NEWS

Virtual networking and high-profile speakers announced for POP Summit

Published on: 13th November 2020

Hasbro heads up Tuesday’s keynote, while Thursday welcomes Speed Pitching. 

People of Play’s 15th annual Toy & Game International Innovation Summit kicks off next Monday, November 16th. The virtual weeklong event, presented by Mattel and Longshore Limited, will feature 35 panels with nearly 200 speakers from over 20 countries. Participants will get insights from leaders of some of the biggest brands in the industry including Mattel, Hasbro, Spin Master, Disney, Goliath and PlayMonster. Other summit sponsors include Big G Creative, Blue Plate Media, Haba, BlokParty, Litzky Public Relations, Edison Nation and The Last Game Board.

In Tuesday’s 9am keynote, Hasbo president and COO John Franscotti, CCO Eric Nyman and Brian Chapman, president of Design & Development, will shine the spotlight on some of the company’s most famous inventors including Caleb Chung, the inventor of Furby; Richard Levy, who helped license Furby to Hasbro; Leslie Scott, the inventor of Jenga and Reyn Guyer, the inventor of Twister and Nerf.

Other notable panels include:

  • The Importance of Films on the Toy Industry and How Innovation Is So Important – moderated by Karri Bean (senior licensing manager, Lego, at Disney Consumer Products) with panellists Rob Johnson (senior category manager – Toys at NBCUniversal Media), Chelsea Condon (brand manager, US Marketing Lego Systems, Inc.), Wolf Steingraeber (senior licensing manager Lego and video games, Disney EMEA) and Mason Fiske (Toy and Game Jedi master at Lucasfilm)
  • What Are Mass Retailers Looking For? moderated by David Norman (president of Goliath) with panellists Mark Menichini and Daniel Warren (toy buyer at Meijer) and Daniel Warren (Toys at JCPenney)
  • State of the Industry Worldwide – moderated by Reyne Rice (CEO/Global Trend Hunter, Toy Trends) with panellists John Baulch (publisher of Toy World UK), Armando Carreteros (Nación Juguetes Latin America and Spain), Astrid Specht (Toys/1st Steps Germany), Imogen Bailey (Toys & Hobby Australia) and Sujin Lee (CEO for Ggem Factory, South Korea)
  • Post U.S. Election – What’s Next? moderated by Alan Hassenfeld (Hasbro chairman executive committee) with panellists Gerrick Johnson (director of BMO Capital Markets) and Stephanie Wissink (managing director, Consumer Research at Jeffries)
  • Global Perspective: Future of Toy Fairs and International Markets – moderated by Richard Gill (vice president International at PlayMonster) with panellists JM Duparc (Identity Games, Netherlands), Jenni Jalava (Martinex, Scandinavia), Bob Fuhrer (Nextoy, Japan), Jacqueline Vong (Playology, Asia) and Stephan Van Hacht (MegaBleu, Europe)

For a full schedule, click here.

In light of the global reach of the summit, virtual networking will be available 24/7 to anyone attending the weeklong event. Conference participants can go in and out a series of zoom rooms to chat with friends and colleagues. The rooms are named for some of the most popular toys today including Mattel’s Uno Room, Spin Master’s Hatchimals Room, Oxford Games’ Ex Libris Room, Radio Flyer’s Wagon Room, the Exploding Kittens Room, Longshore’s Looping Louie Room, Disney’s Mickey Mouse Room, Goliath Games’ Burping Bobby Room, Big G Creative’s Mega Mouth Room and PlayMonster’s Gladius Snap Ships Room.

Speed pitching for new inventors will take place on Thursday from 4pm-6pm CST. More than 50 acquisition executives will watch new inventors pitch their toy and game concepts live through zoom.

Tickets are still available and will be sold throughout the week 16th-20th November. To buy your ticket, click here. All-access pass ticket holders can also watch the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIEs) on Friday evening followed by POP’s Got Talent ( or tickets can be purchased separately for $50). They also get entry to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair and a one-year membership to the People of Play (POP) database.

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