Jay Foreman (businessman)
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Jay Foreman is an American businessman. He is President and CEO of The Bridge Direct and its related companies, Basic Fun and Good Stuff. The Bridge Direct was established by Mr. Foreman and Oaktree Capital Management as a vehicle to create a dynamic and growing children’s entertainment products company both organically and through acquisition. The Bridge Direct and its related companies design, develop and market toys for children directly to major mass and specialty retailers such as Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and Target, as well as Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond and Kohl’s stores, among hundreds of others. In addition, via the company’s Good Stuff division, it develops and sells stuffed toys and novelties to major mass entertainment venues, such as major theme parks like Six Flags, Knott’s Berry Farm and all the Cedar Fair parks, as well as family entertainment centers such as Chuck E Cheese’s and Dave and Busters. The company also sells all its product globally, both to direct end users and via a network of distributors. The company manufactures and sells both internally developed product lines as well as product lines from well-known entertainment companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon and Warner Bros, as well as sports entertainment brands such as WWE, NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. In addition the company licenses IP from top global toy companies, such as Mattel, Hasbro and Moose Toys. He resides in Boca Raton, Florida.
Foreman began his career in toys in the amusement industry at the age of 18 while working in amusement concessions on the boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey. He got his first "real job" in the toy business five years later with the largest "domestic" manufacturer of plush toys at the time, Fable Toys, based in Brooklyn, New York. From 1990 to 1996, Foreman was the general manager and a founding partner of Play-By-Play Toys and Novelties, which was a major player in the plush toy business and the largest distributor of toys and novelties to the amusement and theme park industries. The company went public in 1995 on the NASDAQ exchange.
Foreman served as Senior Vice President of Galoob Toys, where he acquired the rights for and developed the toy line based on the world-famous Spice Girls, in association with Simon Fuller, President of 19 Entertainment and creator of American Idol. The Spice Girls toy line was the most successful celebrity doll line of all time at that point.
He is the founder and past-president of Play Along, the Florida-based toy company that was sold in 2004 and is now a wholly owned division of Jakks Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK). He co-founded Play Along in 1999 where he managed all aspects of marketing, product development and sourcing for the company. Product lines he conceived and/or developed include Cabbage Patch Kids, Doodle Bear, Care Bears, Puppy In My Pocket, Lord of the Rings action figures, the Britney Spears fashion dolls and accessories, and a doll line based on Disney’s Hannah Montana TV show. The Hannah Montana toy line is the biggest celebrity themed toy line in the history of the toy industry. The company’s sales peaked at $240mm annually in 2007 and was recognized with several toy and licensing industry achievement awards. Mr. Foreman and his partners ran the company successfully for Jakks Pacific until January 2008.
Foreman has worked with many major entertainment content providers including Warner Bros., Disney, Sony, Fox and Paramount. In addition, he’s worked with many well-known corporate brand owners such as Coca-Cola and Harley-Davidson, creating the famous Coca-Cola plush polar bear collections and the popular "Harley Hog" plush toy lines. Foreman also created the multimillion-dollar selling Play-Faces pillow, and he has produced over forty TV commercials that promoted Play Along's toy lines selling over $1.5 B worth of toys to such retailers as Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us.
In addition to his role at The Bridge Direct, Foreman has served as board member of the License Merchandise Marketing Association (LIMA) and has served on the board of the Toy Industry Association, as well as its charity foundation the TIF. He is also on the board of the Florence Fuller Child Development Centers and is on the Board of Trustees at the Pine Crest School in Boca Raton, FL and Fort Lauderdale, FL. The Pine Crest school is one of the largest and most respected independent schools in the United States.
- Bhatnagar, Parija (August 16, 2004). "Uh-oh, the kids are back / 1980s redux: Play Along is relaunching the yarn-haired, dimpled-cheeked Cabbage Patch Kids". CNN Money. Time Warner. Retrieved December 9, 2010.