CCA ID Faculty/Alum Brian Gulassa Wins Best of 2016 Award at NY Toy Fair

Demo of how to build a Modarri Toy Car

Watch an in-depth demonstration on how to assemble a Modarri toy car into numerous designs, featuring Brian Gulassa, chief design officer of Thoughtfull Toys.

Industrial Design faculty member Brian Gulassa (Illustration 1984) was recently honored with a Best of 2016 award at the New York Toy Fair for his Modarri cars product line made by Thoughtfull Toys, the small startup toy company based in Santa Cruz, California, he helped found after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Learn how others at CCA benefited from Kickstarter campaigns »

Gulassa is the lead designer for Modarri Cars: “This has been an incredible opportunity to design exactly the kind of toys I wanted as a kid."

With his Thoughtfull Toys team, Gulassa set out to create and sell beautiful, functional, durable toys.

Visit the Modarri website »

What's So Special About Modarri?

The goal was to create toy cars that are sleek, gorgeous, fun, durable, drivable, buildable, and interchangeable.

Modarri cars are modular toy cars with fully functional suspensions and steering and modular components. You drive them by simply putting your finger in the seat and moving them around freely.

The steering, suspension, and sticky tires allow you to carve tight corners and control the cars completely.

Read more »

Sustainability for Toys on the Horizon

The Modarri car maker will soon release the Enduro Racer and Enduro Truck products, which are made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials. The few bits of plastic on these vehicles, on the windshields and lenses, are made from recycled water bottles.

The bodies, wheels, and suspensions on both vehicles are made from recycled brass and aluminum. Dyed natural rubber is used for the tires and bumpers.

The Enduro Truck features real sustainable bamboo panels in its bed, and the Enduro Racer features a seat made from real leather, sourced from unused furniture scraps.

Thoughtfull Toys collaborated with Scotts Valley-based IDE whose engineers designed the suspension and steering systems, provided the design for manufacturing, completed hours of CAD development, and managed various vendors in order to build prototypes for the 2016 New York Toy Fair.

Watch an animated video made by ID student Isaiah Jones »

About CCA's Brian Gulassa

Throughout his 25-years as a product designer, Gulassa has demonstrated great skill in designing toys that reflect art, fine craftsmanship, excellent detail, and above all, playability, the magic ingredient that fires the imagination and keeps kids (and adults up) past bedtime.

He has designed over 200 toys including entire toy lines that have been successfully marketed and sold.

He has designed for and consulted with over 50 toy companies, a veritable Who’s Who of major producers including Mattel, Hasbro, Leapfrog, Wild Planet, Cranium, Wham-O, Klutz, Fisher Price, Wowwee, Jakks Pacific, Sega, Playmates, Galoob, Tyco, Green Toys, and Anki Drive.

More Alumni Success

Read about other successful CCA alumni who are using their arts education to build meaningful, impactful careers!