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Naomi Brugnatelli - Don’t be Intimidated by Presenting to the “BIG GUYS”

What exactly do you do in the industry?

I have the privilege of being the Sr. Inventor Relations brand representative for Mattel Games. I’m constantly on the hunt for new innovative game ideas. Some would say that I’m the gatekeeper between the inventor community and the Mattel Games team. I like to think that first and foremost, I am an inventor advocate. I will always be the first smiling face that the inventors will see when meeting with Mattel Games for the first time.

What advice can you give to inventors who are presenting new toy or game ideas to you?

Don’t be intimidated by presenting to the “BIG GUYS”. We are just a bunch of goofy game lovers, and we really want to see you succeed. My favorite part of meeting with inventors is when we can play the game together. I hope that by the end of the meeting the inventor walks away thinking, WOW that was surprisingly FUN!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

When I walk down the game aisle and see a new game on shelf that I watched grow from initial inventor concept all the way through to finished product. It’s definitely a labor of love.

I’m also so grateful for the strong connections and friendships that I have made with the inventor community! I love to meet new people and being in this industry there are so many great opportunities to cultivate new relationships.

Who inspires you?

My twin 5-year-old girls, Aria & Mila. They are my biggest fans and they keep me going every day. Pre- Quarantine I traveled a lot for work, and each time I would leave they would say, “mommy, go out and bring us back some fun games”. They are also brutally honest, so I feel like I have my very own in-house toy testers. I’m so glad that I have been keeping my word and finding some entertaining games for us to play together.

What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

My favorite doll was the (1984) Peaches ‘N Cream Barbie. Now that Barbie is my boss, I have a newfound love for her, and I really enjoy watching my girls role play with their Barbie dolls.

What are your favorite childhood memories?

My childhood was crazy fun. I’m the youngest of five, so my parents could hardly keep track of me. I grew up during a time that kids could still run up and down the block to their friend’s house. We would play hide n seek and TAG in the backyard, and I would stay out until the streetlights came on.

What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

The two apps that I have used the most lately are the Peloton app and the Calm app. I like to start the day with the Peloton app, either doing a long walk or jog around my neighborhood with Mango my Boston terrier.

After a long day I like to listen to the Calm app. It has a tons of sleep stories, calming meditations, or just relaxing music to help me drift off to sleep.

What’s your favorite TV show?

It should be no surprise, but I love game shows. Some of my all-time favorite ones are Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Let’s Make A Deal, and The Price Is Right. Fun fact: I was a contestant on The Price Is Right and won a car!

I don’t have a ton of time to watch TV now, but when I do it’s usually a cooking show/competition. My family loves watching the show Nailed It on Netflix.

Favorite movie of all time?

This is a really tough question, so I’m going to say any mid 80’s teenage angst movie. I’m a huge fan of the director John Hughes and his “brat pack” films. The top of my list is Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and last but not least the National Lampoon’s Collection.

What is your favorite night out?

I’ve had a lot of time to think about this question lately! My favorite night out would be to go to an outdoor music festival with friends. I love the warm summer nights, listening to music under the stars. There’s really nothing better!

Do you have any special talents?

I love creating and wearing silly costumes. Mattel has a great Halloween event every year, and I’ve been known to go all out with my elaborate creations. Surprisingly, I don’t know how to sew properly, so most of my outfits are thrown together with household items, tape, and a glue gun.

Tell us about your hobbies?

I have been doing yoga for years. I have also started taking a Women’s Empowerment Jiu-Jitsu course and I’m really enjoying it. I hope to work my way to earning my pink belt soon.

I’m lucky that…

...During this crazy time, I have a job that allows me to work remotely, and I am still able to connect virtually with my inventors.

The toy and game industry clearly has…

...the most brilliant collection of talented inventors that I’m lucky and honored to partner with.

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