Michael Keaton joined the Toysmith team in the role of CEO, effectively immediately.
Keaton, a toy industry veteran, comes to Toysmith after serving as president of Schleich North America for more than three years. Prior, he held senior leadership roles at the LEGO Group for 13 years. Keaton currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Toy Association in the U.S. and the Canadian Toy Association.
“I am thrilled to join the team that has built such a well-respected toy distribution and manufacturing organization,” Keaton says. “Not only is Toysmith the leader in customer service and helping our retail partners to achieve success, but more importantly our company has for decades shared my core values of delivering high-quality, open-ended play experiences for kids of all ages and backgrounds.
“As a parent, I believe it is crucial to continue to embrace and promote creative, open-ended play for kids, especially in an era that is so digital in nature. I see it as an imperative, and can’t wait to continue providing these types of toys and activities for kids through my role at Toysmith for many years to come.”
Toysmith was founded by Bill and Nancy Smith in 1981. Since then, the co-founding couple evolved the family-run business into the large-scale distributor we see today. Toysmith brands and products are found in toy retailers, education markets, museums, zoos, aquariums, national parks, attractions, theme parks, gift stores, specialty catalogs, and internet retailers. Its signature lines include Warrior’s Mark, NightZone, Get Outside, GO!, Outdoor Discovery, Beetle & Bee, Playground Classics, and Neato! Classics. In the U.S., the company also distributes 4M, Kids II, Helvetiq, and other brands. The company was also named as an exclusive U.S. distributor for Spin Master last year.