A Game Maker's Life: A Hall of Fame Game Inventor and Executive Tells the Inside Story of the Toy Industry (Hardcover)

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A Game Maker's Life: A Hall of Fame Game Inventor and Executive Tells the Inside Story of the Toy Industry By Jeffrey Breslow, Cynthia Beebe (With) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

If you are curious about the world of toys and games, this book is for you. Breslow, a long-time idea person at Marvin Glass Associates and Big Monster Toys, gives the inside story on Operation, Simon, Ants in the Pants, SSP Racers (gyroscope powered!), and more. I love some of his tricks of the trade – like start with a cliché and work backwards. You might think brand extensions are a recent trend, but that was Marvin’s philosophy since day one. If Moody Mutt (1953) was a hit, could Swimming Puppy and Robo the Robot Dog be far behind?  Please note that despite the subject matter, this book is not for kids and needs a warning even to adult readers; Breslow was the survivor of a mass shooting at his office, and he takes a chapter to discuss the incident. But that aside, it’s mostly fascinating anecdotes about hits like Polly Pocket and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and bombs like the Clone video game, which they hoped would be the next Pac Man. It wasn’t! 

— Daniel Goldin

Jeffrey Breslow, In-Person Event, Wednesday, September 14, 6:30 pm. Click here to register

— Boswell Book Company


How do you spark genius? How do you earn a profit from fun? And how do you overcome unthinkable challenges? The developer of Simon, Fashion Polly Pocket, UNO Attack!, My Size Barbie, and Operation explains it all in this fascinating story of toys, transformation, and murder.

In his captivating memoir, Jeffrey Breslow tells how:

• Creating a game is a mix of Rube Goldberg, Santa’s elves, mass production, and the bottom line.
• He oversaw two multi-million dollar businesses that earned profits for more than four decades. Even while the industry transformed itself from using cardboard and plastics into electronics, his companies never acquired debt and never borrowed money from a bank!
• He overcame the terrible misfortune of a deadly workplace shooting and led his shaken employees through the tragedy and back to running a thriving business.

Millions of people around the world have played with games and toys Breslow and his partners invented—perhaps you have, too! Now, read Breslow’s remarkable story and see how a flash of inspiration, followed by hard work and ingenuity, brought these wonderful games to life.

About the Author

Jeffrey Breslow, a preeminent toy and game inventor and designer, spent over forty-one years inventing toys and games since graduating with a BFA from the University of Illinois in industrial design in 1965.

Jeffrey, at age thirty-four, became the youngest managing partner of Marvin Glass and Associates, the leading toy design company in the world at that time in 1976. They invented games such as Simon, Operation, Guesstures, the Evel Knievel Motorcycle, Mousetrap, and UNO Attack!

Jeffrey was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in New York City in 1988.

Breslow left the toy business in 2008 to sculpt full time. His sculptures are on display at the University of Illinois and the Lurie Children’s Hospital and on permanent display in Vermont, California, New Jersey, and Uruguay.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781637584378
ISBN-10: 1637584377
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication Date: August 30th, 2022
Pages: 232
Language: English