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Celebrating 20 Years of toy stories


Play to Learn
by Jenn Bergin

Innovative entrepreneur Justin Lavner started a successful kids’ summer camp business near Philadelphia when he was still in law school. Eight years later, Lavner Camps & Programs are offered in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Maryland, with programming that ranges from sports to an Exploration Day Camp, a weeklong “tasting” of 40-plus activities that run the gamut from baking to soccer to video-game design, for kids ages 3 to 10.
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by Tina Manzer

“The ‘most’ fun day here could be any day,” said Joe Falzarano, matter-of-factly. Joe is the owner of “a tiny [800 square feet], but mighty” toy store in Venice, California. I was asking him for some superlatives about his business – his best event idea, the most fun in-store activity – when he pointed out that each idea and experience is better than the last. Of course. Shoppers would expect no less from a place whose name – Huzzah! – is a resounding shout of joy.

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Little Cars
January/February 2002
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by toy cars. Maybe it was the era I grew up in, maybe it was the people who bought gifts for me, maybe it was a chromosome thing, I don’t know, but I could spend hours alone in my room playing with all manner of toy cars. My favorites were the matchbox cars, w ... [click here to read more]

by Tina Manzer

In business, “connecting” is the new “competing” says Dr. Nancy O’Reilly. The changes that result from a global economy have made collaboration and innovation musthave skills.

“The world is making a shift to what I call Connecting 2.0,” says O’Reilly. “It’s more meaningful than the ‘mile-wide and inch-deep’ type of connecting we associate with social media. It’s based on sharing and co-creating, not self-interest. It’s authentic, it feels good and it works.”

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Shop School
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by Kevin Fahy

kevin fahy

Blurred Lines

Many years ago, on a beautiful late-summer day in New York City, I arranged my sales calls in order to wind up in Queens in the afternoon. That would leave me very close to the National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open Championships were being held.
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