Global Toy News Mourns the Loss of founder Richard Gottlieb

This Article was posted originally on 10/27/2023.

Richard Alan Gottlieb
10/1/1947 – 10/26/2023

On October 26th Richard lost his battle with ALS which he had fought for roughly 2 years. He slogged through language slurring, then no language and using an electronic voice, then a feeding tube to eat and finally in the last few weeks deep double pneumonia that was too much for him to overcome. Throughout the ordeal, he maintained his sense of humor saying when asked to do a chore, “I have a disease, you know” and never lost his interest in others.

Born in Hampton, Virginia, he went to the University of Richmond and then started with Southern Distributers in 1971, he was with them until 1984 when he joined Western Publishing Company and traveled all over the United States selling books and other products. In 1990 he went to Cadaco and then in 2004 he moved to New York City and launched Global Toy News in 2007 which he wrote for weekly until 2 weeks ago. He also started Global Toy Experts with his former client, then colleague and friend, Steve Velte doing Expert Witness work, mergers and acquisitions and all things toys.

Richard was a big personality and he loved life, he loved people and he loved the toy industry. When we met over 7 years ago, since I am an educator, I was so taken with his fascinating career choice which I soon came to understand was his life blood. We talked about toys and games and their usage constantly. We often played games, especially word games which we played daily challenging each other to be better. He was a wordsmith and a book lover, reading constantly.

Richard had a highly creative mind, he loved all aspects of the toy business from the creation, the manufacturing, the marketing, the selling, the packaging- the whole shebang. Over the 25 years he did this he traveled to Texas, California, China, Germany and other places to speak about, write about and celebrate the business of toys. He met the most wonderful people from all corners of the world, a small portion of whom I was lucky enough to meet too, and he spoke about the many ideas, the friendships, the joy these toys, the toy companies big and small and, the toy people brought children. He was fascinated with all the possible ideas for their implementation at home and in schools. His advice when asked what toys to buy a child was always the same: Buy them something that you love and that has meaning to you and they will love it.

Earlier this month Richard was at The New York Toy Fair where so many of you said hello, came to find him, met with him and told him how meaningful he was to the industry. This meant the world to him and he felt the love and the respect and was both touched and gratified. We celebrated his 76th birthday a week later, so he exited elegantly with touchpoints from family, friends and colleagues earlier this month.

We were working on a book together with Chris Byrne about the toys famous people played with as children and the career paths they chose, and in his honor, we will continue that work.

Thank you all for making his world so full, he fed off your ideas, your energy and your wisdom. He was a lifelong learner, consummate story teller and always playful. I know that he leaves the toy world a little richer, a little bolder and a little more fun.

He always wanted to be interesting and interested and that he was.

This article was written by Wendy Levey (Richard’s Wife)

Please give us some time at Global Toy News and Global Toy Experts to provide additional details and share plans for the future.

Steve Velte, Miguel Ortuno & Wendy Levey
Global Toy Experts | Global Toy News | Global Toy Enterprises

8 thoughts

  1. Sincere condolences to a real toy man. The industry will miss you and all of us will miss communicating with you. R I. P good sir

  2. I’m so sorry, Wendy. Richard was a champion of mine since the day we met at PlayCon in DC in 2011 or 2012. He spent time advising me and making introductions. And I was always honored to attend his cocktail party during Toy Fair where you and I first met. Richard invited me to contribute to this website (which I did) and would mention me and the PANK demo at every chance. He and Chris Byrne had me on as a guest on the Playground Podcast which was fun to do. And even with all that, the best part came when Richard emailed me last May with the news that we share DNA! We are 4th or 5th or 6th cousins on my paternal side! We never figured out exactly how we are related but just knowing that Richard and I are Mishpacha is something I will always hold dear. May Richard’s memory be a blessing.

  3. The true Voice of the toy industry will be missed, along with a great sense of humor.
    RIP in the great Toyland.

  4. Very sad, I really like Richard weekly newsletter, insights and personality. He will truly be missed. RIP.

  5. Richard you will be dearly missed by the industry you dedicated you life to. Thank you for letting me be part of the Global Toy News as well as part of your podcast. Take the top hat when you play Monopoly in heaven. I suits you! Rest in Peace.

  6. Thanks for the wonderful tribute to Richard. I went to Hampton High School with Richard.
    Sally James Andrews

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