The Genius of Play Committee Joins Power Kid Podcast for Play Discussion

February 8, 2021 | Members of The Toy Association’s Genius of Play committee joined the Power Kid Podcast for daily chats last week about the benefits of play and how play has informed their own work in the industry.

Speaking with host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design, each episode featured a different committee member including Melissa Hunter, YouTube creator and founder of the Family Video Network; Ashley Mady, Genius of Play committee chair and head of brand development at Basic Fun!; Michael Rinzler, executive vice president and partner at Jazwares; and Steve Starobinsky of Diverse Marketing and founder of Kid@Heart.

Topics ranged from how story and character development affect how kids play, how the pandemic has reintroduced play to kids and families, important lessons gleaned from play-centered focus groups, how YouTube has changed the way that kids engage with toys, and the importance of imaginative play and playing alongside your kids.

During the episodes, committee members also discussed the importance of The Genius of Play’s work to encourage families to incorporate more play into their daily lives, and its newly minted Play Ambassadors program, which serves as a platform for toy and play experts to champion the power of play on their own social media platforms.

Toy professionals are invited to listen to the full episodes on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other platforms. For more information about the benefits of play, visit