• Anni Atkinson
    Anni Atkinson
  • Joe Andon
    Joe Andon
  • Khia Pledger
    Khia Pledger
  • Sam Atkinson
    Sam Atkinson
  • Leanne Papadopoulos
    Leanne Papadopoulos
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Toy & Hobby Retailer is proud to sponsor the Australian Toy Association's Rising Star Award in 2020, which recognises outstanding performers in the industry who are under 40.

Today, the ATA has unveiled the finalists for the award, the winner of which will be announced at the Gala Dinner. 

To read more about each finalist ensure that you pick up a copy of the February | March | April Bumper Toy Fair edition of Toy & Hobby Retailer. 

ANNI ATKINSON
Category Manager Toys & Hardlines – Warner Bros Consumer Products
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Anni is a valued and appreciated member of the Warner Bros team and a true collaborator, working across internal functions, licensees and retailers to implement fantastic retail activations. These include Myer, Woolworths and Big W.
She motivates and engages all stakeholders towards a common goal and played a significant role in driving the growth of royalties for Warner Bros between 2018 and 2019.

JOE ANDON
CEO – Vuly Play
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As the CEO of Vuly Play, Joe leads by example, demonstrating to staff how important it is to treat customers and colleagues with respect, as you would treat family and friends.
Joe’s philosophy that, “things don’t have to be the way they are,” has led to the development of products never seen on the market before. He’s made it his goal to revolutionise each segment in the outdoor play market.

KHIA PLEDGER
Marketing Manager Australia – Moose Toys
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Khia has excellent relationships with all departments which is a testament to her easy going attitude. She embodies the family values of Moose and lives the WOW everyday.
Khia has played a pivotal role in the development and launch of massive Moose brand launches over the past seven years including: The Trash Pack, Shopkins, Treasure X, Little Live Pets and most recently the launch of Bluey.

SAMANTHA ATKINSON
General Manager of Marketing and Product Development – Bensons Trading
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Samantha has a kind nature and infectious sense of humour that brings her colleagues together.
‘Visionary’ best describes Samantha - whether it be for product development or new business opportunities. Samantha has a unique ability to change direction in the blink of an eye, moving from marketing, to sales to product development, to financials, to licensing. Then in her spare time managing the operations at the Royal Agricultural Shows in five capital cities throughout the course of the year. 

LEANNE PAPADOPOULOS
My Creative Box – Owner
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Leanne is a fantastic business leader who always aims to foster a workplace culture of openness and empathy.
Under 3 years, Leanne has single-handedly built her business into an entity with customers and subscribers spanning all over the globe. Leanne’s creative ability to deliver newly designed products from the ground up to her subscription customers each and every month is matched by her equally astute ability to think commercially when designing her products.


Toy & Hobby Retailer 
congratulates each of the finalists and wishes them the best of luck! 

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