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John Handy

John HandyJohn Handy

John spent 23 years in the toy industry rising to the level of Senior Vice President of Product Design at the world’s largest toy company, Mattel Inc. He led a department of 160 designers as well as a large network of outside design firms and professional inventors.

Under John’s product leadership, sales for Mattel’s Boys, Entertainment and Games division increased from $400 Million with a net loss of 10% in 1997 to $1.4 Billion with a net operating profit of 15% in 2005: a billion dollar sales increase and profit turnaround of 25% in just 8 years.

He spearheaded the design and launch of the Teenage Mutant Turtles, one of the largest action figure lines of all time, a multi-billion dollar brand for the fledgling Playmates Toys. This was achieved during a one year stint when John left Mattel to join Playmates Toys. John got Mattel back into the activity toy business in a huge way with the concept of an “umbrella license” utilizing Nickelodeon. He leveraged Mattel’s Disney relationship in a new way creating the $100 Million Lion King Plush line. John and his team took the venerable 30 year old Hot Wheels brand and transformed it from a 200 million dollar UScentric brand into a worldwide brand with nearly a Billion dollars in annual retail sales.

John believes in the creative power of competition. He became an expert at securing the most sought after licensed entertainment properties in the toy business through competitive product pitches. Under his leadership Mattel won the rights to the Warner Brothers properties of: Batman, Superman, Justice League and Harry Potter, the Pixar properties of: Toy Story, A Bugs Life and Cars, the animae properties of Yugi-Oh, Naruto and Zatch Belle as well as multiple Nickelodeon Network and Disney Entertainment properties.

John loves automotive design. A recent personal project was the creation of the Handy Hog a Flathead Ford V8 powered motorcycle which won Best of Show, Street Customs at the Del Mar Concourse D’Elegance, was featured in Cycle World magazine and spent two years on display in the Peterson Automotive Museum Hot Wheels Hall of Fame.

In 2004 John and his wife, Corinne opened Treebones Resort in Big Sur, California. Overcoming incredible odds Treebones became the first commercial project approved for construction in over 15 years on the Big Sur Coast. It has become the most publicized and popular resort in Big Sur, appearing in feature articles in the LA Times, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Outside magazine, National Geographic Traveller and 5 times in Sunset magazine.

John graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from Arizona State University in 1983. He won first place in every design competition offered during his time in the program including the Mattel Design competition, Rubbermaid Design Competition and the prestigious Industrial Designers Society of America Merit award. Post graduation he won the Silver Braun Prize for Industrial Design.

John’s experience at Mattel has made him an expert in creative leadership, synergistic collaboration and “fueling innovation”. He has a passion for design and has developed “the Red Stilts Process” to share the power of unleashed creativity within organizations.

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