Toy Industry Hall of Fame 2020

A trio of legendary toymakers will enter the Toy Industry Hall of Fame next year, joining the ranks of Milton Bradley, Joan Ganz Cooney, Walt Disney, Ruth Handler, Jim Henson, and Stan Lee, among others.

The Toy Association revealed that Thomas Chan, founder and CEO of Playmates Toys Inc.; Thomas G. Murdough Jr., founder of Little Tikes, Step2, and Simplay3; and the late Harry Kislevitz, founder of Colorforms Corp., will be honored as the Hall of Fame’s 2020 inductees.

“Thomas Chan, Thomas G. Murdough, Jr., and Harry Kislevitz have made a lasting impact on the global toy community, inspiring generations of creative, imaginative, and physical play. They have introduced products that challenged play norms and evolved them into evergreen brands that continue to be loved by kids young and old,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association. “A clear commitment to innovative design and marketing is a career-long hallmark among all three inductees and serves as inspiration to future toy and playmakers. For 2020, our members once again offered an impressive array of potential nominees and from that cadre, three worthy giants have emerged.”

The current roster of 79 toy industry luminaries consists of individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry and to the lives of children through toys and play. Members of The Toy Association nominate and vote on the inductees.

Inductees will be honored at the 20th annual Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY) gala on Feb. 21, 2020 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The ceremony kicks off the 117th North American International Toy Fair.

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.