He will take overall control of the general running and direction of the business in conjunction with the current management.
Thorpe returns to the toy trade having more recently been involved in the gift industry. His CV includes stints with Fisher Price and Playmobil in the UK and US and more recently with International Greetings at its gifting and Far East divisions.
Eponymous boss John Crane commented on the appointment: "I am delighted to be working with Jonathan and will be supporting him in fulfilling many of his new responsibilities. Which also means I will be in a position to have more time to spend on customer interaction and new product."