Hall Of Fame
Robert “Bob” Grey
He began his toy career in 1963 with Karl’s Toys and Hobbies. In ’81 became VP Mktg of Small World Toys, in ’85 he started Grey Mktg. in Gardena, from 1988-97 he was with Tyco Toys, Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, in ’97 worked for RLA Marketing as both sales rep and as consultant to two product lines, in 98 Wham-O Toys and from 99-present he is the President of The Grey Group, San Francisco. Bob has over 36-yrs of professional experience in all aspects of the toy and hobby industry, regional, national and international. He is a WTHRA member.
Date of Retirement: Still active
He began his toy career in 1964 at Art’s Toy Fair, owned by his in-laws. He opened his first store in 1965 in Gardena as Art’s Toy Fair. In 1968, Art’s Toy Fair La Habra opened. After the retirement of his in-laws in 1974, the business was renamed Toys International. Toys Int’l received Promotional Event Category and Best Store Design Award, both from Playthings Magazine. The original Toys International recorded 12-month sales in excess of $700 per sq. ft. of G.L.C.
Deceased: May 31, 2013
Robert C. “Bob” Kerske
In 1962 after graduating from University of Santa Barbara and serving 4-yrs in the US Marine Corps, Bob started to work for Krain & Canton. His father Carl Kerske is also in the WTHRA Hall of Fame. In 1966 he went to work for Jerry Negrin & Assoc., in 1968 he started work with Losi, Alpern, Ross & Assoc. After 9-yrs he became a partner changing the name to Ross, Kerske & Assoc. In 1996 he sold his business and retired, but found it difficult to be out of the business. He is currently consulting with Team Mktg. and Pacific Crest Mktg. He served as President for WTHRA 1988-1990 followed by 2-yrs on the Board of Directors.
Deceased: July 21, 2008
Joe is a graduate of New York University. He has extensive retail and wholesale toy experience with a special emphasis on management in sales/marketing. He has worked for the leading wholesalers on the west coast: Pensick & Gordon, Federal Wholesale and M.W. Kasha. He is currently with Megatoys.
Deceased: March 6, 2004
William A. “Bill” O’Brien
Bill began his toy career in the early 50’s as part of the selling force with Bill Francis, John Beatty and George Silvestri. After that he joined Strombecker Corp. as the West Coast Rep covering all of California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Utah. He later became Regional V.P. He took semi retirement in the late 1980’s and total retirement in early 1990’s.
Jim grew up in the industry. His father, Vic started his 38-year career in our industry the year Jim was born in 1949. After graduating from U.C. Santa Barbara, he worked 3-yrs in the plant and landscaping business. June 1, 1974 he joined his dad full time. In 1980 Victor G. Petrone & Son was incorporated. The company continues to this day. Jim has been active in WTHRA for over 20 years as an officer on the Slate followed by 3-terms on the Board of Directors culminating in his being Chairman of the Board 1992-1995.
Date of Retirement: 2014
Harry Leslie Wells, Jr.
Harry began his career with Revell Models in 1968 as National Accounts Manager. In 1975 he started Harry Wells & Assoc. selling mostly hobby products. In the late 70’s he started selling games mostly through distributors then to retail accounts. Now Harry Wells & Assoc. specializes in puzzles and games.
Date of Retirement: January 1, 1999
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Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association
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