Senior Product Development Manager, Disney Plush

The Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media.

Job Summary

Disney is looking for a senior product development manager to lead the design, development and manufacture of Disney Plush/soft toys through its vertical model (sold directly to consumer) and also the design and development of infant/pre-school products, through our licensee business across EMEA.

The successful candidate will have an extensive, creative background in Plush or Toys product development and design and also have strong team management skills.

The senior product development manager will join our talented Creative team in Hammersmith, working with the hardlines creative director.

  • Manage the regional plush product development team, ensuring consistent and appropriate creative direction and feedback is given on all product submissions
  • Lead all design projects e.g. Disney Direct (DD) ranges, licensee inspiration boards, within your category, utilising internal and external resources as required
    Identify new product opportunities, create trend directions and develop first class conceptual designs
  • Establish, manage and maintain creative relationships with internal and external partners including regional and global teams, providing inspiration and ensuring product is brand appropriate and adheres to Disney guidelines
  • Determine market trends and use to drive creative strategy, identify new areas of business and establish design requirements
  • Run ideation sessions to drive product innovation, inspire licensees/retailers and help drive the creation of quality products
  • Maintain an advanced level of market knowledge for products that fall within your sub-category
  • Develop and maintain an expert knowledge of Disney’s characters, films, properties, heritage and creative assets in order to assist in their usage on consumer products
  • Ensure all product submissions are routed through Disney’s Online Product Approval system as per global product integrity guidelines

Disney Direct

  • Work with the internal and external teams and distributors to create the DD range plan ensuring that market needs are met
  • Develop and manage the creative output ensuring product innovation, brand consistency and compelling execution within a commercial context
  • Manage and execute development from initiation to production, liaising with factories on costings, fabrics, form, ensuring the factories have creative assets and product specifications
  • Manage the distributor relationships and ensure their needs are built into the overall development plans
  • Establish and maintain relationships with vendors, distributors and manufacturers

Licensed Products

  • Working with our licensees, lead the development of feature plush and infant plush, infant and pre-school toy products ensuring product innovation, brand consistency and commercial relevance
  • Ensure licensees are provided appropriate creative assets for product development
  • Develop new assets as required against the specific needs of the category and inputting into CPC style guide needs
  • Ensure all new and existing licensees are trained and kept up to date on the Disney brand, including property portfolio, creative assets and approval systems

Basic Qualifications
The successful candidate will have an extensive, creative background in plush or toys product development and design and also have strong team management skills.

  • Relevant plush manufacturing experience
  • Previous experience of managing a creative team
  • Experience in briefing and managing external/internal designers and/or agencies
  • Advanced knowledge of trends within the plush and infant industry and the broader world of design, with working knowledge of common manufacturing techniques and their application in production
  • An ability to communicate design ideas using freehand drawing, computer techniques and/or third party design resources
  • An ability to deliver against set deadlines and budgets
  • Strong presentation skills with the ability to effectively present design ideas to internal/external stakeholders at all levels
  • Advanced knowledge of Mac OSX, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Microsoft Office
  • Forward thinking with the ability to take industry trends and translate them into something that drives growth for Disney

To apply, click here.