Bryan Stockton’s death hit me hard. It was so sudden, a car accident. He was young, sixty-six years old with a wife, Maureen, four children, and two grandchildren. He was warm, collegial, thoughtful, and approachable.
Bryan was all of these things and more. He never let his position, whether CEO or Chairman at Mattel, get in the way of being fully “there.” He would attend industry events, welcome conversation, and freely contribute his perspectives.
Over the years, Bryan and I developed a relationship. Every couple of months, I would receive an email from him telling me he agreed with a position I had taken or recalled a childhood moment provoked by something I had written. He always welcomed my opinions and questions.
Chris Byrne and I were privileged, in June, to have had Bryan on our show, “The Playground Podcast.” Ironically, it appears to have been Bryan’s last interview. (“Bryan Stockton, Former CEO of Mattel, on The Past, Present, and Future of Toys”).
In that interview, Chris, and I learned that Bryan had become an avid professional photographer, that he was an accomplished guitar and keyboard player, and that he loved toys and the business of play. He was in no way finished with life.
At the end of our interview, Bryan asked Chris and me if he could plug his photography website, “Bryan Stockton Photography.” I believe it was his way of inviting us into his view of the world. It’s beautiful.
Bryan was a man possessed of a great soul. We will all miss him.