The 2023 edition of The BIG Toy Book kicked off The Toy Book‘s 39th volume with a refreshed look and more industry insight than ever before. For our annual State of the Industry Q&A roundtable, we assembled our biggest group of executives ever — 52 in all, representing toy and game manufacturers, retailers, marketers, and analysts. This year’s “all-star lineup” includes participants from the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Australia.

While nothing beats the experience of reading The Toy Book in print (subscribe here!), this year’s State of the Industry Q&A series was packed with so many great insights that we’re proud to share “extended editions” of each Q&A entry right here at

Check out this year’s Toy Industry All-Stars in no particular order:

  1. JULI LENNETT, Vice President, Industry Advisor, U.S. Toys, The NPD Group
  2. GERRICK JOHNSON, Analyst, BMO Capital Markets
  3. ANDY KEIMACH — President, VTech Electronics North America
  4. LAURA ZEBERSKY — President, Jazwares
  5. JAMIE ELLIOTT — General Manager, Alex Baby and Toy
  6. ANNE CARRIHILL — Director of Toys and Games, Amazon
  7. SUE WARFIELD — President, American Toy Specialty Retailing Association (ASTRA)
  8. JAY FOREMAN — CEO, Basic Fun!
  9. DONNA MACNEIL — President, Beacon Communications
  10. DAVID HENDERSON — Chief Commercial Officer, Melissa & Doug
  11. SUNIPA KREUZER — Chief Merchant, CAMP
  12. SCOTT GOLDBERG — Managing Director and Executive Vice President, Carve Communications
  13. STEVE ADOLPH — CEO, PlayMonster
  14. STEPHANE MADI — CEO, Ravensburger North America
  15. HAROLD CHIZICK — CEO, ChizSix Marketing & Media
  16. KIM BOYD — Head of Global Brands & Consumer Innovation, Hasbro
  17. DAVID NIGGLI — Chief Merchandising Officer, FAO Schwarz
  18. TIM JONES — Senior Media Director, Blue Plate Media Services
  19. MICHAEL FISHER — President, GPI
  20. BELINDA GRUEBNER — Chief Marketing Officer, Moose Toys
  21. ERIC BERMAN — Partner & Creative Director, Canspan BMG
  22. MICHAEL ALBERT — President & CEO, TCG Toys
  23. DAVID MIDDLETON — Managing Director, Midco Toys/Midco Toy Planet UK
  24. SUNNY LAURIDSEN — Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Licensing, Just Play
  25. DANIEL BENKWITT — Director of PR and Corporate Communications, The Pokémon Co. International
  26. HEATHER EDWARDS — Owner, Snickelfritz Toys
  27. CHRISTIAN ULRICH — Spokesperson of the Executive Board, Spielwarenmesse eG
  28. MAX RANGEL — Global President & CEO, Spin Master
  29. ALAN DORFMAN — President, Super Impulse
  30. GENNA ROSENBERG — CEO & Chief Ideator, GennComm ImaGENNation
  31. STEVE PASIERB — President & CEO, The Toy Association
  32. JOE LAWANDUS — Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Toys & Hardlines, Universal Products & Experiences
  34. JEFF GREENWALD — Marketing Manager, CandyRific
  35. DR. LISA WILLIAMS — CEO, World of EPI
  36. ANDREW YANOFSKY — Head of Marketing & Operations, WowWee
  37. SARAH JORDAN — CEO, Mastermind Toys
  38. ISAAC ELLIOTT-FISHER — Filmmaker; Owner, Village Toy Castle
  39. NICK MURIELLA — Vice President Merchandising and Supply Chain, Toys “R” Us Canada
  40. ALLYSON BANKS — Marketing Director, Toys “R” Us Canada
  41. ANDREW WAGAR — President & CEO, Swerve; Chair, Marketing & Communications The Canadian Toy Association
  42. HELENA PERHEENTUPA — Senior Vice President, ZAG Play Toy Division
  43. ISAAC LARIAN — Founder & CEO, MGA Entertainment
  44. NIK NAYAR — Senior Vice President of Hardlines, Target
  45. JULIEN SHARP — General Manager & Country Manager, U.S., Asmodee
  46. YEHUDA SHMIDMAN — Chairman & CEO, WHP Global & Toys “R” Us
  47. DION VLACHOS — Executive Vice President, Licensing and Retail, Consumer Products & Experiences, Paramount
  48. VICTORIA LOZANO — Executive Vice President, Marketing Crayola
  49. ROBERTO STANICHI — Senior Vice President, Hot Wheels & Global Head of Vehicles, Mattel
  50. DEIRDRE CROSS — General Manager, Funko Games
  51. LAUREN DERSE — CEO, Learning Express Toys & Gifts
  52. DERRICK BACA, Senior Vice President, Creative, Innovation & Vision at Loungefly

For additional industry insight, stay tuned for The Toy Book‘s Classics & Specialty (May) and Licensing & Entertainment (June) issues. Check out our editorial calendar for details on how you can get involved in the No. 1 trade publication serving the North American toy industry.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.