The Toy Industry Hall of Fame will induct four industry legends into its ranks for 2022.
Following a month of voting and consideration, The Toy Association revealed two living legends and a pair of posthumous inductees. Jim Pressman, former president of Pressman Toy Corp. and Bob Wann, Chief PlayMonster at PlayMonster LLC were nominated and selected by members of The Toy Association in honor of their lasting contributions to the toy industry. Pressman and Wann will join icons, including Milton Bradley, Joan Ganz Cooney, Walt Disney, Ruth Handler, Jim Henson, George Lucas, and Stan Lee in the Hall of Fame.
“Bob and Jim are modern-day toy industry icons who have created, marketed, licensed, and produced innovative toys and games beloved by children and families around the world,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association. “Their pioneering spirits, embrace of the magic of play, and steadfast dedication to delivering quality, educational, and fun-filled products to kids of all ages is an inspiration to all. Bob’s countless contributions to The Toy Association as board member, chairperson, and leader of PlayCon add further to his lasting positive impact. We look forward to honoring their great achievements at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in February!”
The Hall of Fame Subcommittee on Posthumous Selection chose the late Johnny Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy; and the late Lucille King, founder of the Playskool Institute for induction next year.
“Lucille King, a former schoolteacher who invested the majority of her life into making toys that stimulated the minds of preschoolers, and Johnny Gruelle, whose Raggedy Ann and Andy stories and dolls entertained generations of American children, each skillfully wove learning, creativity, and storytelling into their toys and children’s products,” Pasierb says. “Their creations captured the hearts of millions of children and helped pave the way for future toy innovators and entrepreneurs. This recognition is richly deserved as we welcome their legacies into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and sets a forward tone as we seek to recognize a significantly greater number of influential individuals in the coming years.”
Since 1984, the Toy Industry Hall of Fame has honored outstanding individuals who have made impactful contributions to the toy industry and The Toy Association. Last year, Philip Bloom, founder and former publisher, The Bloom Report; William C. Killgallon, chairman of the board, The Ohio Art Company; and Pleasant T. Rowland: founder, American Girl, a division of Mattel, were inducted alongside posthumous inductee Margarete Steiff (1847-1909), founder of Steiff Toys.
The 2022 Hall of Fame induction will take place during The Toy Foundation’s 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, at the New York Marriott Marquis to kick off Toy Fair New York.
Learn more about this year’s inductees here.