Hall Of Fame



Leonard “Len” Balis

Len started with Kenner in Philadelphia, PA in 1964 and has remained with Kenner (now Known as Hasbro) throughout his toy career. He went from retail merchandising to salesman to regional manager. Len has served on the WTHRA Board of Directors for at least 14 years, has been honored by the Anti Defamation League and was chairman of the toy division of the United Jewish Appeal.

Date of Retirement: Unknown

William Bernam

William “Bill” Bernam

Bill started in Tucson, AZ with Copper State Mercantile in September 1954, part-time and in September, 1957 he became full-time. He stayed with Copper State through 1985 when the company was purchased by Bercor. He moved to California in 1985 continuing with Bercor until it was acquired by Tash. He remained with Tash until December 1995.

Date of Retirement: December 1995

Nicholas D’Antoni

Nicholas “Nick” D’Antoni

Nick began his career in 1938 with Minsky Bros. in Pittsburgh, PA. He left Pittsburgh in 1950 and came to California where he became associated with Blatt Distributors. After many years he retired, but only after several weeks he became associated with Henry Asher & Son, then moved to Innovative Sales.

Date of Retirement: Unknown

Arthur E. Grobe

Arthur E. “Art” Grobe

Art went to work for Otto and Iva Lee Erlach in January, 1952 at the Merchandise Mart in San Francisco. Otto Erlach died in 1955 and Iva Lee Erlach retired in 1958. He and George Olsen bought the business in 1958 and changed the name to Olsen and Grobe in 1961. They were partners for 30 years without a cross word in all of that time. He and his wife E.J. were married for over 51 years and have three children and two grandsons. He sailed San Francisco Bay for 15 years, was active in the Sierra Club and was a regular blood donor.

Deceased: February 13, 2013

Frank Martin

Frank Martin

Frank started in the toy business in New York in 1955 with Strombeck-Becker, a wooden toy and model kit manufacturer as a northeastern factory salesman. Three years later he joined McDonald Martin as an eastern rep firm selling Vogue dolls and Ginny. He moved to California in 1959 as their western salesman and in 1964 started his own company. Frank has served as President of the WTHRA Slate of Officers and as Chairman of the Board on its Board of Directors.

Date of Retirement: Unknown

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