hobbyDB has a new member on our Advisory Board, Bob Finn. Finn has a long history as an executive in the toy industry, starting with Hasbro in 1976. In over a quarter century there, he saw the toy industry grow from dolls and cars board games into the digital age and beyond.
When he started, Hasbro had just discontinued one of their most popular toy lines, the G.I.Joe soldiers, so the company had some big toyboxes to fill. Joe would only be gone a few years, however; Hasbro reintroduced them as 6-inch tall “action figures,” which became wildly popular. Other major successes from his era there include My Little Pony and Transformers, the last of which Finn lists as his favorite from his tenure with the company. Hasbro also acquired Kenner, Tonka, Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers on their way to becoming the giants they are today.
Finn has since worked for other toy companies including Fantasma Toys and Master Pieces Puzzles. His interested in puzzles continues in his collecting habits. “I have over 100,000 of them,” he said. “No theme, just puzzles.” (If you conservatively averaged each one at 250 pieces, that’s over 25 million pieces.) His toy industry pedigree also extends beyond the companies he has worked for. “I’m a member of the Mensa Game selection committee that decides annually which new games should get the Mensa seal of approval,” he said. We hope to add quite a few of them to the database.
If that all sounds like it should keep him plenty busy, hold on… “I’m a mountain climber,” he said, “I’ve climbed over 500 mountain in Europe and Asia, as well as the United States, including The Matterhorn, Mount. Blanc, Mount Fuji, and the highest peak in Australia.” So clearly, he likes a challenge. As if that’s not enough to bring to the table, he has other collecting interests including “comics, a fairly complete matchbox diecast collection, the best collection anywhere of hand carved mechanical wine stoppers from Europe – all antique- and an extensive collection of German nutcrackers.” He currently lives in Northern California, so the wine stoppers are a natural fit.
We at hobbyDB think he’ll be a key piece in building our database into something bigger and better.