The Toy Industry Hall of Fame will induct four industry legends into its ranks for 2022.
After a month of voting and reflection, The association of the toy revealed two living legends and a pair of posthumous inductees. Jim Pressman, former president of Pressman Toy Corp. and Bob Wann, Head of PlayMonster at PlayMonster LLC were nominated and selected by members of the Toy Association in honor of their enduring contributions to the toy industry. Pressman and Wann will join icons including Milton Bradley, Joan Ganz Cooney, Walt Disney, Ruth Handler, Jim Henson, George Lucas and Stan Lee in the Hall of Fame.
“Bob and Jim are icons of today’s toy industry who have created, marketed, licensed and produced innovative toys and games enjoyed by children and families around the world,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Toy Association. “Their pioneering spirit, embracing the magic of play, and unwavering dedication to providing quality, educational and fun products to children of all ages is a source of inspiration to all. Bob’s countless contributions to the Toy Association as a board member, president and leader of PlayCon add to his lasting positive impact. We look forward to honoring their great accomplishments at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in February! “
The Hall of Fame subcommittee on posthumous selection chose the late Johnny Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy; and the late Lucille King, founder of the Playskool Institute for Induction next year.
“Lucille King, a former schoolteacher who invested most of her life in making toys that stimulated the minds of preschoolers, and Johnny Gruelle, whose Raggedy Ann and Andy stories and dolls have entertained generations of American children, each have skillfully woven learning, creativity, and storytelling into their children’s toys and products, “Pasierb says.” Their creations have captured the hearts of millions of children and helped pave the way for futures toy innovators and entrepreneurs. This recognition is well deserved as we welcome their legacy into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and sets the tone as we seek to recognize a much larger number of influencers in the years to come.
Since 1984, the Toy Industry Hall of Fame has honored outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the toy industry and the Toy Association. Last year, Philip Bloom, founder and former publisher, The Bloom Report; William C. Killgallon, Chairman of the Board, The Ohio Art Society; and Pleasant T. Rowland: founder, american girl, a division of Mattel, were inducted alongside posthumous inductee Margarete Steiff (1847-1909), founder of Steiff toys.
The 2022 Hall of Fame induction will take place at the Toy Foundation’s 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards on Friday, February 18, 2022 at the New York Marriott Marquis to kick off the Toy Fair New York.
Learn more about this year’s inductees here.