink food safe silicone before pouring it into a carefully measured box containing the 3D printed model.

Once the mold had set for 6-12 hours I came back and underwent the process of freeing my mold and model.


Finally, once my mold was cleaned a bit, it was ready to start producing so I ran home and experimented with a bunch of different liquids.

  • A personal favorite is the soda Bulbasaur, a great snack and nice and refreshing!

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Assignment 09 (Godoy)

Link to the final project idea.

To summarize my idea, what I want to create is a what I call a Yoo Doo Doll, a somewhat more benevolent version of a voodoo doll. The inspiration comes from the idea that a voodoo doll is essentially something created to force someone to do something,  a Yoo Doo Doll works in the same way except that the user is often using it on themselves or is using it in a more thoughtful and beneficial manner. The idea is, by using techniques learned in this class I will be able to make a Yoo Doo Doll mostly for myself and others like me, those of us who need that extra step in getting our work done and doing the things we want to do.

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Midterm (Godoy)


Create a soft toy for someone you know; a friend, a member of your family, a neighbor, etc

Do some research! Ask questions to your user: what does he/she like, what animal/object he/she likes, what he/she does for a living, what are his/her hobbies, etc…

Choose a category of toy accordingly, and use any technique you learned to create a soft toy for that person. The toy should have their own identity and match the user’s personality.


So I actually struggled quite a bit with the midterm. The original plan was to create crocheted hacky sacks for my best friend Silvanus. However, upon beginning to crochet with the actual string and not the large practice string I quickly discovered that my skills were not up to par. Stabbing the needle through the interwoven threads and needing to start over, missing a loop and needing to start over, and many other issues more I have lost count how many times I tried and failed to progress with my crochet. Eventually, after a lot of stress and frustration, I decided that it may be simpler to sew some cloth and created a hacky sack that way.  Eventually, I was able to get started. Initially, the idea started out with a ring concept where I would sew different colored rings together to get the layered color effect I desired. However, under more careful consideration I discovered that I could instead hot glue the layers together into two halves and then sew the two halves together to get the completed hacky sack. This would save me a lot of time sewing, for which my proficiency was barely above that of my crocheting.

Doing it this way resulted in my first prototype of a burger hacky sack. However, while sections of it did look burger-like a large portion of the hacky sack was sewn so that the layers could not be seen. Thus it was back to the drawing board, but not for too long this time as I then decided to sew the two biggest middle layers together and THEN hot glue the remaining sides once we could see the extent of the largest center layers.


Doing it this way worked wonders and before long I had three amazing hacky sacks that I am super proud of and know that Silva is without a doubt enjoying as we speak.

  • In the middle above you see the T-side of the TZ (Tanzania) hacky sack and v2.0 of the burger (much cleaner)
  • In the last photo you catch a glimpse of the Z-side of the TZ hacky sack and some of the lack rice used as filling

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Assignment 04 (Godoy)

So the documentary Objectified brought some really deep and insightful looks into the world of design. The ones that resonated with me the most were that ever item holds a story, the idea of good design, sustainability, and the paradox of evolving design.

The thought that every item, every design holds a story is something I have often experienced, yet never truly realized. There were many times that I would make or adjust something and every time I did so for a reason. Whether it be an incident that sparked my curiosity or a dissatisfaction with some aspect there was always a sense of I could better or I could do similar and upon having this realization and looking around me I see how a similar story could be told for almost every piece of merchandise from food to furniture. Thoughts of: what if you used this kind of oil, or these spices, or this wood, can be seen everywhere and indeed the situation lends itself to imagine the countless stories that were had and even more so when you realize how many of those stories  were completed without producing a complete product like the ones you might see around you.

To think of good design brings me to the topics of evolving design and sustainability. The paradox that exists is one that states that as design evolves it would make sense to produce items with better. cheaper, or more conservative, renewable materials or in ways that are more ergonomic or beneficial to the human race. And yet such products are seldom ever sold for below their predecessor’s price. Instead, such reasons are used to increase the price, essentially putting progress behind a paywall and to me, that itself becomes a question of good design, a question that exists in such large amounts in our world and yet remains largely unthought of and unanswered.

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Research Presentation (Godoy)

Group Members: Tyler Roman, Maya Wang, Killian Hauser, Maike Prewett

Link to my presentation

Link to the  group presentation

For the research project, I decided to research Transformers, autonomous transforming robots from the planet Cybertron, while also being super cool toys that I loved from my childhood. In my presentation, I related the Transformers to the Play Pyramid and using the Pyramid offered a deeper look and analysis of the popularity and social impact of Transformers. Essentially I stated that because Transformers cover many different aspects of the play pyramid, as well as combining many of the winning parts from other toys (dolls, cars, animals, etc.) under a new and unique gimmick, they created a winning formula that firmly anchored the Transformer as one of the most popular and recurring toys to this day.

In terms of the group presentation, I focused more on “Play Makes Us Human I: A Ludic Theory of Human Nature” and related to how surprising I found it that play was integral to competition and thus how play existed as one of the major cornerstones and foundation of social order. And in the end, I fully agree with my group’s conclusion on the importance of play as a fundamental part of both life and society.


Tyler Roman- Toy Design Assignment 03 (Godoy)

So this week in class we learned a bit about crocheting and electro amigurumi, all in all, crocheting was a lot of fun and pretty cool to learn. Thinking ahead I might like to use crocheting in my midterm project if I can get sufficiently good at it, however, for today I focused mainly on using the example material Marcela gave us, practicing the basic patterns and creating curves. I was not able to figure out how to start making a sphere, but I am sure there are some good videos online on how to progress further into the world of character creation and crochet.

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Assignment 02 (Godoy)

Before this year I never had a meaningful encounter with Ludic Theory or the idea that play could be so essential to not only life, but the progression of society. Play, for me, had always been something that was separated from the daily grind, something that continued to edge itself away from me as I got older. Play was meant for children, play was meant be separated from the work space, play was something that was akin to a chrysalis, something that needed to be shed in order for me to realize my true potential, or whatever that means. However, knowledge of Ludic Theory gained from readings like Play Makes Us HumanHomo Ludens, and The Play Pyramid brought a new world of understanding into the way in which I see play and its value in our society.

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