Brian Weiss, Goliath's President of North America, Shares His Mantra: "Never ask Anyone to Work Harder than You are Willing to Work Yourself."

by Brian Weiss | 10 Nov 2022

Biographies and Interviews

Hi Brian! Congratualtions on your new role as President of N.A. for Goliath and thank you for chatting with us today. What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far?

My family is by far and away my biggest achievement. I don’t think a day goes by that I am not proudly sharing something about my wife, or my three children. My wife has been beyond supportive, and has sacrificed so much professionally for me and our children. You will soon see them on Goliath packaging.



Do you have a mantra that you live by?

Never ask anyone to work harder than you are willing to work yourself.


Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?

I was born into the Industry. My father was a manufacturer’s representative. As a child, he would take me on sales calls to specialty accounts. He had a showroom in the Toy Building and I would help him set it up for Toy Fair. I always knew I was going to be in the Industry, but I never could have imagined the ride it has taken me on.  


What are you working on now?

I am very fortunate to be part of an already successful company.  I am focusing my attention on two key areas.  Firstly, maximizing what we are currently already successful with. This includes refining our systems and processes to maximize efficiencies to offset costing and inflationary pressures. Secondly, and what I am most excited about is building Goliath into a Toy Powerhouse to complement our already robust games business.  They say, “Product is King”, we want the throne!!


What has kept you motivated to stay in the toy industry?

The Toy Industry is tough. It is filled with incredibly talented individuals that challenge the status quo daily. It’s an industry that needs to constantly reinvent itself. It’s exhausting, challenging, and sometimes frustrating, but when you create or a part of making a child or adult happy, I ask you is there anything better. For me that’s what its all about.


If you look back at yourself 10 years ago is this where you thought you’d be?  Where did you think you’d be? What changed? What went right?

First off, I wish I aged a little better. In all seriousness this is not where I expected to be. Ten years ago, I just left Jakks Pacific to open my own firm to represent manufacturers, focusing on Toys R Us and to become a private label specialist. I envisioned myself living in the northeast and running my boutique agency. When Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy, that plan went out the window. The stars aligned because at the same time Moose Toys offered me the opportunity to Head US Sales. With the support of my beautiful wife, Alyssa, my family and I moved across the country. Moose was an amazing experience, one that I will always cherish.  It prepared me for the challenges ahead at Goliath.



What was your favorite project to date?

Ask me that question when our fall 2024 Toy Line is at retail.


What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?

When I look at the Toy and Game industry, I am excited about the same thing I worry about. There is a lack of innovation. The companies that bring innovation to the industry are the ones that will be successful in the future. Licensed properties play an important role, but they too need to be innovated. Bringing innovation is what excites me.


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

I would tell inventors not to forget, not only are they selling inventions, but companies are selling to them. Everyone is looking for the next great idea, if you have it, then leverage it. But show it to Goliath first.


What advice do you have for people starting in the industry?

Speak up, the industry is dominated by powerful personalities, but innovation comes from diverse ideas and backgrounds, share your thoughts and opinions because they are valuable.  Work hard and stay positive. Positivity leads to productivity.


What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Making people smile. Not only the end customers, but also team members.


What is the worst job you’ve ever had and what did you learn from it?

I am fortunate, in that I never had a job that I disliked. There was always something that I enjoyed. When I worked for the Sands of Atlantic Beach Club, part of my job was to clean cabanas every morning, which entailed sweeping the sand out of them. As you could imagine its pretty hard to sweep the sand off the beach.  I guess I learned from that experience that there is always more to do.



What and/or who inspires you?

I am inspired by many individuals, but more so by traits in individuals that I try to incorporate into who I am.  The characteristics I am most inspired by are passion, fearlessness, presence, kindness, and empathy. I have been fortunate to work with leaders who are extremely driven and go for it. I have also witnessed how teams respond to empathetic leader’s vs callous cold ones.  As I look back at my career, I am most proud of the relationships I have built with those who have inspired me, and it is from those relationships that I have grown.


What excites you?

I would say two main things excite me.  Product!  When I see a great product, I literally get chills, because I know it’s the beginning of another amazing journey. Secondly, when I see members of my team succeed. The toy industry is very challenging and competitive, and that makes being successful that much sweeter. Having team members consistently acknowledged is simply awesome!


Where do you come up with your best ideas?

I feel that I come up with my best ideas when I am exercising. No screens in front of my head, the chaos around me is gone and it’s just me with my thoughts. I encourage everyone to block time in their calendars to go for a walk, or exercise, you will be amazed how many thoughts and ideas you will have.


What blocks your creativity?

Emails and too many meetings.


How do you recharge or take a break?

I walk around the office and ask people about their lives.  Listening to what’s going on in their lives helps me take a break from mine.


What words describe how you think or how your brain works?

Incessantly! It never stops. Even when we go on vacation, five minutes on the beach and I am thinking about what’s next.


Who is the person you most admire?

My father-in-Law Steve. He lives his life with one purpose, for his family. The reason I admire him so much, is I see firsthand how his selflessness leads to happiness.



When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Everyday! Looking at photos of my kids. They always make me smile and laugh. We only have one life; I try to enjoy every moment of it.


Do you have a nickname?



Do you have any kiddos?

I have three kids all unique and special in their own ways. I won the lottery with my family.  Jack, 18, is a freshman at Cornell University and avid runner. Noah,16, plays Violin for two Orchestras, is on the High School Swim team, and is passionate about Robotics. Emme,10, is a dancer, swimmer, and incredibly creative writer.


What’s your favorite cereal?

Fruity Pebbles, there is no close second.


What’s the first thing you usually notice about people?

If they are self-confident or not.


What are your favorite sports and sports teams?

Jets, Mets, Islanders, and Knicks are there any other teams?


Favorite movie of all time?

The Notebook. The book and the movie. When my wife and I dated, we read the notebook together on the phone. We bought a white house because it reminded us of the notebook, and we named our second child Noah.  



Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!