by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association

Veteran toy executive Tim Kilpin has spent nearly 30 years developing innovative consumer products in the toy and children’s entertainment industries. Kilpin, who took on the role of Activision Blizzard’s head of consumer products last year, will share his knowledge into how brands can deepen their relationships with their audiences and engage fans during a special session at the new PlayCon when the conference returns May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, Calif.

Kilpin, who was recently elected to The Toy Association’s board of directors, has set brand strategies and creative direction for many of the world’s most iconic children’s brands, including Hot Wheels, Disney Princess, Winnie the Pooh, Barbie, Mickey Mouse, and Batman, while working for Mattel and The Walt Disney Company.

As Activision Blizzard’s president and CEO of its new consumer products division, Kilpin is tasked with accelerating the growth of the interactive gaming company’s franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Candy Crush across multiple product categories. His knowledge of creative product development and category expansion across the toy and gaming space will be beneficial to PlayCon attendees as they look to grow their businesses.

“Tim’s participation in PlayCon is another example of the growing list of leading experts from a variety of disciplines who will share their expertise and experiences with attendees,” said Marian Bossard, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of global market events. “With the theme #PlayForward, the valuable and actionable content provided at the new PlayCon will be unparalleled to any other toy industry conference.”

PlayCon’s speaker roster includes more than two dozen thought-leaders, industry analysts, toy influencers, consumer product executives, and other motivational speakers who will lead short “TED Talk”-like sessions during the conference’s new format. Confirmed speakers include: Facebook’s Eva Press; Google’s Victoria Fang; alternative reality game designer Jane McGonigal; Dale Dougherty, “father” of the Maker Movement; Jefferies’ Stephanie Wissink; Trend Hunter’s Armida Ascano and Courtney Scharf; Ted Curtin of ProdigyWorks; and many more.

The Toy Association is hosting an open forum focused on succeeding over bankruptcies, retail disruption, and a changing marketplace, taking place Tuesday, May 8, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the SF Jazz Center—prior to PlayCon’s official opening. The forum is open to all toy and play professionals at no cost and registration for PlayCon is not required. Email Robyn Gibbs to RSVP.

Visit ToyAssociation.org/PlayCon to register and for a list of up-to-date speakers, hotel information, and other news about the industry’s premier conference for play professionals.