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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

The Friday Five

Look into the minds of movers and shakers in the play industry – five questions, one fascinating person.

The Friday Five: Mariah Hughes

Mariah Hughes is the marketing coordinator at the National Corvette Museum. In this edition of The Friday Five, she reveals details of the highly anticipated Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit and shares why she thinks society is obsessed with high-performance cars.

The Friday Five: Jennifer Kretchmar

Jennifer Kretchmar is chief digital and merchandising officer at Build-A-Bear Workshop. In this edition of The Friday Five, Jennifer reveals what consumers can look forward to seeing as the company celebrates its 25th anniversary, and describes how the company has evolved over the years.

The Friday Five: Marck Højbjerg Matthiasen

Marck Højbjerg Matthiasen is CEO of Danish toy company, dantoy. In this edition of The Friday Five, Marck shares the company’s recent product and manufacturing innovations and gives insight into the challenges of developing a more sustainable approach to toy manufacturing.

The Friday Five: Blake Wright

Blake Wright is the founder and publisher of TOYCOLLECTR, a new print magazine created specifically for collectors of action figures. In this edition of The Friday Five, Blake shares what readers can expect from the magazine and how the publication expands on his popular trilogy of books, Toys That Time Forgot.

The Friday Five: Fred Trust

Fred Trust is founder of the Wizard of Oz Museum in Cape Canaveral, Florida. In this edition of The Friday Five, Fred shares details of his expansive personal collection of Oz memorabilia and reveals how his childhood in the former Soviet Union sparked an early interest in the classic L. Frank Baum story.

The Friday Five: Philippe de Lespinay

Philippe de Lespinay is the author of Slot Car Dreams, a retrospective of the Golden Age and evolution of slot car racing. In this edition of The Friday Five, Philippe shares how he became a recognized authority on the subject of slot cars and why the book took 10 years to produce.

The Friday Five: Bachir Zeroual

Bachir Zeroual is chief marketing officer for Tastemaker’s Arcade1Up. In this edition of The Friday Five, Bachir shares insights about the ever-changing video game market and his thoughts on the next big trend in arcade-style home gaming.

The Friday Five: Michael Mingoia

Michael Mingoia is the director of exhibitions at the Napa Valley Museum Yountville in California. In this edition of The Friday Five, Michael shares details of the current exhibition titled DANGEROUS GAMES: Treacherous Toys We Loved As Kids and explains the social function of toys and play.

The Friday Five: Christina Nix Lynch

Christina Nix Lynch is director of licensing at King Features Syndicate. In this edition of The Friday Five, Christina talks about how the company is reimagining classic characters for new audiences–including Popeye, Olive Oyl, Blondie, and Flash Gordon.

The Friday Five: Montana Hoeren

Montana Hoeren is head of brand at Hornby. In this edition of The Friday Five, Montana talks about Hornby: A Model World, a new television series that offers an inside look at all that goes into creating products at the pioneering model railway maker.

The Friday Five: Michael Riley

Michael Riley is the chief brands officer at WildBrain. In this edition of The Friday Five, Michael shares the media company’s plans for the Strawberry Shortcake brand and explains WildBrain’s approach to reinterpreting beloved classic characters for new audiences.

The Friday Five: Doug Putman

Doug Putman is the new owner of the iconic Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us Canada brands. In this edition of The Friday Five, Putman discusses his personal vision for the stores and shares where he feels business schools fall short when cultivating entrepreneurs.

The Friday Five: Kelly Woon

Kelly Woon is vice president and general manager of Canadian operations for Funrise, a California-based toymaker. In this edition of The Friday Five, Kelly offers her observations on the booming collectibles market and imparts advice for those wanting to excel in the toy industry.

The Friday Five: Kate Bailey

Kate Bailey is the curator of the Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser exhibit showing now at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In this edition of The Friday Five, Kate shares details of the subterranean exhibit and expounds on the impact these Victorian-era stories and characters continue to have on popular culture. 

The Friday Five: David Moffat

David Moffat created Pig Mania (now known as Pass the Pigs), a party game that has sold over 37 million copies and been translated into twelve languages since its debut in 1977. In this edition of The Friday Five, Moffat shares the story behind the game’s development and early days of production. He also has words of caution for people wanting to develop their own game ideas.

The Friday Five: Chris Bensch

Chris Bensch is the vice-president for collections at The Strong in Rochester, New York. In this edition of The Friday Five (where we sneak in a sixth question), Bensch shares details of the recently announced National Archives of Game Show History and explains why it is a natural fit for The Strong’s mandate.

The Friday Five: Matt Proulx

Matt Proulx is the vice president of location-based entertainment at Hasbro. In this edition of The Friday Five, Matt shares details of the recently announced MONOPOLY LIFESIZED 4D experience opening in London, England in August 2021.

The Friday Five: Alison Bailey

Alison Bailey is lead curator for the upcoming exhibit, Paddington: The Story of a Bear at the British Library in London. In this edition of The Friday Five, Alison reflects on Paddington’s enduring appeal and describes what awaits visitors to the exhibit.