The COVID-19 pandemic put an end to plans for this year’s Market Place & Academy, but the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is continuing its yearly tradition of honoring the best in the specialty toy industry. The winners of the 2020 ASTRA Excellence Awards have been revealed, and while the in-person celebration is canceled, a virtual celebration will take place next month during the first-ever ASTRA Camp.
2020 ASTRA Excellence Award Winners
- Retailer of the Year: The Toy Maven (Dallas)
- Manufacturer of the Year: Smart Toys & Games (San Francisco)
- Sales Rep of the Year: Jeff Saad of Jeff Saad & Associates (Seattle)
- Innovator Award: Ryan Hamilton of Plus-Plus USA (Greenville, SC)
- Rising Star: Kyle Cosgrove of Crazy Aaron’s (Norristown, PA)
- Humanitarian Award: Crazy Aaron’s (Norristown, PA)
Jeff Pinsker, president of Amigo Games North America is the 2020 ASTRA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient. Over the past 30 years, Pinsker has founded, managed, and sold several businesses involved in kids and family entertainment, toys, and games. His experience includes time spent as president of University Games, CEO of JP Kids, CEO of Infinitoy, president of Klutz, president of Pressman, and general manager at Cardinal Games. He recently shared insight into his career on the ‘Power Kid Podcast.’
This year’s winners will be honored during ASTRA Camp’s Awards Night, August 5 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.