Best sellers: The toy industry's top sales execs

The toy industry is home to a line-up of keen sales members, from managers to directors, all intent on making a sale to drive the company forwards. Jade Burke lists those key sales employees who play an intrinsic role to growing business in the toy space.
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Name: Matt Bishop, Job Title: Broad Market Sales Manager

A favourite among Esdevium’s clientele, Bishop has spent four years at the company where he has played a lead role on key accounts. This year alone has seen him receive a promotion, taking on the role of Broad Market Sales Manager, where he will manage the telesales team’s dealings with indie customers. “Matt’s work ethic and dedication are a real asset to Esdevium and it’s a pleasure working with him,” cites one colleague.

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Name: Adrian Carney, Job Title: National Account Manager

During his time at Jazwares, Carney has secured relationships with key retailers since taking on multiple accounts from grocery and online to toy specialists. ‘A huge asset to the business’, he has bought a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role having previously been a buyer. Not only that, he is also well respected by licensors and remains a valued member of the team.

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Coiledspring Games 

Name: Kerrie Corrigan, Job Title: Sales Manager

Within six months of joining Coiledspring, Corrigan was promoted to sales manager thanks to her wide-ranging skills and sales acumen that she garnered from previous roles. A formidable leader who aims to get the best out of her team, Corrigan has been known to bring a holistic approach to conducting business thanks to her attitude of building a profitable, sustainable company. 

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Alpha Animation

Name: Lisa Cox, Job Title: Senior Account Manager

Boasting over 14 years’ experience in account management, Cox joined Alpha three months ago where she is helping the firm to achieve its UK vision. A determined and passionate team member, since joining Cox has spearheaded the launch for Alpha’s autumn/winter lines where she gained new accounts and seeded new business. 

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Trends UK

Name: Sabine Dix, Job Title: National Account Manager

Dix has held several sales roles across numerous companies, from the likes of Spin Master and Tomy to MGA Entertainment, with her most recent stint at Trends UK for the past four years. Recognised for her cheerful outlook and her enthusiasm for the sector, Dix has been commemorated for her ‘outstanding product knowledge’ and ‘impeccable communication skills’.

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Thames & Kosmos

Name: Jo Drage, Job Title: Sales Director

A true driving force behind the firm in the UK, Drage has been a fundamental player in growing Thames & Kosmos’ presence within retailers. This year also saw the firm take on two new trends – board games and STREAM toys – which Drage has fully backed to generate more sales and grow her customer base.

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Click Distribution

Name: Sophie Hogg, Job Title: Sales Account Manager

Starting out as an independent account manager back in 2016 at Click, Hogg has since been promoted to her current position as sales account manager thanks to her tenacious attitude and ability to grasp the toy industry so quickly. “Hogg possesses a passion and enthusiasm that is refreshing to see and will be an integral part to Click’s ongoing plans,” comments one colleague. 

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John Adams

Name: Rosemary Hughes, Job Title: Territory Sales Manager

Since starting her career at John Adams over 30 years ago, Hughes’ enthusiasm and strong work ethic has never been more prominent. Described as the number one sales rep by her peers, she has proved herself to be one of the most valuable members of the John Adams team, where she is known for gaining friends with many of her customers. 

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Coiledspring Games

Name: Rory Kelly, Job Title: Key Account Manager

“He’s an assiduous networker whose confidence and intelligence gives him instant rapport,” describes one colleague of Kelly. Thanks to his strong retail background Kelly boasts a strong merchandiser’s eye and an innate understanding of the retail world, which he uses to his advantage when communicating with customers.

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Name: Andrea Lenehan, Job Title: National Account Manager

With a ten-year tenure under her belt at HTI, Lenehan has been responsible for handling some of the company's most high profile accounts. Known as a ‘formidable sales force to be reckoned with’, she consistently delivers results to the highest expectations while growing the business and her account base, making Lenehan a worthy addition to this listing. 

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Name: Matt Lester, Job Title: Head of UK Sales 

SuperAwesome’s head of sales, Lester is no stranger to thinking on his feet, constantly drumming up new ideas on how the firm can continue to push boundaries in the best way to reach its audiences. Using the SuperAwesome network to answer brand challenges, he is known for his forward-thinking and strategic attitude when it comes to a day in the office. 

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Cartamundi UK

Name: Hayley McAuley, Job Title: UK Sales Manager Consumer Products 

The successful UK launch of Cartamundi’s Shuffle brand was all down to McAuley, who has also played an intrinsic role in developing own-label product on behalf of Cartamundi for Ann Summers, Tesco and WHSmith. Boasting a wealth of knowledge and experience thanks to stints at numerous toy firms, she is a well-respected member of the sales team. 

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Bladez Toyz

Name: Iain Morgan, Job Title: CEO

From starting out as a market trader to a CEO of his own company, Morgan has propelled Bladez Toyz into the recognised toy firm it is today. His passion for toys has been a driving force towards the firm’s international expansion, while his ‘infectious personality’ has ensured he is a popular team member among retailers and licensors. "Iain has turned spotting a gap in the market and launching innovative radio control toys into an art-form," cites one colleague.

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Bladez Toyz

Name: Keiran Peoples, Job Title: European Sales Manager

Since joining Bladez in December 2015, Peoples has established himself within the firm, working to build new relationships with buyers. With a 14-year stint at HTI also under his belt, Peoples’ knowledge of the sector is second to none. Always on the look out for new retail opportunities and alternative routes to market, he has secured a number of new listings for Hot Wheels Drone Racerz this year.

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Name: Joe Rushworth, Job Title: Sales Manager, UK & Ireland 

After spending five years at Marbel as Northern, Scotland, Northern Ireland and ROI sales rep, Rushworth has been promoted to sales manager where he is set to take on a whole host of new challenges. One colleague reveals: “He has continued to do a superb job as a sales rep, but will now embark on an exciting new future within the company of Marbel.”

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Re:creation Ltd

Name: Harrison Scott, Job Title: Key Account Manager

Always keen to go the extra mile, Scott is known by his fellow colleagues as ‘hardworking, conscientious and utterly enthusiastic’. A dab hand at testing out the many Razor ride-ons he can also stake a claim to being one of the best Cruiser electric skateboard riders in the office. Not only that, Scott has been instrumental in developing relationships with many retail partners. 

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Golden Bear

Name: Julie Taylor, Job Title: Sales Director

Taylor has worked within Golden Bear’s sales team since 1999, where she has played an integral part in growing the business into a top three plush manufacturer. A valuable asset to the company, she has a keen eye for sourcing new licences, while demonstrating a considerable knowledge in the product development process. After scooping the Argos Account Manager of the year in 2014/15, Taylor deserves a place in this listing.

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Click Distribution

Name: Gemma Waddington, Job Title: Head of Independent Sales

A key member of the sales team at Click, Waddington has clocked up over 13 years’ experience within the toy industry. Her knowledge of the sector has proved fundamental to the company’s growth, as one peer explains: “Her knowledge and experience for all of the products she sells has helped Click to grow the independent sector of its business.

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Jumbo Games

Name: Steve Washbourne, Job Title: National Accounts Controller

It’s thanks to Washborne’s impressive efforts and ability to think outside of the box that he finds himself placed on this listing. Described as a passionate and determined member of the team, he is one that buyers won’t forget easily thanks to his enthusiastic demeanour. With over ten years at Jumbo, he has secured many new business opportunities for the games company. 

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Name: Amy Wildman, Job Title: National Account Manager

Since joining Halilit, Wildman has overseen a period of significant growth thanks to her extensive product knowledge and relationships with colleagues and suppliers. “Amy is always smiling, calm in a crisis and loved by colleagues, suppliers and customers alike. She always goes the extra mile to guide buyers,” comments one colleague. Not only that, Wildman’s consummate consumption of chocolate croissants is also deserving of recognition.


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