Robyn Cowling has been named as this year's ToyNews Woman of the Year.
Underground Toys' licensing director picked up the accolade at a special event held at Home House yesterday (Thursday, July 16th), where Cowling's win was revealed via a video featuring her colleagues talking about why she deserved the title.
“It wasn’t expected at all," said Cowling.
"As the people came on the screen, I realised I knew them and then Andy Oddie [Underground Toys founder] came on and I couldn’t hear anything but the thumping of blood through my ears and I though ‘Oh, I have to go up now’. I’m thrilled.
"I love the toy and licensing industries and it’s a very close knit community, so it’s quite an accolade to have been nominated by my peers and to have won.”
This year, the event was extended to honour a further three women across the new Rising Star, Innovator and Marketeer award categories.
Generation Media's Lauren Coombs scooped the Rising Star award sponsored by Gameplan Europe, Lottie creator and Arklu co-founder Lucie Follett won the Innovator award, while MGA and Zapf marketing manager Marian Davis picked up the Marketeer award, sponsored by Norton & Co.
“It’s nice to know you’re being seen to be hard working," said Coombs. "I am really passionate about doing well and going further in the industry and making great campaigns for our clients.
Davis added: “I was totally shocked but honoured to receive the award. It’s great to feel that other people have recognised my achievements and hard work. I’m thrilled.”
Over 100 industry execs packed into the central London venue to celebrate the female role models in the toy business and enjoy an afternoon of networking.
"We are absolutely delighted with the reaction to this year's ToyNews Women of the Year event " said Samantha Loveday, editior of ToyNews.
"It went brilliantly, we had four very worthy winners and it was great to see so many people coming out to support it. Once again, the day completely epitomised just what we were trying to highlight when we first launched our search for the top women in the UK toy business last year."