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The Friday Five

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

The Friday Five: Jeff Imel

BMC Toys is quickly becoming a household name since announcing a new line of female toy soldiers. Jeff Imel, company president, talks about the genesis of the idea and the challenges involved in creating a line from scratch.

The Friday Five: Robin Gerber

While Barbie debuted in 1959, the doll’s impact on popular culture is still unfolding to this day. Author Robin Gerber has dedicated significant time researching and writing about the toy doll. With her second Barbie-focused book, Barbie Forever: Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy, approaching its release date, she talked to Toy Tales about Barbie’s notable legacy.

The Friday Five: Bill Paxton

Blacked-out windows, video surveillance, and elaborate disguises; toy-industry legend Marvin Glass was an eccentric and highly-private man. Author Bill Paxton uncovers the myths and realities about Glass and his career in his new book A World Without Reality: Inside Marvin Glass’s Toy Vault.

The Friday Five: John Lind and Robert Pistella

The Society of Illustrators in New York City showcases the history of Batman art and illustrations in a series of exhibits on until October 12, 2019. Co-curators John Lind and Robert Pistella explain the mandate of the Society and share what surprised them the most as they put together the exhibits highlighting the crime-fighting superhero.

The Friday Five: Michael Rinzler

As co-president and founding partner of Wicked Cool Toys, Michael Rinzler has his finger on the pulse of the toy industry. Rinzler talks about the company’s upcoming Micro Machines launch and the opportunity facing entrepreneurs in the wake of the loss of Toys “R” Us.

The Friday Five: Shannon Symonds

Shannon Symonds curates the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at The Strong. Here, Symonds explains her enviable role at the Museum and sheds light on the changes the Center is undergoing as The Strong undertakes an ambitious expansion.

The Friday Five: Bryan Stevens

Bryan Stevens, Exhibitions Director at Petersen Automotive Museum, talks about the fantastical vehicles featured in the Museum’s Hollywood Dream Machines exhibit and explains why the vehicles are so compelling.

The Friday Five: Michelle Ann Abate

In Michelle Ann Abate’s latest book, Funny Girls: Guffaws, Guts, and Gender in Classic American Comics, she revisits comic book and strip titles from the early 20th century featuring young female protagonists. Abate talks with Toy Tales about the origins of these characters and why they are often overlooked in academia.

The Friday Five: Kay Clopton

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum recently acquired the Dan DeCarlo Collection, a group of works from the late Archie cartoonist. Kay Clopton, Mary P. Key Resident at University Libraries Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, describes the collection and explains DeCarlo’s contribution to Archie.

The Friday Five: Wade Terwilliger

Urban Culture Auctions is pioneering a new style of auction. Wade Terwilliger, the company’s president, talks about the changing landscape of auctions and the memorable pieces that have come across his desk.

The Friday Five: Barbara and Joe Freeman

Tin Toy Works is a specialty toy- and model-train-preservation business based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Owners, Barbara and Joe Freemen, talk about their path to making a business of repairing and preserving toys for an international network of museums, collectors, and dealers.

The Friday Five: William Gallagher

The Antique Toy Collectors of America (ATCA) has brought toy collectors together since 1965. ATCA president William Gallagher describes the mission of the organization and shares why he thinks preserving toy history remains important.

The Friday Five: John O’Neil

John O’Neil brings toy collectors, manufacturers, and pop culture enthusiasts together at the Pop Culture Hall of Fame. Here, he highlights the importance of community building and creating a hub where everyone can enjoy shared experiences.

The Friday Five: Christian Braun

The hobby of collecting grows exponentially year after year. With that growth, comes the importance of documenting collectibles as a way of preserving history. hobbyDB CEO Christian Braun talks about how his site takes on that task while also making the world of buying and selling collectibles easier for everyone.

The Friday Five: Nicole Rousmaniere

Manga takes centre stage at an upcoming British Museum exhibit titled The Citi exhibition Manga マンガ.  Nicole Rousmaniere, IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Arts at the British Museum, explains the history of manga and its impact on modern-day culture.

The Friday Five: Ethan Klein

Just 15 years old, Ethan Klein has already co-created an award-winning STEM-based learning toy for children. Klein talks about his own STEM experience and explains why winning a 2018 TAGIE award is so important.

The Friday Five: Ellia Kassoff

KB Toys set the industry abuzz with news of its reinvention. Toy Tales talks with CEO Ellia Kassoff about the history of the beloved toy retailer and how he’s re-imagining the brand for today’s consumer.

The Friday Five: Andrei Cimpian

Doctor Andrei Cimpian studies the effects of gender stereotypes on young children in his cognitive development lab at New York University. Here, he explains his work and expands on his contribution to Mattel’s Dream Gap Project.