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What is the


The Playground Podcast is a diverse, engaging and entertaining platform to promote play and playfulness among people of all ages.

Combining information about the toy industry with insights on play, products and conversations with some of the most significant people in the toy business, it’s designed as an engaging omnibus program. It also covers the history of toys, how toys are made, and some of the amazing stories of the toys from the people who created—and lived them.

As the creators say, “if it concerns toys, play and kids, we’ll be kicking it around in The Playground.”

Targeted to parents, caregivers and adults interested in play and playfulness, the podcast covers many topics about kids, culture and the challenges—and wonderful delights—of childhood in the current environment. Many of the segments will be designed for parents and kids to listen to together, and the episodes are sorted by various categories in order to make accessing appropriate content easy.

The Playground Podcast is hosted by Christopher Byrne, aka The Toy Guy® and Richard Gottlieb, president of Global Toy Experts. Both are noted authors and experts covering the toy industry for decades. Byrne is widely experienced in the toy business, child development and parenting, and is an established media personality. Gottlieb has consulted internationally and is deeply knowledgeable about the business and history. Together, the two have an easy rapport, and the episodes will be as fun as they are informative.

The Playground Podcast is now live and available on the Anchor platform. Please visit that site and you'll see a list of other podcast apps that our podcast will be available on.


What they're


"Thank you to Christopher Byrne and Richard Gottlieb for the engaging conversation on our favorite topic- Toys! Love this industry and always enjoy The Playground Podcast!"

- Chris Down, Chief Design Officer at Mattel


"It was fun catching up with two of the most iconic toy experts of our time, Christopher Byrne and Richard Gottlieb, chatting about the state of the toy industry and laughing and reminiscing about all things Mattel and this incredible industry we all love. Huge thanks for having me on the Playground Podcast!"

- Richard Dickson, President COO Mattel


"It was a pleasure to sit down with toy industry experts Christopher Byrne and Richard Gottlieb to discuss Vango Toys and the power of social media marketing"

- Alex Tongue, 1st Founder & CEO at Vango Toys


"Recently our very own Jo Hall, Chief Commercial Officer for Toys'R'Us Asia, talked to the always insightful and entertaining “The Playground Podcast” hosts about the work we’ve been doing to offer the widest range of must-have toys and baby products and how we’re engaging families in a meaningful way across the region."

- Jo Hall, CCO Toys 'R' Us Asia



The Playground Podcast is sponsored by...
The Toy Guy

Making the World a Better Place to Play!™

Global Toy Experts

Global Toy Experts is Your Connection to the Business of Play


We’re A One Stop Shop That Can Streamline Your Marketing Program


chris byrne the toy guy
The Toy Guy
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As an independent toy analyst, researcher and consultant, Chris brings more than 30 years of industry experience in the toy industry to his role. He is an acknowledged expert on toys and play in the culture and brings his extensive knowledge of toys, education and child development to his work.


Chris began his career working on major toy brands in a variety of marketing and operations positions. He was instrumental in the development and merchandising of many successful products including those marketed under the Gabriel, Child Guidance, Creative Playthings, and Ideal brands, among others. He led the team that established the game Pictionary as one of the most popular games of its era. In 1988, he formed Byrne Communications, with broad-based consulting in the toy, children’s entertainment, financial and consumer products industries. He was one of the founders and creative director for the web site TTPM. Today, Byrne Communications works with companies of all sizes and entrepreneurs, helping them to develop and launch products. He consults regular to the analyst and investment community about the international business of toys.

Email Chris:

Global Toy Experts
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Richard Gottlieb is the highly regarded toy Founder and CEO of Global Toy Experts, the globally recognized consultant to toy industry leaders. In addition, he is the Publisher of Global Toy News, the toy industry’s independent voice.  

Richard is frequently interviewed by media worldwide, and has been called on by ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Newsweek and many other media outlets. Considered an expert on the toy industry, Richard is frequently asked to speak at toy industry conferences and serve on various executive panels.


Email Richard: 

richard gottlieb


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