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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: Tanis Gray

Tanis Gray is a knitwear designer with a talent for interpreting pop culture characters into fanciful knitting projects. Here, she talks with Toy Tales about her latest book, Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy, and the importance of sharing the things we love. 

The Friday Five: Valarie McLeckie

Valarie McLeckie is the consignment director of video games at Heritage Auctions. In this edition of The Friday Five, McLeckie reveals what she looks for when evaluating a video game for auction and how the pandemic has affected the collectables market.

The Friday Five: Jordan Greenlee

Jordan Greenlee, Director of Administration at the Museum of Science & History, talks about bringing Toytopia — an exhibit highlighting popular toys and games of the twentieth century — to the Jacksonville, Florida museum.

The Friday Five: Joshua Tsui

Filmmaker Joshua Tsui talks with Toy Tales about Insert Coin, his new documentary chronicling the heydey of arcade game publisher Midway Games, known for Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Narc, Rampage, and other seminal titles.

The Friday Five: Eric Nyman

Eric Nyman, Chief Consumer Officer at Hasbro, shares details about PulseCon, a virtual event that brings fans together with their favorite Hasbro brands and celebrities.

The Friday Five: Mary Couzin

Toy Tales talks with Mary Couzin about the recent rebranding of her organization, ChiTAG, to People of Play and what sets today’s young inventors apart from their predecessors.

The Friday Five: Tim Cohen-Laurie

Tim Cohen-Laurie is an executive producer on What’s It Worth?, a show that looks for hidden treasures owned by everyday people, starring comedian Jeff Foxworthy as host. Cohen-Laurie talked to us about the pandemic’s effect on the production of the show and how people can be considered for future seasons.

The Friday Five: Christopher Byrne

Toy Tales talks with The Toy Guy, Christopher Byrne about the impact of COVID-19 on the toy industry and The Playground, the podcast he co-hosts with Richard Gottlieb of Global Toy Experts.

The Friday Five: Arlene Biran

As its iconic toy Etch A Sketch celebrates 60 years of encouraging analog play, Spin Master’s Arlene Biran discloses why the company acquired the brand and what consumers can look forward to seeing (and buying!) in honour of the milestone anniversary.

The Friday Five: Joel Redfearn

Pinewood Derby enthusiast Joel Redfearn shares his start with this competitive racing hobby and how it led to him owning two businesses.

The Friday Five: Brian Volk-Weiss

Brian Volk-Weiss, creator of the Netflix docuseries The Toys That Made Us, talks about his new series, A Toy Store Near You, and reflects on some of his favourite vintage toys.

The Friday Five: Ella Newman

Spin Master recently announced their Meccano Co-Lab STEM programme for schools in the United Kingdom. they talked to Toy Tales about the programme and how Meccano serves as a conduit for both learning and fun.

The Friday Five: David Glanzer

David Glanzer has the enviable job of promoting one of San Diego’s most anticipated upcoming attractions, Comic-Con Museum. Here, Glanzer explains the impetus behind the attraction and what the recent appointment of Chief Curator, Gary Sassaman, means for the Museum.

The Friday Five: Cynthia Jones

Cynthia Jones oversees operations at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan. Here, she shares details about the Museum’s surprising upcoming exhibit, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes.

The Friday Five: Nathan Vernon Madison

Once considered a lowbrow form of entertainment, pulp magazines went on to influence major contemporary filmmakers. The Pulp Magazine Project’s editorial board member, Nathan Vernon Madison, talked to Toy Tales about the genre’s journey from guilty pleasure to respected art form.

The Friday Five: Matt Proulx

Matt Proulx oversees location-based entertainment at Hasbro. Here, Proulx shares Hasbro’s plans for a theme park at West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, as announced in December 2019.

The Friday Five: Jill Nash Malool

Jill Nash Malool is the Museum Director at Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping the history and art of puppetry alive and well in North America. In this edition of The Friday Five, Malool expands on the role of the Center and shares why it’s important to preserve the history of puppetry arts.