Open up any toy box around the world and you'll be sure to find the creations of the inductees into the 2021 Toy Industry Hall of Fame:
- William C. Killgallon – who transformed the Etch A Sketch into a household name;
- Pleasant T. Rowland – the trailblazer who founded American Girl;
- the late Margarete Steiff – inventor of the world's first stuffed animal. and
- Phillip Bloom, founder of "The Bloom Report," was inducted for his work as a toy news pioneer.
This year's Hall of Fame inductees were nominated and voted on by members of The Toy Association in recognition of their contributions to the industry. They will join a roster of 77 toy industry luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984, including Walt Disney), Ruth and Elliot Handler) and Jim Henson.
"This year's Hall of Fame inductees have made an enduring mark on the toy industry and in the hearts of countless millions of children worldwide," says Steve Pasierb, president and chief executive officer, The Toy Association. "Phillip Bloom, William C. Killgallon, Pleasant T. Rowland and Margarete Steiff are changemakers and innovators whose careers and inventions are an inspiration to us all. If these past months of the pandemic have taught us anything, it's that toys and play have the awesome power to comfort, heal and bring hope to kids both young and old. So, it is with great pleasure and pride that we announce their induction and celebrate their myriad achievements."
The latest inductees will be honored during the virtual 21st annual Toy of the Year Awards on Feb. 12, 2021. Learn more about the TOTY awards by checking out License Global’s coverage of last year’s finalists.