ToyNews Women of the Year 2017: Part two

Jade Burke

By Jade Burke

June 6th 2017 at 11:15AM
UPDATED June 7th 2017 at 12:31PM
ToyNews Women of the Year 2017: Part two

We continue championing the women of the toy industry with the next instalment of the 30 women who made the ToyNews Women of the Year powerlist.

Natasha Crookes, BTHA

As director of public affairs and communications, Crookes is central to the work of the BTHA. She tackles all industry related issues, represents members’ views in government discussions, manages all BTHA’s PR and sits on the Toy Industries of Europe’s Communications committee.

Charlotte Croser, Jollys Toys

A passionate advocate for the independent toy shop and small High Streets, Croser is recognised for a unique toy shop that she launched in 2013. Helping local business is in Croser’s DNA, having launched a monthly farmers market to boost local trade in 2014. She is a celebrated industry member.

Selina Dangerfield, Norton & Company

Creative, professional, a team player and a real grafter with a nose for a story, Dangerfield has earned respect and admiration from colleagues, industry peers and clients alike for her ‘can do’ attitude and ceaseless ability to see the good in everyone and everything. Even at 11 years into the job.

Nancy Davies, Interplay UK

During her 10 year tenure, Davies has launched the company into the international market, one of her most significant achievements as sales director at Interplay. With an unbridled passion for the industry, she is a key figure among the Interplay team now and for many years to come.

Marian Davis, MGA and Zapf

A prominent figure in the toy industry since 1991, Davis’ plethora of experience has been integral in seeing her brands continue to go from strength to strength, plus in 2015 she was awarded with the Toy News Woman of the Year 2015 Marketeer accolade.

Tracey Devine, Rubie’s

Devine first joined the firm back in 2015 where she took the reigns of Rubie’s marketing department as head of marketing. In just under a few months, she was promoted to her current position of head of licensing and marketing, all thanks to her hard work and can-do attitude.

Sabine Dix, Trends UK

A highly respected member of the accounts team, Dix is known for her impeccable product knowledge, while also providing an outstanding service for both customers and business partners. “A great friend, she is also a really lovely person and fantastic company to work and have fun with.”

Alison Downie, HTI

Described as the ‘ultimate queen of licensing,’ Downie has garnered a wealth of experience and knowledge in the children’s toy market thanks to a career spanning over 30 years. She is responsible for three large divisions within the HTI business; product development, marketing and licensing.

Joanna Drage, Thames & Kosmos

As a seasoned director of sales, Drage knows her product range inside out. With its growing collection of games heading to some major retailers’ shelves this year, it’s just as well Drage is highly regarded for her ‘fun yet no-nonsense attitude to work.’ She truly is a fine addition to this year’s listing.

Emma Eden, Spin Master

As marketing manager, Eden has been responsible for launching Spin Master’s PAW Patrol range, while helping drive it to become the top selling pre-school property. Seven years at the firm has seen Eden active across key brands like Air Hogs and Meccano.

Laura Edwards, Viral Talent

With over 18 years’ experience in the multi- media industry, Edwards represents some of the most successful Kidfluencers, including Tiana from Toys AndMe in her role as commercial director at Viral Talent. She has been described as 'an incredibly hard working, forward thinking and passionate supporter of brands who always goes the extra mile – she is an absolute pleasure to work with,' making her positioning well deserved this year. 

Marina Edwards, LEGO

VP and GM for LEGO in the UK and Ireland, Edwards boasts both commercial and leadership experience thanks to her roles at Pepsico and Procter and Gamble, She is a strong addition to the UK and Ireland business and the EMEA and well worthy of a namecheck in this year’s list.

Ruth Elliott, Big Ideas

Product Development Co-founding both Carterbench and Big Ideas, Elliott has continued to make waves in the toy and design space. Elliott has helped design Cartamundi’s Shuffle range and Paul Lamond’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary board game.

Katy Fletcher, Re:creation

Having accumulated almost 15 years experience in the toy industry, Fletcher is a well-known face to many. Currently senior brand manager at Re:creation and with brands including Razor in her remit, Fletcher’s knowledge of the outdoor and ride-ons world is second to none.

Caroline Fosbury, Fosbury PR

Fosbury has spent almost three decades working in PR for toys where she has worked with major names including Tyco, Mega Bloks, Little Tikes and Worlds Apart. Setting up her own business in 2005, Fosbury has gone on to work with Spin Master where she managed the launch of Hatchimals.

Tina-Louise Foster, MGA

Foster first joined MGA in 2011 where she has built and expanded the company’s toy brands, including the likes of Num Noms, Little Tikes and LOL Surprise! As senior director of licensing, Foster boasts strong relationships with key retailers such as Asda, Walmart and Tesco.

Maxine Fox, iGen Insight

A former BBC researcher, Fox has gone to apply her expansive skills as iGen’s MD. Fox boasts experience managing projects through their entire life cycle from winning project commissions, project design, scoping and analysis to making recommendations that maximise benefit realisation.

Fiona Fraser Bell, Accentuate Games

Fraser Bell has had an incredibly busy year, seeking out new global markets for the gaming success Accentuate and working with partners. Known for her hard- working nature, she has also been sourcing new digital outlets for the game while steering the marketing activity in both the UK and US. 

Gemma Gallagher, ToyTesters.tv/Kidtropolis

Gallagher has been a fundamental player in the kids’ event Kidtropolis, which she has since become a director of. Meanwhile, she has continued to run ToyTesters.tv, an annual awards event that sees kids pick their favourite toys of the year.

Jane Garner, Kilogrammedia

In a crowded marketplace, Garner has gone above and beyond to ensure her service to clients licensees, licensors, agents and more are receiving the very best treatment. With a client roster featuring Cartamundi, Bulldog, JELC and more, Garner hes helped put new toy and gaming names on the map.

Kate Gibson, Gibsons

After joining the family business in 2005, taking up the position as operations manager, Gibson grew from strength to strength after being promoted to director in 2008. Cited as being ‘tremendously hard working and highly organised’, Gibson is a real credit to the team and this listing.

Anna Giles, Hasbro

As regional marketing manager of girls and pre- school franchise brands, Giles has been helping to create the world’s best play experiences at Hasbro for more than ten years. She is praised by her peers as being an exceptional partner to work with and someone who is always open-minded.

Andrea Gornall, Shop Direct

Gornall has been central to the continued success of Shop Direct’s toy offering across her 26 years with the company, where she holds relationships with some of the world’s biggest toy brands. As senior buyer, she plays a key leadership role in a 20-strong group of buyers.

Helen Gourley, Toy Hub

Toy Hub’s company director, Gourley has helped to lead the growth of the retail store with the opening of a second store, where she strives to stand out from the crowd, fighting off competition from local retailers, where she has been identified for her passion to provide an excellent service.

Amanda Gummer, Fundamentally Children

Boasting over 20 years’ experience working with kids and families, Gummer has been influential not only through her role as a research psychologist specialising in child development, but also through her role as CEO and founder of Fundamentally Children.

Wendy Hamilton, Grasshopper Toys

Grasshopper Toys moved from being an online only store to a bricks and mortar store in 2012, all thanks to owner Hamilton’s commitment to the business. In 2013, she also took over the online science shop curiousminds.co.uk. She is also known for supporting local charities and schools.

Chloe Hardy, OMD

Leading a team of experienced media specialists, business director, Hardy is a key player at OMD. She is known for driving the industry to adapt and deliver activity that gives excitement and engagement for the consumer, while also ultimately securing sales.

Lindsay Hardy, Trends UK

A major figure in the toy space, Trends’ marketing director has played a key part in launching key brands into the UK and was also part of the core team that set up Flair. Now based at Trends UK within the marketing team, Hardy is known to inspire her peers to achieve the best they can.

Wendy Hill, Mattel UK

Hill has served a long- standing career at Mattel spanning over ten years, where she has played a key role in developing brands such as Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels. Known for her tireless drive and can-do attitude, brand activation director, Hill proves to be a worthy addition in this year’s powerlist. 

Emma Hanlon, Thames & Kosmos

Having spent over three years at Thames & Kosmos, account director, Hanlon understands the games and puzzles sector like the back of her hand. Hanlon has been cited as having ‘a can-do attitude and a contagious excitement for every product’.