About The Big Toy Book

The Big Toy Book was developed by a team of moms and toy experts who know just how frustrating it can be to search online, bouncing from site to site, looking for that perfect toy or gift. Our goal is to inform influential consumers on all there is to know about toys, whether you are looking for the latest products, information on where to purchase, or the hottest trends of the year, we’ve got you covered!

Known for our extravagant toy events, The Big Toy Book puts bloggers in touch with the top toy companies, while giving consumers a first look at all the toy industry has to offer our little ones. From Sweet Suite, to Baby Palooza, to the HoliDAY of Play, our toy parties allow bloggers and press to get hands-on with the coolest toys while making important business connections.

Additionally, our social shop allows us to provide consumers with basic product info on thousands of toys, and then they get to share with their friends, comment on what they like, and make purchasing decisions with easy click-through links. Our expert commentaries also keep consumers on top of all the toy trends affecting our kids today.

And, of course, we LOVE to share! The Big Toy Book provides giveaways to consumers all year long, from one-day celebrations to week-long sweepstakes! Be sure to stay in touch on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest in our events, giveaways, and the hottest new toys!

Who’s Behind TheBigToyBook.com?

We’d like you to meet our amazing team of moms and toy experts who work to bring you the best information on toys, games, and gifts for kids. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht; Toy Book/Toy Insider editors Marissa DiBartolo and Ali Mierzejewski; and digital influencers/media superheroes Joey Fortman and Charlene DeLoach. Between them they have more than 50 years of toy experience and almost 40 years of “mom” experience!

Laurie Schacht, The Toy Insider Mom, Founder of The Big Toy Book & Blogger Bash

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.

Marissa Headshot 2014Marissa DiBartolo, Senior Editor of Adventure Publishing Group; Co-Director of Digital & Social Media, The Big Toy Book and The 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, Senior Editor of Adventure Publishing Group; Co-Director of Digital & Social Media, The Big Toy Book and The 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.”

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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.

Joey currently works with NickMom, a member of the Nickelodeon network with Three Moms Walk Into A….  Joey is also a contributing parenting expert on Fox, NBC, and other traditional media outlets.

She has been featured nationally on Good Morning AmericaDr. Phil, Anderson Cooper, the Katie Couric Show, Dr. Oz, Red Book, The Today Show with Kathie Lee & HodaThe Talk,Fox and Friends & The Newlywed Game.

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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.