ToyNews Women of the Year 2017: Part one

Sarah Allen, Mattel UK

A well-known face of the global toy brand, Allen has worked on key brands including the likes of Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Monster High, Thomas & Friends and Ever After High. Allen is a key member within the UK team at Mattel, where she represents the brand at numerous panels and committees. 

Kirsty Barr, Grapevine Global

Over the last ten years Barr has handled the PR for a variety of businesses from across the toy world. Most recently, Barr began a new chapter in her career with the launch of Grapvine PR, where her passion for all things toys continues to build. She is known for embracing toys and every latest craze.

Michele Bates, Evolution PR

After kick-starting her own business, Evolution PR, in 2004, Bates has gone on to secure numerous clients throughout the industry, including the likes of Character Options, Flair, Schleich and more. Known as a trusted PR business in the industry, Bates’ position on this year’s listing is a welcome addition.

Christine Baxter, BTHA

As special event manager, Baxter plays a central role in every event held by the BTHA, making it a huge success. Previously described as a ‘lynchpin’ of the Toy Fair office, Baxter’s presence in the toy industry hasn’t gone unnoticed as she continues to be a figurehead for all of her colleagues and peers.

Hannah Beeching, Coiledspring

Last year’s Rising Star winner, Beeching returns to the listing thanks to her continued efforts throughout, where she is known for her enthusiastic and hard-working attitude. Launching and managing campaigns is in her nature, while her passion for toys is evident in everything she does.

Nicola Bergot, Flair

Boasting a vast sales background, Bergot joined Flair back in 2000 where she started out her time at the company as sales director. Thanks to her knowledge of the sales industry, Bergot went on to become commercial director where she has helped to launch Flair’s most successful toy brands to date.

Lianne Bertelli, Bertelli Comms

Handling the PR for toy firms comes natural to MD Bertelli, who launched her own PR company. With a career in the industry spanning over 20 years, Bertelli has not only worked with some of the biggest toy brands, but has also launched various new products and brands to both the industry and the end consumer.

Charlotte Bird, Re:creation

Not only has Re:creation’s Bird mastered the firm’s hoverboard, but she has also proven to be a key member of the marketing team, driving results and contributing to the company. Bird has been instrumental in the launch of the firm’s Crazy Cart and has achieved ‘money can’t buy’ results.

Trudi Bishop, Bee Licensing

Bishop’s role as a player in the toy and licensing industry hasn’t gone unnoticed by colleagues, as she is well known for embracing new ideas and taking on every role to the best of her ability. Bishop has also launched her own firm, Bee Licensing, where she has been able to promote new concepts.

Ali Brown, Orchard Toys

Marketing manager, Ali Brown boasts a wealth of knowledge and experience in the toy sector having spent over four years at the toy manufacturer. Not only does she focus on brand development and management of the firm’s marketing, but customer engagement is also a key part of Brown’s job.

Laura Bull, Schleich UK

During her time as Schleich’s marketing manager, Bull has proven herself to be an excellent asset. Her belief in the Schleich brand is reflected in everything she does and her passion has contributed significantly to Schleich’s reputation, knowing the brand inside and out.

Marie Bureau, Le Toy Van

Leaving France behind, Marie took the plunge to move to England. Leading the creative department at Le Toy Van, she has made an extraordinary contribution to development of the brand and its products. The firm is now expecting great things from this dynamic marketer going into 2018.

Frances Cain, A Girl For All Time

Described as ‘a can-do super woman’, founder and CEO of A Girl For All Time, Cain has launched her own line of dolls, while launching the UK chapter of the Women In Toys business support organisation, where she regularly champions the work her fellow peers have achieved.

Laura Canzio, Jumbo Games

Canzio has garnered over six years experience working in the industry, spending three of those at Jumbo where she has been instrumental in running the Falcon de Luxe 40th anniversary campaign that ran throughout 2016. She also introduced new lines into its puzzle accessory collection.

Kirsten Chambers, IMC Toys

Chambers has worked within the toy company for over two years where she has handles IMC Toys’ marketing portfolio across Club Petz, Play Fun, Mini Peeps and more. Chambers has been instrumental in delivering campaigns and carrying out the growth plans for the firm.

Anna Chapman, Walt Disney Co.

VP of toys and stationery, EMEA, Chapman has worked at the global firm since 2005 where she first started as director of girls’ toys. In her role, Chapman manages some of Disney’s biggest licenses to date. Well-known for her charity work, she is a revered member of this industry.

Samantha Clapham, Funko

In her time at Underground Toys, Clapham has demonstrated expert knowledge of the toy and licensing industry, resulting in a double promotion that has led to her recently being named head of product development. When it comes to licensing, her reputation precedes her.

Lauren Coombs, Generation Media

Known for investing her time fortifying existing client relationships and overseeing the team’s work, Coombs’ experience and enthusiasm for media and the toy market is unparalleled. Her ability to lead has placed her as acting managing director of a firm that recognises her potential.

Jessica Coy, Zimpli Kids

For any marketing query big or small, Coy is the woman for the job. She has progressed her marketing knowledge, working on Zimpli’s hit brands Gelli Baff and Slime Blaster. With a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising too, Coy is a deserving nominee for this year’s listing.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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