Toy Industry to Induct Two Outstanding Individuals into Esteemed Hall of Fame
1 October 2014
The U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced today that it will induct Pat Feely, Chairman of the Toy Industry Foundation and retired CEO of Radica Games Ltd., and the late Leslie Berger, Founder of Cardinal Industries, Inc., into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
These individuals were selected for induction by members of TIA in recognition of their significant contributions to the industry and the impact they have had on the lives of children through a lifelong commitment to toys and play. They will join an impressive roster of 67 toy industry luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984. Their induction ceremony will be held on February 13, 2015 in conjunction with the annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards celebration.
“TIA is proud to welcome Mr. Feely and Mr. Berger into the prestigious Hall of Fame in honor of their pioneering spirits, exemplary careers, and longstanding dedication to bringing the magic of play to children of all walks of life,” said TIA President & CEO, Carter Keithley. “We look forward to celebrating their many contributions to the toy industry when they are formally inducted into the Hall this February.”
ABOUT THE 2015 INDUCTEES
Pat Feely is a 37-year toy industry veteran who engineered the turnaround and expansion of two leading toy companies – Radica Games and Tonka. He also led the creation and growth of the Toy Industry Foundation, serving as chairman for eight years. During Feely’s nine-year tenure as President and CEO of Radica Games, the company tripled in size to become #2 in the electronic games category and a leader in toy technology, before being sold to Mattel in 2006. As toy division president at Tonka, in 1986 Feely and his team quadrupled Tonka’s size to #6 in the industry by diversifying the company through the launch of Gobots, Pound Puppies and Sega’s Video Game System. While at Tonka, Feely led the rebirth of a dying iconic truck line, driving market share from 18% back to a dominant position of over 40% through creative marketing, retail promotion and product innovation. Feely’s service to the industry has also included two years as chairman of TIA and six years as an advisor to the TIA Board of Directors. During this time, he helped form the Toy of the Year Awards program, diversified the TIA Board to include a wider spectrum of smaller companies and achieved several other key milestones.
The late Leslie Berger immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary at the outset of World War II to achieve the “American Dream.” Though he arrived at age 19 with just $7 in his pocket, Berger founded Cardinal Industries within five years of his arrival. Headquartered in a small Brooklyn loft, the company’s first games (created with a single drill press) included mah-jongg sets, dominoes, poker chip racks and hula-hoops. Berger had a hands-on role in all aspects of the growing business, including manufacturing, sales and deliveries. Always ahead of the game, he was licensing before it was fashionable, securing the license to General Hospital from ABC in the early 80s. At that time he also recognized Asia’s growing importance and became involved with Chinese factories, while always maintaining a U.S. manufacturing plant. Berger became actively involved in Toy Manufacturers of America (TMA) (now the Toy Industry Association), serving on the TMA board for many years. Today, Cardinal Industries is one of the oldest privately owned toy businesses in the U.S. Under the direction of Berger’s son, daughter and grandson, Cardinal globally distributes a wide array of classic and licensed board games and puzzles.
The 2015 ceremony honoring the latest inductees will take place at the 15th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards on Friday evening, February 13, 2015 at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. The ceremony will kick off the 112th North American International Toy Fair.
For complete biographies and more information please visit toyassociation.org/HOF
About the Toy Industry Hall of Fame
In 1984, the Toy Industry Hall of Fame was established to recognize the people who have brought the value of play to the lives of children and adults. Every year for the past three decades, members of the industry have proudly nominated hundreds of men and women — from toy inventors to toy retailers — who have made their mark on the industry and created a love of play in the hearts of children of all ages.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages, representing nearly 750 companies who account for approximately 90% of domestic toy sales. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety; the Association helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and is committed to working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
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