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John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer Walt Disney/Pixar Animation Studios and Sam Walton, Founder, Walmart Announced as 2010 Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

Toy Industry Association Honors to Be Bestowed at the 10th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, February 13, 2010

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)-- Oct 05, 2009 The Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) announced today the selection of its 2010 inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame:

  • John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios, and principal creative advisor of Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Sam Walton, founder, Walmart Stores (posthumous award) “As the director of blockbuster movies such as Toy Story and Cars, John Lasseter has brought toys to life on the big screen,” explained Alan Hassenfeld, chair of the Hall of Fame Committee and 1994 Hall of Fame inductee. “Sam Walton helped to get toys into the hands of millions of children by carrying his own passion for toys and kids into the design of Walmart’s toy departments, making them a destination for young consumers.”
Established in 1984, the Hall of Fame comprises an impressive roster of fifty-five (55) individuals who have been previously honored for their significant contributions to the growth and success of the toy industry. Inductee(s) are nominated by the industry at large and selected based on votes received from Toy Industry Association's (TIA™) membership.

“We are pleased to honor Mr. Lasseter and Mr. Walton at next year’s induction ceremony,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president. “Both of these outstanding gentlemen have changed the way the world looks at toys.”

The 2010 induction ceremony honoring Mr. Lasseter and Mr. Walton will occur during the 10th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards event on Saturday evening, February 13, 2010 in New York City at Chelsea Piers/Pier 60. Mr. Lasseter is expected to be present to accept his award in person. This is The Walt Disney Company’s second induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame; Walt Disney was bestowed the honor in 1987.

For more information about the Toy Industry Hall of Fame and the TOTY awards presentation ceremony, please visit www.TOTYawards.org .

Summary bios for the 2010 inductees follow:

JOHN LASSETER

John Lasseter is chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and principal creative advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering. He is a two-time Academy Award®-winning director and oversees all films and associated projects from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Lasseter directed the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2. Additionally, he executive produced Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Lasseter returned to the director’s chair in 2006 with the release of Disney-Pixar film, Cars. The original Toy Story and Toy Story 2 have been recently re-released in 3D digital animation; Toy Story 3 is expected in 2010.

SAM WALTON (1918-1992)

Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart in 1962 when he opened his first discount merchandise store in Rogers, Arkansas. His company expanded to 800 stores by 1985. In 1983, he opened the first Sam's Wholesale Club. Walton stepped down as chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores in 1988 but remained chairman until his death, by which time there were over 1,700 stores in the United States. By the end of the 20th century Wal-Mart had become the world's largest retailer. Walton had a special affinity for toys and expanded toy departments in his Wal-Mart Supercenters at light speed.


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About TIA
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing over 500 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play. Safe and fun play is the number one priority of the toy industry.

For more information visit www.toyassociation.org, www.toyinfo.org or www.toycertification.org.