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Genius Brands Hires Mintz

Genius Brands International, Inc., announced that Lloyd Mintz has been appointed to the role of vice-president of consumer products. The announcement was made by Stone Newman, president, Global Consumer Products at Genius Brands International (GBI), to whom Mintz will report.

Newman and Mintz will work together with retailers and licensees to build comprehensive global consumer products’ programs for each of the company’s brands, including Baby Genius, Secret Millionaires Club, Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 (SLAM 7), Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, and others in development.

Additionally, Newman and Mintz will manage licensing programs for properties that fall under GBI’s wholly owned subsidiary, A Squared Entertainment including Psycho Bunny, From Frank, Celessence Technologies, WowWee brands, ElectroKidz, MIP, and Archie Comics.

Mintz has more than 20 years of experience in licensing, merchandising, and new business development running his own company as well as stints at Galaxy Brands, Hasbro, and Disney Consumer Products.

Sugrue Joins Jazwares UK

Jazwares announced that Dan Sugrue has joined its team as UK sales director. Sugrue will lead Jazwares’ London-based sales force at retailers across the region.

Following the recent announcement of an investment by Allegheny Capital Corp., the addition of Sugrue marks the company’s continued global growth and firm commitment to the expansion of its UK operation.

Most recently, Sugrue served as business manager for Flair Leisure Products. He spent more than 15 years in product sales at companies such as Phillip Morris International and Henri Winterman.

The Jazwares’ UK office opened in December 2012.

PlayCHIC Advisory Board Announced

The Chicago Toy & Game Group announced the return of toy-inspired fashions to the runway for the third annual playCHIC fashion show. PlayCHIC combines haute couture with toy and game designers for a show. This year’s new playCHIC advisory board provides counsel on the event. The 2014 playCHIC board members include:

• Anna van Slee: She will serve as the 2014 director of playCHIC and is also a committee member of the Chicago Toy & Game Group. In 2012, she co-founded Otherdoor Entertainment, an invention company focused on native multi-platform brand and product development.

• Alison Ray: She is the managing editor and founder of In addition to managing the content for the site, she produces large-scale events.

• Gwen Austin: As founder of RC Art Toys, she launched the RC Color Bug. She leads creative workshops in the classroom and a toy and game design camp during the summer.

• Joan Severance: She is a model, actress, and game developer. After hosting and walking in the 2013 playCHIC fashion show, with a look inspired by her phraseology game, txTylz, Severance returns to the event’s advisory board.

• Mary Couzin: As CEO and founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Group, Couzin oversees playCHIC fashion show, International Summit for Professional Inventors, International Chicago Toy & Game Fair, Games for Educators, Inventor Relations Summit, Toy & Game Inventor Conference, Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards, Young Inventor Challenge, and more. Couzin serves on TIA’s TOTY Nominating and PlayCon Committees, is a selection committee member at the National Toy Hall of Fame. She also writes for Global Toy News.

• Moira Tuffy: Over the past 15 years, she has developed brand identities for clients, and helped plan and execute events on her client’s behalf.

• Peach Carr: She came onto the fashion scene as a self-taught Chicago designer on the eighth season of Project Runway and the second iteration of Project Runway: All Stars.

The 2014 playCHIC fashion show is scheduled for Thursday, November 20, 2014. Sponsorship opportunities are available; for more information on the Chicago Toy & Game Group and playCHIC, visit