The Toy Book Podcasts by Adventure Media & Events
By The Toy Book by Adventure Media & Events
The Toy Book Podcasts by Adventure Media & EventsSep 28, 2023
Power Kid Podcast: Kevin Daniels | Fun In Motion Toys
In the latest episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Kevin Daniels, President and Co-Founder of Fun In Motion Toys to the show. Fun In Motion is the four-time Toy of the Year (TOTY) finalist behind mesmerizing toys including Shashibo, Spin Ball, and Wandini.
On the show, Daniels explains how an activity invented by the indigenous people of New Zealand became the inspiration for Fun In Motion Toys' first product. He and Albritton go on to discuss the success of Fun In Motion with independent retailers and the methods used to grab customers' attention. Following the backstory on Shashibo, Daniels shares insight into how the company is leveraging its existing items to break into new product categories.
Power Kid Podcast: Kyle Cosgrove | Goliath Games
In the latest episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Kyle Cosgrove, Territory Manager at Goliath Games to the show. A sales vet with experience at Crazy Aaron's and Monkey Fish Toys, Cosgrove is focused on expanding Goliath's footprint across independent toy and game stores.
On the show, he and Albritton discuss the skills learned in working toy retail and how those skills still apply today. Cosgrove shares his experiences in selling to kids in-store and how they think differently about product. Additionally, he shares some advice for young people starting out in the toy industry, the current state of games at specialty, and how independent retailers can set themselves up for sales success.
Power Kid Podcast: Tom Delaney | MUKIKIM
In the latest episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Tom Delaney, Executive Vice President of MUKIKIM to the show.
A seasoned toy industry veteran, Delaney has held roles at Mattel, The Walt Disney Co., JAKKS Pacific, and ran his own company, Homegrown Toys. On the show, Delaney shares insight into the world of MUKIKM and its 14 unique product lines, including the Rock and Roll It Piano, Spy X, Drench, and this fall's buzzworthy new offering, the Drench Soda Game.
Power Kid Podcast: Pat Linden | Playmates Toys - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Go Ninja! Go Ninja! Go!
In the latest episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Pat Linden, Vice President of Marketing at Playmates Toys to the show.
Ahead of this week's release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Linden shares insight on his experience working with every iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) since 1998.
On the show, Linden discusses his early years in the toy industry in which he worked on the classic farm toy brand, Ertl prior to joining Playmates Toys. He then shares details on the different versions of the TMNT brand over the years and explains how the team works on developing reimagined toys for the brand. Finally, Linden delves into this year's line and why he's excited for Mutant Mayhem.
Power Kid Podcast: Leah Ringelstein | Zigazoo
In the latest episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Leah Ringelstein, Director of Impact at Zigazoo to the show.
Ringelstein is on the front lines of the world's biggest social media network for kids and leverages her background in classroom education and curriculum building in her work. Zigazoo has been designed to be a safe, positive, empowering online community where kids can create videos, enter challenges and win prizes.
On the show, Ringelstein discusses the early stages of creating Zigazoo and shares how positivity and safety are built into the core of everything the company does. Then, she and Albritton discuss the challenges and triumphs of moving away from an “engagement at all costs” social media model and how brands can best get involved and benefit from what Zigazoo is doing.
Power Kid Podcast: ASTRA Marketplace & Academy
In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design goes LIVE from the show floor at ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Columbus, Ohio.
Check out mini interviews featuring Adam Hocherman (Fat Brain Toy Co.), Karen Hermann (Hand Craft), Julien Amundsen (Fantasma Toys), Chrissy Fagerholt (EAP Toys and Games), Jan Marie Zawitz (Tangle Creations), Dan Hakim (It Coins), and Eric Child (Tubelox).
Power Kid Podcast: The North East Toy Show (NETS)
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Alan and Christine Blumberg from RGB Sales and Lea Culliton (ex-HABA, ABC Kids Expo) to the show to discuss the launch of The North East Toy Show (NETS).
"The Northeast connection to specialty" opens its doors in February 2024 for its inaugural show, and in this episode, the organizers delve into the genesis of the event and what it takes to plan a toy-focused trade show. From there, Albritton asks them to discuss their backgrounds in toys, current trends, the importance of independent toy stores, and where they are seeing growth.
Power Kid Podcast: Talia Filippelli | The Genius of Play, Starr Therapy
In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Talia Filippelli, founder of Starr Therapy, to the show.
Filippelli is a Genius of Play Ambassador, an award-winning “Top Doc,” and has served as an advisor for Sesame Workshop. Most recently, she developed The Genius of Play’s Emotional Wellness Playbook, a free resource that provides parents and caregivers with play-based, screen-free activities that help kids develop emotional intelligence and learn to express their feelings in a healthy way.
On the show, Filippelli and Albritton discuss how classic games can be a great way to build emotional intelligence skills and why play works when helping children access their emotions. Additionally, Filippelli offers examples of how she has seen play change lives.
Power Kid Podcast: Lauren Derse | Learning Express Toys & Gifts
In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Lauren Derse, CEO of Learning Express Toys & Gifts to the show.
Derse leads the largest franchised toy store chain in the U.S. and has vast experience with store ownership and oversight. Learning Express is known for its expert staff, localized selection, and incredible customer service — including gift wrapping, personalization, and the famed birthday boxes.
In this episode, Derse delves into the origin of Learning Express and her mother’s vision of an educational and fun place for kids and families. She then shares with Albritton what her years of experience as Director of Marketing taught her about the Learning Express customers. From there, the conversation moves toward the importance of a neighborhood toy store, what Learning Express looks for in a new franchisee, and what trends to look for in the future of brick-and-mortar retail this year.
Power Kid Podcast: Chris Cote | Scentco
On the show, Cote unpacks the exact moment the idea of scented pencils struck him and what he did next. He shares the complexities involved in finding the perfect scent for every product, and how he overcame some early speed bumps in the business. From there, Cote tells Albritton about how a group of entrepreneurial school kids opened up an entirely new sales channel for Scentco. Finally, the conversation moves from the psychology of scent in marketing to the launch of Scentco's new Bedtime Defenderz brand.
Power Kid Podcast: Evan Katz and Josh Roberts | Very Special Games
On the show, Katz and Roberts deliver intel on the guerrilla warfare tactics required to self-produce games. They launched their first successful game, Charity Party, on Kickstarter in 2019 and have since built a catalog of games including Ransom Notes, Abducktion, and Puns of Anarchy.
Katz and Roberts unpack their first foray into the gaming world and what they learned early on. From there, Albritton asks them about the importance of involving Kickstarter backers in the process as a consumer sounding board, and how having great factory connections can streamline the manufacturing process.
Power Kid Podcast: Lee Allentuck | RN Branding & Licensing, Melissa & Doug, Blue Marble, The Last Gameboard
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Lee Allentuck to the show.
Over the course of his career, Allentuck has done it all, from leading Global Gaming at Hasbro to serving as Licensing Market Lead for LEGO to founding Raising Nerd. He currently serves as an Innovation Scout for Blue Marble and Melissa and Doug (where he also works on Inventor Relations) and serves as Head of Content at The Last Gameboard. Allentuck also leads RN Branding & Licensing, a full-service brand strategy, licensing, and business development consultancy.
On the show, Allentuck tells Albritton about his early work in the cell phone business and how innovation can cross-pollinate multiple industries. From there, the conversation moves to Hasbro Gaming, The LEGO Group, and The Last Gameboard. Finally, the duo discusses best practices and advice for inventors looking to pitch their next toy or game idea.
Power Kid Podcast: Jeanie Crone | Bimi Boo/ASTRA
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Jeanie Crone to the show.
Crone has a wealth of experience spanning toys, fashion, and education. She previously served as the senior manager of specialty at Schleich, sales manager at Ojo, and Chairman of the Board at the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). She currently manages sales for Bimi Boo, a developer and manufacturer of learning toys, games, puzzles, and more.
On the show, Crone discusses the similarities between toys and fashion, pulling from her work at Tommy Hilfiger and Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH Corp.). While working at the Educational Development Corp., Crone was an early champion of selling books in specialty toy stores, and on the show, she explains to Albritton how she opened up that market. Finally, the conversation delves into the expansion of Bimi Boo and how the tech company broke into the toy business.
Power Kid Podcast: Brandi Pinsker | Project Genius
Project Genius is a Texas-based crew of "thinkers, tinkers, and inventors" that creates brainteasers and games. Pinsker previously served as a buyer at Go! Retail Group's Calendar Club and is an expert in games, puzzles, and gifts.
On the show, Albritton and Pinsker discuss the unique aspects of doing business in a mall and what drives sales in that environment. From there, the conversation delves into the benefits of brainteasers for kids and adults, and how Project Genius is supporting the Autism community.
Power Kid Podcast: Steve Wampold | Good Banana
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Steve Wampold to the show.
In 2002, Wampold founded Big Mouth Inc. and grew the company to become a leader in the swim and inflatables space where it still enjoys much success today. A few years ago, after selling Big Mouth to a private equity firm, Wampold founded Good Banana, a brand that creates new toys and novelties in a variety of categories.
On the show, Wampold and Albritton discuss the differences between on-trend novelties and toys and how a "12-year-old sense of humor" helps inform the development of hit products. Additionally, Wampold shares insight on one of his other projects, Bouncyband — a company that makes products designed to help kids focus and concentrate.
Power Kid Podcast: Anand Dhirmalani | Lil Wish Lanterns
In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Anand Dhirmalani to the show. Dhirmalani is an expert in the As Seen On TV space and is collaborating with Albritton on the launch of a new brand: Lil Wish Lanterns.
On the show, Dhirmalani shares his journey from Fushigi to Pillow Pets and his recent success with KickerBall. Additionally, he delves into the differences between As Seen on TV and the traditional toy space and how influencers can help to boost sales.
Finally, Albritton and Dhirmalani unwrap their plans for Lil Wish Lanterns as they take a deep dive into the background, concept, and development of the new property. Check out the new episode below and be sure to back Lil Wish Lanterns on Kickstarter for a chance at early bird exclusives.
Power Kid Podcast: Karen Kilpatrick | Kaypin Media and Genius Cat Books
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Karen Kilpatrick of Kaypin Media and Genius Cat Books to the show. Kilpatrick helps brands and creatives navigate the publishing industry with a focus on creating kids' books.
On the show, Kilpatrick explains how telling nighttime stories to her kids sparked the idea for her business. From there, she and Albritton discuss the traditional barriers to publishing and how she helps clients overcome them. Additionally, Kilpatrick outlines a step-by-step path to success.
Power Kid Podcast: Chrissy Fagerholt | EAP Toys & Games
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Chrissy Fagerholt of EAP Toys & Games to the show. EAP produces a range of games — including You Who?, Friend or Faux, and The Lunch Room Game — that pair a hint of strategy and humor into a play pattern that requires a little luck.
On the show, Fagerholt and Albritton discuss the nuances of developing games with friends and finding a definitive reason to make games. Additionally, Fagerholt delves into her backstory and reveals how she tackled early challenges and her collaboration with Albritton to create the sculpt and packaging for The Lunch Room Game, which is now available at Barnes and Noble.
Power Kid Podcast: Bill Nichols, Peter Cmiel | Blip Toys
On the show, the Blip Toys duo explains how some decisions they made early in their careers guided them to where they are today. The conversation veers toward the success of the Squinkies collectible line and the Zoom-O Disc Launcher. Nichols also unpacks the deal that found several Toys "R" Us private label toy brands a new home at Target. Finally, Nicols and Cmiel serve up a look ahead with this summer's launch of Zip Linx and GigaBots, to new toy brands that will be shown at the Toy Insider's Sweet Suite event.
Power Kid Podcast | Nick Christensen, Threepipe Reply
In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Nick Christensen of Threepipe Reply to the show. Christensen is a managing partner and head of Amazon at the company, helping clients like TOMY, VTech, and Mookie Toys maximize their Amazon selling strategy.
On the show, Albritton and Christensen discuss the effect of Amazon on the traditional “try me” motivator for toy sales and delve into some of Amazon’s best tools for building brands within the site, When asked if there are specific toy categories that sell better than others, Christensen provides insight that may surprise you and shares the key points of data that toy and game manufacturers should be paying attention to in order to increase sales.
Power Kid Podcast: Cassidy Smith | The Uniche Collective
For 18 years Smith served as vice president of sales and marketing at Hape International. Now, as president of its new specialty division, the Uniche Collective, Smith and his team scour the globe to find and develop products exclusively for savvy specialty customers.
On the show, Albritton and Smith discuss the origins of the ever-president doctor's office staple: the beaded maze. From there, the duo discusses the nuances of developing product for the specialty market and how Uniche Collective brands, including Trido, Korko, Kruselings, Senger, Fair & Green, and Jaq Jaq Bird fit into the equation.
Power Kid Podcast: Choon Ng, Jake Minor | Rainbow Loom
Following a quick recap on the backstory of the TOTY and TAGIE-winning Rainbow Loom, Albritton, Ng, and Minor delve into the empowering nature of Rainbow Loom play and the social capital that kids build with it. Rainbow Loom is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and Ng and Minor discuss how they've worked to keep the brand fresh and reveal several new additions to its product line.
Power Kid Podcast: Steve Markey | Hog Wild Toys
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Steve Markey, vice president of sales and marketing at Hog Wild Toys to the show. For more than two decades, Markey has traversed the toy industry with roles at Wham-O, PlanToys, Green Toys, Crazy Aaron's, and more.
On the show, Albritton and Markey discuss how brands can connect people across languages and cultures. Following a conversation about the early days of the sustainable toy movement and the challenges faced by Green Toys, the focus turns to the hilarious toys and novelty products offered by Hog Wild Toys, including Birdie Golf, Nibblerz, and more.
Power Kid Podcast: The Toy Foundation Discusses Industry Support for Ukraine
The Toy Book presents a special episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” in which host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes The Toy Foundation’s Executive Director Pam Mastrota and Chairman of the Board Andy Weiner to the show.
The Toy Foundation operates underneath the umbrella of The Toy Association to provide philanthropic support and vital play experiences to kids and families under stress and in dire situations around the world. Currently, the major focus is on providing toy industry support to the families suffering amid the Russia-Ukraine War.
On the show, Albritton engages Mastrota and Weiner in a conversation that delves into the overall work of the Foundation, the importance of play, and the developmental benefits of play for kids. Then, the conversation highlights the state of current events and what the kids of Ukraine need right now.
Power Kid Podcast: Jamie Emmick | Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co.
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Jamie Emmick to the show. Emmick serves as director of special markets for the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co. (BHTB) and leads the CustomPlush.com side of the business. She is a Genius of Play Ambassador and was a recent finalist in the Rising Star/Licensor category of Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment's Wonder Women Awards.
On the show, Albritton and Emmick discuss how parenting can shape the way those in the toy industry view the industry, and why BHTB is a special place to work. The conversation delves into the growth of CustomPlush.com and what advice Emmick might have for anyone seeking mentorship.
Power Kid Podcast: Gary Pope of Kids Industries
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Kids Industries CEO and Co-Founder Gary Pope to the show. Pope leads a team of researchers, strategists, creatives, and developers that work to help toy, entertainment, and consumer products companies better connect with families around the world.
Kids Industries has served a variety of companies and brands over the past 20 years, including Mattel, Playmobil, WWE, Disney, Save the Children, PepsiCo, Amazon, and more.
On the show, Albritton and Pope discuss Kids Industries' "Super 6" — six key components that work together to create a successful marketing campaign. Additionally, the duo discusses hot topics, including mental health and sustainability.
Power Kid Podcast: Spin Master Creative Director Stephanie Guo
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Spin Master Creative Director Stephanie Guo to the show. Guo oversees creative vision for key brands, including PAW Patrol, GUND, Mighty Express, Kinetic Sand, Orbeez, and Etch-A-Sketch.
On the show, Albritton and Guo discuss the unique differences between the traditional advertising industry and the toy industry. The duo delves into 2020's "PAW Patrol Years" marketing campaign with Dax Shepard and the core elements that have turned the PAW Patrol brand into an evergreen hit. Additionally, the conversation moves toward the rising trend of comfort toys and how Spin Master's GUND brand plays into that. Finally, the episode closes with some insight on the evolution and current stage of influencer collaborations and creativity within the industry.
Power Kid Podcast: Aaron Muderick of Crazy Aaron's
In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Aaron Muderick to the show. Muderick is the founder of Crazy Aaron’s, the company behind Thinking Putty and Land of Dough.
Crazy Aaron’s revolutionized the putty business and currently ships more than 30 unique colors to retailers and consumers around the world from its manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania. Aside from carrying the flag for U.S. manufacturing, Crazy Aaron’s also employs a number of individuals with disabilities.
On the show, Muderick shares his origin story — the early days of formulating putty in his home. From there, he and Albritton discuss the growth of his company and the pivot into toys along with the differences in marketing Thinking Putty and Land of Dough. Additionally, Muderick offers some tips for budding inventors and entrepreneurs before sharing details on the biggest vat of putty ever!
Power Kid Podcast: Wes Hardin of Diverse Marketing
Since 1959, Diverse Marketing has served the retail industry with a curated catalog of toys and games, gift items, and sporting goods. The company maintains dedicated showrooms in multiple cities and had a staff of nearly 200 representatives that work to help retailers stock their shelves with products that consumers will love.
On the show, Hardin and Albritton discuss the origin of Diverse Marketing and how the company has created opportunities from disruption. Additionally, the duo delves into the four distinct product segments that Diverse Marketing services and how the sales rep experience evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, Hardin shares insight on some big trends that retailers should keep an eye on.
Power Kid Podcast: Soapbox Labs' Jamie Beaumont
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Jamie Beaumont, chief operating officer at SoapBox Labs.
SoapBox Labs is focused on the growing technology of voice recognition and how it can best be used for kids in a variety of sectors. SoapBox Labs licenses its technology for use in K-12 education and by edtech, entertainment, and toy companies.
On the show, Albritton and Beaumont discuss the complexities of creating software that can understand kids and decipher the complex nuances of kids' speech. Additionally, the duo delves into the inventor-friendly nature of SoapBox Labs and some of the opportunities that might be available.
Power Kid Podcast: Well Played Toys' David Gardiner
In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes David Gardiner, founder of Well Played Toys.
Gardiner began his career at Hasbro and has since held executive roles at Basic Fun!, MEGA Brands, and more. As founder and president of Well Played Toys, Gardiner is developing products for kids and collectors alike with top licenses, including Lost In Space, Borderlands, SpongeBob Squarepants, JoJo Siwa, Peeps, and more.
On the show, Albritton and Gardiner discuss the nuances of seeking a toyetic license and how streaming content is fueling an increasingly brisk pace for licensing. Additionally, the duo discusses the intersection of toys, video games, and licensing in creating new products for all ages.
Power Kid Podcast: TREND Enterprises' Paul Weibel
Over the course of his career, Weibel — a former sea captain — has held positions at a variety of toy and game companies, including MindWare, The Manhattan Toy Co., Asmodee, Hansa Creation, and Magnetic Poetry. At Trend Enterprises, Weibel is leading sales as the company seeks to carve a unique niche in the toy space.
On the show, Albritton and Weibel discuss how fun and play can become a part of the sales process and how Trend is making big plans in the toy department while continuing to produce products for the educational market.
Power Kid Podcast: Talking Blinger with Angie Cella
In 2014, Cella devised an invention that lets kids easily add sparkle to their hair. Through further development, Kickstarter campaigns, and self-funded experimentation, Cella scored a deal with Wicked Cool Toys at a Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Empowerment Day. Blinger was given a wide release from Wicked Cool Toys — and later, Jazwares — and now Cella has detailed her journey in a new book, Blinger: An Entrepreneur's Faith-Based Journey which was released this month by RosettaBooks.
On the show, Cella and Albritton discuss the dream that sparked her into action and some of the challenges and successes that she's experienced along the way.
Power Kid Podcast: Toys "R" Us Canada Owner Doug Putman Talks Toys, Retail, and Distribution
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Doug Putman, the new owner of Toys "R" Us Canada and Babies "R" Us Canada. Putman's latest venture places the iconic retailer into a portfolio that includes Everest Toys, Sunrise Records, Alex Global Products, and FYE.
On the show, Albritton asks Putman about his backstory and what drives him to purchase and grow iconic retail chains. Putman shares details on why he believes that brick-and-mortar retail has a bright future for many years to come and how companies can balance a kid-friendly experience with revamped store organization tactics that the toy industry can use to boost sales.
Power Kid Podcast: Introducing Cubles with Joel Morris and Mike Horn
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Joel Morris and Mike Horn, co-founders of Cubles — sturdy, paperboard characters that are made in the U.S.
On the show, Albritton asks the duo about engineering the unique articulation of their Cubles figures and the challenges of creating an environmentally friendly business model. Additionally, the conversation delves into the wide array of marketing opportunities that exist with Cubles, as the brand has already delved into licensing with KISS, Dog Man, and more.
Power Kid Podcast: Melissa & Doug's Dave Henderson Talks Growth, Licensing, and More
Henderson, who previously held roles at Hasbro, Coca-Cola, and Newell Baby brands, joined Melissa & Doug last year as the company entered a new chapter of growth.
On the show, Henderson shares his early toy stories, including selling into the famed Sears Wish Book and how he learned to manage brands while aligning manufacturer, retailer, and consumer expectations. Additionally, Albritton asks Henderson to elaborate on the development of Melissa & Doug's growing distribution footprint and how its entry into licensing via a partnership with ViacomCBS Consumer Products for PAW Patrol and Blue's Clues and You! will drive the company forward.
Power Kid Podcast: Talking Toy Commercials with John Papa of Massimoto Media
Papa is the co-founder and executive producer at Massimoto Media, a New England-based production outfit that creates commercials, films, and videos for clients including Hasbro, TOMY, Rollplay, and more. Papa was recruited by Hasbro to build and establish its in-house Hasbro Studios where he led its growth across the production of commercials and videos for the company's iconic toy brands.
On the show, Albritton and Papa discuss the early days of Hasbro Studios and how the company began its push into content-based entertainment. From there, Papa discusses some of his favorite projects, including the stop-motion animation created for TOMY's line of John Deere Monster Treads and how he and his wife, Katy Magee, collaborate to create compelling content.
Power Kid Podcast: WowWee's Sydney Wiseman Talks Toys and Robotics
Since joining WowWee, Wiseman has helped shape the company's new product portfolio across innovations including Fingerlings, Lucky Fortune, and this year's Got2Glow Fairy Finder.
On the show, Wiseman discusses how WowWee infuses robotics and technology into all of its toys, including the Robosapien and MIP, along with new product offerings such as My Squishy Dumplings.
Power Kid Podcast: Skateboarding Legend Johnny Schillereff Talks The Heart Supply's Jakks Pacific, Target Deal
Schillereff founded Element Skateboards in 1992 and built a world-renowned brand known for manufacturing high-quality skateboard decks, apparel, and footwear. After reaching more than $200 million in sales, he sold Element in the early 2000s. Now, along with his family, Schillereff has launched a new brand, The Heart Supply, and seeks to #GiveSkateboarding to kids around the world.
On the show, Albritton and Schillereff ponder "Are skateboards toys?" and discuss The Heart Supply's new deal with Jakks Pacific and Target and how it will help power the company's mission to give back to kids around the world.
Power Kid Podcast: Hape CEO Peter Handstein talks classic play and sustainability
Since its founding in 1986, Hape has become known as a premier designer and manufacturer of high-quality wooden baby and kid's toys. Hape's products are sold in more than 100 countries and are crafted from sustainable materials.
On the show, Handstein delves into his backstory in selling outdoor play equipment for use in kindergartens and the similarities between that business and selling toys to consumers. From there, Albritton and Handstein discuss the importance of sustainability, the advances in sustainable manufacturing, and the way that many of the great toy designs are often rooted in need. Finally, the duo discusses of Hape balances capturing trends while delivering classic play patterns simultaneously.
Power Kid Podcast: Exploring Electronic Toys with Learning Resources' Michael Blaustein
Blaustein's career in electronic toys includes experience at Tiger Electronics and VTech prior to joining Learning Resources and helping to launch award-winning products, including Botley the Coding Robot (2019 TOTY winner: Innovative Toy of the Year) and Coding Critters (2020 TOTY winner: Best Preschool Toy).
On the show, Blaustein discusses how his early work answering video game customer hint lines led to work as a video game developer. Additionally, he explains how the Code & Go Robot Mouse opened the door for more innovative learning products and the importance of creating tech toys that don’t utilize a screen. Finally, Albritton and Blaustein discuss Learning Resources' new MagicCoders.
Power Kid Podcast: Entering the Sky Castle with Lev Nelson
Over the past decade, Nelson held positions at OzWest and Zing prior to founding Levelhed Creative and co-founding Sather & Fun Toys. Now, Nelson has teamed up with Josh Loerzel for Sky Castle Toys, a new company with a goal to "disrupt complacent toy categories."
Power Kid Podcast: Talking Retail with Lizzy Newsome of Kappa Toys
Newsome's design-minded stores carry a wide array of hard-to-find international toys and collectibles combined with a carefully curated selection of nostalgic retro classics for kids and adults alike.
On the show, Newsome discusses her toy retail journey from Austin to Las Vegas and the differences between being a traditional toy buyer and a toy curator. Additionally, Albritton and Newsome discuss the newly launched Kappa Toys location in the experiential Area15 destination in Las Vegas that showcases glow-in-the-dark, neon, and blacklight reactive toys. Finally, the duo discusses the evolution of brick and mortar toy retail in the post-pandemic age.
Power Kid Podcast: Licensing and Wham-O with Patti and Jonathan Becker
Anjar and Becker Associates have licensed more than 1,000 products, generating more than $2 billion in sales in more than 85 countries, and in recent months they've been all about Wham-O. On the show, Albritton and the Beckers discuss the history of properties, including Gumby, Barrel of Monkeys, and Fireball Island along with how the licensing industry has changed over the years. Additionally, Patti and Jonathan discuss their recent work building a new licensing program for Wham-O before sharing information on upcoming opportunities and an exclusive announcement.
Power Kid Podcast: Adam Borton Talks Toy and Game School
In this week’s episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Adam Borton, founder of Creating Unique Toys and the newly launched Toy and Game School — a digital education platform is designed to teach students the fundamentals of the toy and game industry.
On the show, Albritton and Borton discuss the choice to explore the toy industry in their college studies and the curriculum offered by the Toy and Game School.
Power Kid Podcast: Exploring Augmented Reality with Wikitude's Paula Monteiro
Wikitude is the worlds leading augmented reality (AR) software development kit with over 1 billion installs. On the show, Monteiro discusses how her background with the United Nations and education gives her a unique perspective on the kids' space, and how AR has grown rapidly over the past few years. Additionally, she and Albritton discuss the unlimited creative possibilities for AR and delve into Wikitude's work, including the creation of the Black Panther experience at Walmart.
Power Kid Podcast: Richard Levy Talks Furby, Toy and Game Marketing, and More
In this week's mega-sized episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Richard Levy, a multi-hyphenate with more than 40 years of experience spanning the entertainment, toy, publishing, and licensing industries.
On the show, Levy —who once worked in marketing for Paramount Pictures — shares stories of his early career in the toy industry, including the sale of the electronic Star Bird to Milton Bradley which kicked off a string of hundreds of toys and games that he created or licensed. Among the biggest hits in his back catalog: Furby. Levy was part of the team at Tiger Electronics/Hasbro that brought the pioneering electronic character to market. The cult-favorite toy is currently back on the pop culture radar thanks to a BIG feature in the new Netflix Original Movie, The Mitchells vs. the Machines.
Power Kid Podcast: Talking Pixicade
In this week's episode of the "Power Kid Podcast," host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Martin and Alysha Horstman, the creators of Pixicade, an innovative new platform that kids can use to transform their drawings into playable mobile games.
On the show, Albritton chats with the husband and wife duo about how Martin's tech skills and Alysha's background in art came together in developing Pixicade. Additionally, Martin explains how his game engine will revolutionize how video games are made; and the crew discusses the complexities of ensuring that the Pixicade platform and ecosystem remain kid-safe and COPPA-compliant.
Power Kid Podcast: Talkin' Weird-Ohs with Ahmet Zappa
Zappa is a multihyphenate whose work spans publishing, TV and film, music, and more. He produced Disney's The Odd Life of Timothy Green and created the Star Darlings property, and now he's gearing up to develop projects based on the Weird-Ohs monster hot rod model kits of the 1960s.
On the show, Albritton and Zappa discuss their mutual love of vintage toys and cartoons before delving into the backstory of the Hawk Model Co.'s Weird-Ohs and the unique art of William "Bill" Campbell. From there, Zappa shares details on his past work in Hollywood and animation and how it relates to his vision for the Weird-Ohs relaunch.
Power Kid Podcast: CreateOn's Steve Rosen and Aaron Singer
CreateOn's partnership with Magna-Tiles is rapidly expanding to included licensed building sets from iconic brands, including Sesame Street, Dr. Seuss, The World of Eric Carle, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and The Beatles. On the show, Albritton digs into the backstory of CreateOn and how Rosen and Singer met and entered the toy industry.
The trio also discusses CreateOn's production operation in Illinois and the vision to build manufacturing infrastructure in the U.S. Additionally, Rosen shares how his background in developing licensed slot machines is similar to working with toys, while he and Singer explain how they leveraged their business to support first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.