Toy Industry to Induct Arnie Rubin and FAO Schwarz into Prestigious Hall of Fame

2 January 2012

The North American Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced that Arnie Rubin, Founder and CEO of Funrise Toy Corporation, and the late Frederick August Otto Schwarz, Founder of FAO Schwarz have been selected as the next inductees into the prestigious Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Established in 1984, the Hall of Fame comprises an impressive roster of 57 individuals who have been previously recognized for their significant contributions to the growth and success of the toy industry. The two newest inductees were nominated from within the toy industry and selected by a vote of TIA members and previous Hall of Fame honorees.

“TIA is honored to welcome Mr. Rubin and Mr. Schwarz into the prestigious Hall of Fame,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president. “They join an esteemed roster of industry visionaries who have revolutionized the toy industry and have had a significant impact on the lives of children the world over.”

Arnie Rubin has been in the toy industry for over 45 years, starting as a bubble mixer at Chemical Sundries. In 1969, he co-founded Imperial Toy Company and in 1987 he formed Funrise Toy Corporation. Funrise is best known for its Tonka "light and sound" emergency vehicles with working sirens and lights, and its popular Gazillion® Bubbles line, which has grown to become the #1 Bubble Brand in the Nation. Mr. Rubin is the past Chairman of the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and TIA. In 2009, he was named to the Toy Safety Certification Program’s Oversight Council and elected as president of the International Council of Toy Industries and is a member of the ICTI Care Board of Governance. Mr. Rubin has served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Braille Institute, and was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Families of Blind Children. He organized the Toy Run for Kids benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles which has brought donations of more than $100,000 annually.

The late Frederick August Otto Schwarz founded the famed FAO Schwarz toy store in 1862, with an innovative vision to establish a magical toy emporium offering unique, high-quality items. Under Mr. Schwarz’s leadership, FAO Schwarz became the first toy store in U.S. history to import toys from Europe, was one of the first mail order businesses in the country, and was one of the U.S. first retailers to bring Santa Claus into a store. Today, FAO Schwarz is a must-see destination for kids of all ages, enchanting visitors at its iconic 5th Avenue location in New York City. One hundred and fifty years after opening its doors, FAO Schwarz is the oldest toy store in the U.S. and one of the oldest retail establishments of any kind.

The 2012 induction ceremony honoring the latest inductees will take place the 12th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards event on Saturday evening, February 11, 2012 at the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. The ceremony will kick off the 109th American International Toy Fair.

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