TOY INDUSTRY BASICS
HERE IS THE BEST FREE ADVICE IN THE INDUSTRY

I started in the industry as a toy and game inventor, a side hustle to my day job. I WISH I had this information and the events we put together for POP Week back then. I would have saved tens of thousands of dollars. Below is free information shared from industry experts. Then sign yourself up for POP Week, where you can meet those experts and pitch to many of them. -Mary Couzin, President of Chicago Toy & Game Week dba People of Play - POP!

Resources to Grow Your Business

POP Wiki - Everything you need to know about the toy industry by topic! 

www.peopleofplay.com/wiki

Join our Linkedin Toy, Game & Play Innovator Group 

www.linkedin.com/groups/Toy-Game-Play-Innovators-Network-8205166/about 

Subscribe to Our Newsletters: the Bloom Report, Industry, Inventor, Educator, Consumer, Media

www.chitag.com/get-the-newsletter

 

Reach out to SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. 

https://www.score.org/

POP Week Expert Panels
The Best Basics Panels Curated for You

Basics of the Industry - Who, What, Where, Terms, Acronyms and More

Dougal Grimes (Spin Master) moderates with panelists Azhelle Wade (Toy Coach), Greg Benassar (Asmodee), Elizabeth Moody (7 Towns), Dan Rowan (UltraPro)

Licensing Your Ideas: Perspectives for Individuals and Companies
Panelists: Derek Gable (President of West Coast Innovations (Invention and Product Development) & Greg Murphy (Principal, Landmark IP)

Pitch like a Pro to Manufacturers and Retailers

Moderator: Tim Walsh (Co-Founder, Roo Games; Founder, The Playmakers) with panelists: Tanya Thompson (Director Global Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations for Gaming, Hasbro), Adam Hockerman (Vice President of New Business, PlayMonster),  Leila Nosrati (Principal, Master Toy Advisors), David Winter (Head of New Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations, Jazwares), Gillian Ruan (Enterprise Innovation & Inventor Relations Manager, Mattel)

Click HERE for Articles with Advice from Experts - Some You Will Pitch! 

What are Mass Retailers Looking For? 

Moderator: David Norman (President of Goliath North American and Global Gaming)

Panelists:  Mark Menichini (Toy Buyer at Meijer) and Daniel Warren (Toy Buyer at JCPenney)

Leading Innovation at Specialty Retail 
Moderator: Willie Wilkov (CEO, North America at HABA Family of Companies)

Panelists: Richard Derr (President, Learning Express Lake Zurich), Betty Skoke Burns (Owner, Angelina's Toy Boutique), Amy Saldanha (Owner, kiddywampus), Sarah Jordan (CEO, Mastermind )

Working with Reps in the U.S.

Moderator: Christine Blumberg (Owner/Principal, RBG Sales); Panelists: Nicole Bortnick (Co-Owner, BGN Sales Group, LLC), Carl Buchbinder (President, Toyology Inc), Tom Rushton (President, Revenew Sales),

Erin Griffin (Specialty Sales Rep Partner Erin Griffin Group), Brad Ketz (President, Ketz & Associates)

Public Relations Has Changed!

Moderator: Lisa Guili (General Manager, Educational Insights); Panelists: Josslynne Welch (President, Litzky PR), Clark Nesselrodt (Senior Vice President, Brilliant PR), Rachel Griffin (Co-Founder, Playwise),

Amy Friedland (Executive Vice President, Freeman PR), David Barkoe  (CEO, Carve Communications)

Social Media Tips and Tricks for Brands, Companies and Inventors 
Moderators: Lana West (Marketing Communication Specialist, Schleich USA)

Panelists: Julie Stern (Vice President, Brilliant PR & Marketing), James Zahn (Senior Editor, The Toy Book, The Toy Insider, and The Pop Insider), Mindy Schanzle (Marketing Communications Lead - Radio Flyer),

Mary Higbe (Director of Marketing, Goliath), Danielle Parde (Digital Marketing Manager, Fat Brain Toys)

Industry Awards: Important or Not?

Panelists: Lisa Orman (President, Kidstuff PR) and Lea Culliton (President, HABA USA)

Design Trends – Products and Packaging

Moderator: Matt Nuccio (President, Design Edge); Panelists: Chris Down (Chief Design Officer, Mattel), Jesse Falcon (Director of Merchandising, Marvel Entertainment), Fred Jordan (Sr Director of N.A. Design and Development, Magformers), Dawn Patmon (Designer Director, Hasbro Playmakers),

Michael Sala (Senior Director Design, Spin Master))