Andy Keimach: The Toy Industry Hall of Fame

by Andy Keimach | 09 May 2024

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed

The Toy Industry Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions and provided impactful service to the toy industry throughout their careers. The Toy Association is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2025 Toy Industry Hall of Fame are now open through June 7.


The Toy Industry Hall of Fame was established in 1984, and every year since, members of the industry have proudly nominated hundreds of people who have made their mark on the industry and created a love of play in the hearts of children of all ages. I invite you to learn about each of the past inductees – from toy inventors to toy retailers – on the Hall of Fame website, where you can also find detailed nomination criteria.


Members of the toy community will come together to honor the 2025 Hall of Fame inductees at the annual Toy of the Year® (TOTY®) Awards on Friday, February 28, and the inductees’ legacies will live on in a special installation at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.


Last week, The Toy Association and Toy Foundation boards of directors, alongside executive staff members, and special guest, Alan Hassenfeld, had the pleasure of holding our board meetings at The Strong.


We were able to tour the museum in between discussions and see the Hall of Fame installation first-hand – for many of us, it was our first time seeing the exhibit, which lives alongside the National Toy Hall of Fame and showcases the toys beloved by generations and the industry trailblazers who helped bring many of those toys to life.


During the visit, Sharon Price John, chair of The Toy Association board and president & CEO of Build A Bear Workshop, paid tribute to the major donors that made the impressive Hall of Fame exhibit possible:

The Hassenfeld Foundation (Alan Hassenfeld),

Hasbro Children’s Fund, Inc.

Funrise Toy Corporation (Arnie Rubin)

Mattel Children’s Foundation

Neil & Amanda Friedman 

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (John Barbour) 

Tom & Karen Kalinske

LEGO Systems, Inc. (Soren Torp Laursen)

Pressman Toy Corporation

Radio Flyer, Inc. (Robert Pasin)

Toys“R”Us, Inc.

The Toy Association 


Outside the Hall of Fame exhibit, The Strong Museum has a remarkable collection of toys and many interactive spaces to inspire play and discovery. It was the perfect venue to hold our board meetings and strengthen the collaborative work between The Toy Association and Toy Foundation boards as we look to deepen our efforts and deliver more value to the toy community.


I highly encourage anyone who has not yet had a chance to visit The Strong to take the trip to Rochester – you won’t be disappointed.


And be sure to submit your Hall of Fame nominations by June 7!  Candidates may be nominated by any stakeholder in the toy industry (Toy Association membership is not required to submit a nomination; however voting to select the inductees is reserved for members only). Note that if a candidate was nominated for consideration to be inducted in 2023 but was not selected, the nomination will carry forward for one additional year. (Click here to see the list of candidates that will automatically be carried over for 2025).


Any questions about the Hall of Fame may be directed to The Toy Association’s Janis Zegman (


toy hall of fame HOF

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