Bernard Loomis: The Man Who Invented Saturday Morning

Bernard Loomis made legendary contributions to the toy industry and the world of play.

Vital Stats

Born July 1923 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Died June 2006 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Learning the Business

Loomis served in the United States Military during World War II then attended New York University before becoming a salesman for numerous toy manufacturers.

Marketing Trailblazer

He joined Mattel’s sales and marketing department in 1960, working on brands that included Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Chatty Cathy, to name just a few. In 1969, he developed a television series based on Hot Wheels toy cars. The concept was the first of its kind on the airwaves, and he became known as “The Man Who Invented Saturday Morning.”

A Star is Born

Loomis was the President of Kenner from 1970-1978.

During this time, he acquired the licensing rights to a then little-known production called Star Wars and developed the 1977 “early bird” diorama concept that promised consumers first rights to Star Wars figures once they were released. He also worked on the Play-Doh, Six Million Dollar Man, and Bionic Woman toy lines. From 1978-1981, Loomis was the GroupVice President of the General Mills Toy Group (which included Kenner).

From 1981-1984, he was President of MAD (Marketing and Design Group) of General Mills. MAD, in partnership with American Greetings, developed and managed all aspects of Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears brands.


Loomis coined the term “toyetic” to describe a movie or television production that is well-suited to toy, game, and merchandise tie-ins. Bernard Loomis was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 1992.