Brain Miller to Receive ASTRA Top Honor

logoBrian Miller of the Geppetto’s A Child’s Fantasy toy stores in San Diego, California, will be honored at Marketplace & Academy with ASTRA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Miller is a 25-year veteran in the toy industry and owns nine Geppetto’s locations. He started his toy career about the same time ASTRA was founded, and served as a board member and volunteer leader during the beginning of ASTRA. He also helped shape many ASTRA programs still in place today.

Miller will receive the award from ASTRA during its annual Awards Breakfast and Business meeting from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on June 26 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

New Children’s Series Helps to Conquer Fears and Phobias

phobiasFobie Friends is a new series aimed at addressing childhood fears. The books and accompanying plush toys can be used by teachers, counselors, and educators, and help create a child’s desire for play and fantasy.
This three part book series spans across digital platforms and was written by Brian and Leslie Miller. They worked with experts to create characters that depict a child-friendly version of “phobias.”
The first three books and plush toys each come with their own “Fobie” and include:
  • phobias1Did My Owl Just Growl, which addresses the fear of the dark with Fobie Friend blue owl
  • Climb the Monkey Bars? That’s Bananas, a book pertaining to the fear of heights with Fobie Friend purple gorilla
  • Hold Your Seahorses! Water is the Worst, which addresses the fear of swimming in water with Fobie Friends seahorse

Fobie Friends will also launch an ebook application available on Nook, Kindle, Apple, PC, and Android platforms. The books and toys can be purchased on and Books about being bullied at school, going to sleep-away camp, and going to the dentist’s office are in production.