Executives Wax Nostalgic About the Toys They Left Behind

Filed under: In The News, Toys

lego

Credit: Amazon

Nowadays, John Barbour makes sophisticated computers for children.

But you know what toy he remembers most fondly from his childhood? It's nothing high-tech. Just Legos.

"When you sit down and intellectually rationalize what Lego does, it is the ultimate toy," the CEO behind LeapFrog tells the Reuters news service. "Think about it -- creativity, hand-eye coordination. You get the satisfaction of building something and you get a toy at the end."

Barbour was among the toy moguls and other high-powered execs who gathered in New York this week for the Reuters Retail and Consumer Summit, waxing nostalgic about the simple toys of their childhoods.

"We were very poor, but we always had boxes of Legos kicking around our house," Barbour tells the news service.

Martin Franklin, executive chairman of Jarden Corp, makes state-of-the-art sporting goods. But he still has his old skateboard from when he was 12.

Office Depot CEO Neil Austrian tells Reuters he was a fan of Lionel electric trains and laments how none of his six kids ever got into trains.

"My father played with it more than I did," Austrian reminisces. "We added something every year."

Toys "R" Us Chief Executive Jerry Storch tells Reuters about a simple wood board that allowed him to play several games such as chess and checkers.

Hasbro Chief Executive Brian Goldner is true to his company. He played with Hasbro's own G.I. Joe action figures.

And don't get Children's Place Retail Stores Chief Executive Jane Elfers started on the game Operation.

"There was a strategy involved and you had to figure out how to beat the game. I liked that," Elfers tells Reuters.

Multa Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance CEO Chuck Rubin feels the same way about Monopoly.

"I'm the youngest of four children, and I could beat my siblings in it," he tells the news service. "Now, to this day, I don't know whether they let me win or if I really won on my own. I haven't thought of that game in years, because for my kids, Monopoly is like, old school."

They don't know what they're missing. However, some executives apparently realize what they lost.

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