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2011 Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

Al Verrecchia, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Hasbro, Inc. and the late Donald Duncan, Founder, Duncan Toys Company Announced as 2011 Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

New York, NY - November 22, 2010 - The Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) announced today that two esteemed leaders of the nearly $22B U.S. toy industry have been selected as the next inductees into the prestigious Toy Industry Hall of Fame:

  • Al Verrecchia, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Hasbro, Inc.
  • Donald Duncan, Founder, Duncan Toys Company (posthumous)

Established in 1984, the Hall of Fame comprises an impressive roster of 55 individuals who have been previously honored for their significant contributions to the growth and success of the toy industry. Inductees are nominated by the industry at large and selected by a vote of TIA members and Hall of Fame inductees.

"This year's inductees have each been responsible for significant actions that revolutionized the toy industry and helped to spread the joy of toys and play around the world," said Carter Keithley, TIA president. "TIA is honored to welcome Mr. Verrecchia and Mr. Duncan to the prestigious Hall of Fame."

In 1965, Al Verrecchia started a career in the toy industry at Hasbro that has spanned nearly half a century. Rising from the initial post as a part-time accountant to Chairman of the Board of the world's second largest toy company, Mr. Verrecchia has held several senior level positions within the company and within the industry as well. He has served as a member and chair of both the TIA Board of Directors and the Toy Industry Foundation, on numerous Association committees and as a co-founding member of the International Council of Toy Industries' CEO Roundtable.

The late Donald Duncan gave new life to the yo-yo in the 1930s after seeing Filipino native Pedro Flores's yo-yo store in Santa Barbara, California. In the 1950s he contracted the manufacture of the first-ever plastic yo-yos, which remain popular to this day. The Duncan Yo-Yo Company became the number one producer of yo-yos for the next thirty-five years, claiming 85% of the entire United States yo-yo market during this period of time.

The 2011 induction ceremony honoring the latest inductees will occur during the 11th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards event on Saturday evening, February 12, 2011 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The ceremony will kick off the 108th American International Toy Fair. Mr. Verrecchia is expected to be present to accept his award in person. Because there is no living member of the family, Mr. Duncan's posthumous award will be accepted by W.R. Sauey of Flambeau Inc., the current parent company of the Duncan Toy Company.

For more information about the Toy Industry Hall of Fame and the TOTY awards presentation ceremony, please visit www.TOTYawards.org.

Al Verrecchia assumed the position of Chairman of Hasbro, Inc. on May 22, 2008. Previously he served as Hasbro's President and Chief Executive Officer (May 2003 - May 2008) and held several senior executive positions over the years including President and Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer; President, Hasbro Manufacturing Services; and Executive Vice President, Global Operations, among other key roles.

Verrecchia has also undertaken many leadership roles in the industry. He has served on the TIA Board of Directors a number of times and was Chair of both the finance committee and the budget committee; he also served on the investment committee and the audit committee. During his tenure, he helped manage the overwhelming changes taking place with the Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. He worked closely with TIA staff and board members to ensure the Industry's safety record and self-assessments were brought to the government's attention.

DONALD DUNCAN, SR. (1892-1971)
The yo-yo, which many believe can be traced back to 500 B.C., got new life in the U.S. in 1928 when Donald Duncan Sr. saw Filipino native Pedro Flores's yo-yo store and factory in Santa Barbara, California. In 1930, Duncan purchased Flores' production facilities and hired him to run yo-yo promotions. The Duncan Yo-Yo Company became the number one producer of yo-yos for the next thirty-five years, claiming 85% of the entire United States yo-yo market during this period of time. In 1932, he filed for and was assigned a trademark for the word "yo-yo."

Duncan's early success in promoting yo-yos was due, in large part, to his mastery of publicity. Duncan convinced William Randolph Hearst, the biggest newspaper magnate of the early 20th century, to use yo-yo contests to stimulate his circulation. A single promotion in Philadelphia sold 3 million yo-yos in 30 days, and in 1932 the first ever World Yo-Yo Competition was held in London, England. In honor of Donald Duncan's birthday, June 6 has been deemed National Yo-Yo Day.

About the Toy Industry Association - www.toyassociation.org
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing more than 535 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play.

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