The Toy Foundation™ and the University of Richmond Proudly Honor Richard Gottlieb

richard gottleibApril 29, 2024 | The Toy Foundation™ (TTF) and the University of Richmond (UofR), two great passions in Richard Gottlieb’s life, are proud to announce the Richard Gottlieb Toy Entrepreneurship Grant to honor his memory. The Grant will support UofR students’ participation in TTF’s Talent Pipeline program that builds awareness about careers in the toy industry among talented, diverse students and creates connections to internships and first-hire roles with toy companies.

“The world of toys and play was Richard Gottlieb’s passion. As a family, we have decided to purposefully celebrate his life’s work to perpetuate its importance and joy by starting a grant in his beloved field at his beloved alma mater, the University of Richmond,” shared Richard’s family.

Richard’s family requests that, in lieu of condolences, friends and family consider making a contribution to the Grant through TTF’s website (indicate Richard Gottlieb in the tribute section). To make a donation via check or transfer of stock, contact TTF staff.

Under the Richard Gottlieb Toy Entrepreneurship Grant, four students and one faculty member will attend TTF’s Education and Recruitment Program at Toy Fair®, taking place March 1 to 4 at the Javits Center in New York City. Additionally, the grant will allow UofR students to participate in co-curricular activities designed to enhance classroom instruction, introduce them to the toy industry, and connect them to internship and career opportunities.

“Toy Fair was one of Richard’s favorite events where he came together with all ‘his people’ from all over the world who shared his wonder and love of the world of toys and play,” Richard’s family continued.

“Having witnessed Richard’s passion for the toy industry, it’s easy to understand why so many considered him part of the heart and soul of the toy and play community,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We’re so honored that the family sees this program as a fitting tribute to his lifetime commitment, and personal joy, in finding fresh ideas and innovative thinking that advance the toy industry.”

Richard founded Global Toy Experts in 1994 for which he offered business development consulting, helped manufacturers enter the North American and global markets, and provided intellectual property development and third-party placement to inventors and designers. In 2010, Richard launched Global Toy News and published his own commentary on the industry and articles from play industry experts on the toy business. He also began producing and co-hosting “The Playground Podcast” in 2019. In October 2023, Richard passed away from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

To learn more and get involved in TTF’s Talent Pipeline Program, visit or contact TTF staff.

For more information about the UofR, visit