I was surprised at how sad I felt when I heard about Brian Goldner’s passing. I mean, I knew him, but I didn’t know him well. Yes, there was an occasional handshake or brief conversation at an industry event but nothing of substance.
Yet, why was I feeling this sense of sadness and loss coming over me? I have thought about it, and I think it was because Brian represented the cutting edge of the toy industry’s future. He was a big thinker with outsized plans that he turned into reality. By adding television, movies, and video games to the Hasbro portfolio, Brian changed what it meant to be in the business of play. He was a game-changer, not just for Hasbro but for the entire toy industry.
And Brian was young. He was only 58. He had years ahead of him to continue to implement his vision.
Brian never stopped working. Those closest to him personally and professionally undoubtedly knew he was very ill. On the outside looking in, the rest of us noticed that he didn’t look particularly well, didn’t know how sick he indeed was.
Brian’s life has been cut short, and it is such a sad time for his family, and the Hasbro family too. Goodby, Brian. Rest in peace. You’ve earned it.