For toy collectors of the younger ages who might dream of one day making a living creating the collectibles that delight and enthuse us from childhood and on, Sondra Wiener is a real inspiration…
Though she knew from the start of her career that design was in her future, she made a pleasant discovery while studying that put her on a trajectory toward working for one of the companies that made a big impact on her as a kid: Hasbro. Now, Sondra is at the forefront of a big, exciting release for the toy giant, which is the re-release of their beloved Mighty Muggs line, starting with an all-new set of Star Wars characters which will finally be available in the New Year! We spoke with Sondra for more detail about how she got her start, and what makes Mighty Muggs and the Star Wars line so singularly popular…
Hi Sondra! To start, tell us what you do at Hasbro and how you came to work for the company?
I’m so happy to be speaking with you! I’m a Senior Product Design Manager, overseeing design for the Mighty Muggs product line based in Hasbro’s LA office. I started working at Hasbro 13 years ago at the Headquarters in Rhode Island designing for a variety of Hasbro brands.
What is your background in design, and how did you come to work in toy design in particular?
I originally intended to major in Graphic Design, but discovered while at Otis College of Art and Design that Toy Design as a major existed. I knew it was a dream come true to be ALLOWED to be a big kid designing and playing with toys for work!
When you grew up, were you a toy collector? What are some of your favorite toys from your childhood?
Growing up I collected some toys; but did a lot of sticker collecting mostly. My favorite toys were My Little Pony, Jem (and the Holograms) and GI JOE action figures. It’s pretty awesome to work for the company behind the toys you grew up playing with.
What are the Hasbro product lines that you’ve worked on to date, and do you have a favorite?
Wow, where do I start?! I’ve worked on a number of Hasbro product lines including My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, Transformers, Star Wars and more…but to be honest, my favorite I would have to say for sure is now Mighty Muggs!
Mighty Muggs is a big, fan-favorite line for Hasbro; what do you think it is about this particular line that fans respond to?
I believe what Mighty Muggs brings to life for fans is a uniquely designed figure bursting with personality and expression. It’s so common these days for us to communicate through emojis, and Mighty Muggs are very similar in that they bring out the fun part of expressing one’s self.
For the new launch of Star Wars Mighty Muggs, what were some of the considerations that went into the characters chosen?
It was really important to us that we selected the right cast of characters to launch with. We have a wide range of fans that love all of Star Wars, so the goal was to have a good mix of some of the Classic Characters and the more recent Star Wars film characters.
Rey is such an awesome, new entry into the Mighty Muggs line. What particular details about her were fun to design?
She’s just an amazing character with so much emotional depth. It was a lot of fun to design and play with what types of emotions we wanted to have her express that felt really “Rey.”
If there were any one Star Wars character that hasn’t been included in Mighty Muggs yet, which one would you love to design?
One of my favorite characters from Star Wars is C3P0. He’s such a unique character in that he conveys so much emotion in his voice; I’d love to bring that same type of expression into his face!
Thanks for chatting with us, Sondra!
SPOILER WARNING: We have one more thing to add and it has to do with this month’s Loot Crate DX… so if you don’t want to see before you get your crate, go ahead and close the window now! If you don’t mind, please continue!…
You sure? 😉