Industry stalwart Dave Howard set to retire after 34 years with the UK toy trade

Industry stalwart, Dave Howard, the current sales director for TOMY and Drumond Park Games, is set to retire on April 30th this year, following 34 years of service in the UK toy industry.

Starting his toy career at Hasbro, Howard was with the company for 12 years before joining Character Options in 1999. Here, he was head of its licensed stationery and toiletries division for two years, before moving on to Marvin’s Magic for four years, prior to joining Drumond Park as sales director.

In total, Howard has worked with Drumond Park brands for 17 years, including four years at Vivid, enjoying his final two years at TOMY. In 2004, Drumond Park’s turnover was £2.9m and Howard was instrumental in building the brand to its peak of £15m in 2016.

He has been an integral member of the team throughout his time with Drumond Park, supporting a number of successful game launches including Deal or No Deal, which won Game of the Year in 2007.

Under his direction at TOMY, in 2020, Drumond Park Games achieved lead-position in the adult games category, with Drumond Park products accounting for 50 per cent of every adult game purchases. Dave has also played a key part in helping to grow TOMY’s overall games business by 59 per cent, three times faster than market standard.

Mary Wood, general manager UK and Ireland at TOMY, said: “Dave is a much-loved character in the industry and has always been hugely dedicated to the company for which he works.

“He has an inherent skill for putting not only the company’s best interest at heart, but also those of his customers. His strong work ethic has earned him a huge amount of respect from both his customers, colleagues and competitors, with whom he has strong and lasting friendships – which will continue long into his retirement.

“A true professional, Dave is known for his sharp-wit, wicked sense of humour and longstanding integrity.”

Following his retirement from the UK toy industry, Howard plans to dedicate his extra time to enjoying food, wine, holidays and golf, and spending time with his grandchildren.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz 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 Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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