The Big Toy Book was developed by a team of moms who know just how frustrating it can be to search online, bouncing from site to site, looking for that perfect toy or gift. We also know that parents want to be more “in the know” about what the new options are for kids, and the many places they can find them. We have a community that welcomes you, offers you a social shopping experience and a way to create “wish lists” for all of the important days in your children’s lives. We look forward to getting to know you, sharing valuable tips and advice, and letting you know where and how to find our giveaways and parties. We hope you love The Big Toy Book (and of course like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter) and that you visit often.
Also check out our SUPER fun annual Sweet Suite and Holiday parties. We love to connect bloggers to the greatest brands in the industry in order to build a huge toy network!
Who’s Behind TheBigToyBook.com?
An amazing team of moms and toy experts that work from the office to home bringing you the best information on toys, games, and gifts for kids. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht; The Toy Book/Toy Insider editors Jackie Breyer, Marissa DiBartolo, and Ali Mierzejewski; and mom bloggers/media superheroes Joey Fortman and Charlene DeLoach. Between them they have over 50 years of toy experience and almost 40 years of “mom” experience!
As a young girl with golden ringlets, Laurie loved playing with her Barbies, a love she was able to share with her three daughters and seven nieces, though they are much more into Liv and Lalaloopsy these days.
While that little girl has grown up (ringlets still intact) her love of toys and play has only deepened. It’s not unusual to find Laurie racing her Lazer Stunt Chaser around the office, singing into her Paper Jamz Pro mic (she says she doesn’t have to just sing in the shower these days), or playing a game of Bop It XT with her own kids.
In addition to her involvement with TheBigToyBook.com, Laurie Schacht is President of Adventure Publishing, the leading publisher serving the toy and licensing industries with titles that include The Toy Book®, The Toy Report, The Licensing Book®, and The Licensing Report. With more than 20 years experience in the toy industry, Laurie has serviced manufacturers, retailers, licensors, inventors and others reporting on industry news, announcing new products and staying ahead of the trends in the business.
Laurie is also the co-Publisher of The Toy Insider, an annual comprehensive consumer guide to the hottest toys for the holiday season, which will appear this year in the November issue of Woman’s Day. This guide is meant to take the stress out of holiday shopping for parents, grandparents, and anyone purchasing gifts for kids.
Through all of her work, Laurie strives to keep toy insiders up-to-date on all toy and licensing industry breaking news, while also keeping parents in the know about the hottest toys and best deals on the market.
Laurie has been quoted in major media outlets such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Yahoo! Finance, and has been a guest on national morning shows, including The Today Show, CBS News’ The Early Show, FOX & Friends and ABC World News NOW. Most recently, Laurie is also an active contributor to a wide number of parenting blogs such as Working Mother and Café Mom.
Jackie Breyer, The Big Toy Book
Jackie is the mom of a happy 4-year-old girl and a 9-month-old boy. Growing up, Jackie enjoyed all kinds of fun. Running around, playing sports, and inventing crazy games with her best friend, as well as board games, video games, reading (lots of reading), and riding Big Wheels with the boys. She hopes to share her love of play with her daughter, who has already become a toy tester in her own right.
In addition to her contributions to TheBigToyBook.com, Jackie is the editor in chief of The Toy Book, a trade magazine she has worked on for the past eight years and Group Editor for all Adventure Publishing titles. Dedicated to covering both the mass and specialty toy markets, Jackie enjoys being in the know about the newest and hottest toys and licensing trends for kids (and kids at heart).
Jackie is also the editor of The Toy Report, an e-newsletter covering the toy industry on a weekly basis. Anyone can check out the latest toy industry news by visiting The Big Toy Book, or by following us on Twitter.
When it comes to picking the hottest toys for the holidays, Jackie is on top of that as well! As the editor of The Toy Insider, she helps parents and gift givers determine the best toys for the kids in their life each holiday season, and throughout the year.
Marissa DiBartolo, Senior Editor of Adventure Publishing Group, Digital Co-editor for The Big Toy Book and Toy Insider
Marissa DiBartolo is the senior editor of Adventure Publishing Group. She contributes to leading trade magazines The Toy Book andThe Licensing Book, as well as the consumer holiday resource The Toy Insider, featured annually in Woman’s Day magazine.
In addition to traditional printed content, Marissa is the co-manager of social media content and community building for The Big Toy Book and The Toy Insider. A board game fanatic and professional toy reviewer, Marissa spends most of her free time rolling dice, proving her (lack of) trivia knowledge, and comparing fruits.
Ali Mierzejewski, Associate Editor of Adventure Publishing Group, Digital Co-editor for The Big Toy Book and Toy Insider
Ali Mierzejewski is an associate editor at Adventure Publishing Group. She contributes to leading trade magazines The Toy Book andThe Licensing Book, as well as the consumer holiday resource The Toy Insider, featured annually in Woman’s Day magazine.
On the digital side of things, Ali is a co-manager of social media and community building for The Big Toy Book and The Toy Insider. During her time as a professional toy reviewer, she has built an impressive amount of Lego sets and has grown particularly fond of all things superhero toys. If she had to pick a superpower, she’d have a lot of trouble choosing between flying and invisibility, so she’d probably pick “something close to the skill set of Wonder Woman.”
Joey Fortman, Real Mom Media
After more than 15 years working in traditional media, Joey Fortman traded in the microphone for the diaper bag. Her son Boston, born in 2008, not only changed her life, but changed the way she looked at media. In order to document his life for friends and family in the Midwest, Joey started Real Mom Media, which quickly turned from a small blog into a thriving business.
Joey hosted radio shows in major markets nationwide, including mornings in Chicago at 9FM and WTMX Chicago. Since her move to Philadephia, Joey was featured on WBEN and WNUW. She is now the host of Real Mom Radio on Ben FM, highlighting moms in the Philadelphia area.
She has been featured nationally on Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper, the Katie Couric Show, Dr. Oz, Red Book, The Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda, The Talk,Fox and Friends & The Newlywed Game.
Charlene DeLoach, Charlene Chronicles & Metrowest Mamas
After writing laws for 15 years, Charlene DeLoach now blogs about whatever she wants; specifically, fabulous things like technology, travel, social media, fashion, and fitness. She has worked for the White House, the Massachusetts Legislature, and big-name Insurance companies and State Agencies as an attorney.
Charlene blogs about luxury travel, fashion, and beauty at CleverLuxe.com and about activities, toys, baby gear, and family products at MetrowestMamas.com. She also still consults on health care issues and assists bloggers with legal contracts. She has been featured on Fox25 Morning News, the Boston Globe, Boston.com, Boston Herald, and Parents.com. In her downtime, she loves decorating and reading. Charlene lives outside of Boston with her husband, preschooler son, toddler daughter, and two teeny, tiny dogs.