The Toy Association will induct three individuals into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Stan Lee, Brian Goldner, and Joe Mendelsohn will be inducted during the Toy of the Year Awards gala on Feb. 15, 2019.
The three were chosen in recognition of their significant contributions to the industry, and the impact they have had on kids’ lives through a lifelong commitment to toys and play.
The hall of fame, established in 1984, currently has 76 members and resides at The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York.
2019 Inductee in Memoriam: Stan Lee
The late Stan Lee(1922 – 2018), former chairman of Marvel Comics, co-created Spiderman, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, X-Men, and many other prominent characters. Over the years, Lee mentored countless creators of characters, motion pictures, and toys, and led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation now owned by Disney. He also headed the first major successful challenge to the industry’s censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, leading to policy reform. Lee founded the Stan Lee Foundation in 2010 to support programs and ideas that improve access to literacy resources, as well as promote diversity, national literacy, culture, and the arts. Lee passed away on Nov. 12, 2018, at age 95 before he could be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.
2019 Living Inductee: Brian Goldner
Brian Goldner joined Hasbro in 2000, took on the role of CEO in 2008, and has been instrumental in transforming Hasbro from a traditional toy and game company to a global play and entertainment leader. During his tenure, Hasbro passed the $5 billion revenue mark for the first time in company history. Goldner pioneered Hasbro’s entry into entertainment and has served as an executive producer on a number of films based on Hasbro brands, including the Transformers films and the 2017 animated feature My Little Pony: The Movie. He is actively involved in driving corporate and community initiatives to fulfill Hasbro’s purpose to make the world a better place for children and their families. Hasbro ranked fifth on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for 2018 by CR Magazine and was recognized as a 2018 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute.
2019 Posthumous Inductee: Joe Mendelsohn
The late Joe Mendelsohn (1930 – 2017) joined Kenner Products in 1956 and led the company as president from 1978 to 1985. During his tenure, Kenner produced major hits each year in the categories of toys, dolls, and fad items. Mendelsohn guided the development of Kenner’s product lines and interacted with the industry merchants. Mendelsohn believed in partnerships in business and solicited input from those around him, including retailers, and leveraged that input to make his company a leader in the industry. He was a respected executive during a period of dynamic growth at Kenner and within the toy industry as a whole.