by The Bloom Report | 30 Aug 2023
Biographies and Interviews
Hi Ted, thank you for taking time today to share a bit of your life with us! What is it about the Toy and Game Industry that you love?
TF: My favorite part of the Toy and Game Industry is being surrounded by like-minded individuals with a common goal: to unleash the "power of play” into the lives of kids and adults, regardless of age or ability.
What is your claim to fame?
TF: I have run a marathon with each of my daughters (Boston with Remy in 2016 and New York with Molly in 2023) and I am training to run one with my son Robbie in 2024
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
TF: I have a few mantras but one that I have subscribed to for most of my life is “Never Settle”. I believe in putting 100% of myself in all the things that I do and then making the most of it. That works in business, family, social connections and all of my goal oriented athletic pursuits.
What are you working on now?
TF: Our team recently announced a powerful initiative called “Reach Out and Play”to offer a playful solution to combat the loneliness epidemic and drive meaningful connections among loved ones, young and old. Kicking off just ahead of Grandparent’s Day on September 10, Ageless Innovation teamed up with industry leaders, including AARP, to organize hundreds of Reach Out and Play Board Game Events nationwide. The goal of these events is to bring people together through the “power of play,” which has proven to help foster connections, improve emotional health and well-being, and more. Reach Out and Play allows us to celebrate older adults across the country this year and well beyond, and the best part about it, is that everyone can get involved! From senior centers and nursing homes, to family living rooms and kitchen tables—anyone and everyone can join the fun. You can learn more at aarp.org/agelessplay
What was your favorite project to date?
TF: It’s hard to highlight a favorite project from the past five years; there’s so much to be proud of, and we’re not done yet! there’s also so much to look forward to. Earlier this year, we were tapped by Hasbro to be the first-ever licensee designed to cater to the older adult market. We recently launched The Game of Life Generations, Trivial Pursuit Generations, and Scrabble Bingo, all of which now include age-inclusive components for to meet the needs and interests of older adults, and to encourage intergenerational play among families. Many of the Reach Out and Play Board Game Events will feature the new games!
What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?
TF: “Eldertainment” is a huge trend in the toy industry right now—a “trend” that we pride ourselves on being at the forefront! At Ageless Innovation, we believe that play has no age limit – it’s a basic human need for all – and we’re so glad that the toy industry is catching up. The benefits and power of playing board games have been well documented ;one study found that people who play games score better in cognitive tests in their 70s, while another study showed board game players have a 15% lower risk of dementia. Now more than ever, toy companies of all sizes are realizing the ”power of play” for all, and we can’t wait to see the impact that it could have on the aging industry as a whole.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
TF: No matter where we are, our team is working tirelessly to improve the lives of older adults, their families, and their caregivers, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work that we do to help combat prevalent and challenging issues through the use of fun & play. .
What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?
TF: We focus on the joyful, playful side of aging and make products specifically for older adults and their families. Marketing to this population, especially non-traditional products, is a challenge. Part of the challenge is that not many companies focus on the fun side of aging so traditional marketing does not always find our customers/end users and we have been category creators in this space which adds another layer of newness and complexity to ensure our end users know about the great fun products we make.
What excites you?
TF: I get excited every time I hear a story about an older adult that has been positively impacted by our products. Our team is inspired everyday hearing from family members willing to share how our products have meant so much to their aging loved ones. It never gets old
What are your favorite childhood memories?
TF: I grew up in a large mostly Italian family and my memories are around the many weekly meals we all shared. The kitchen or dining room table was a place where we learned all the history, heard all the stories (usually many times) and shared our love and bonds. Many generations together, all happy to be there. It was special.
Play Nine: A Casual Card Game Built by Word-of-Mouth All the Way to the Shelves of Target
Book Review: A Lot Like Batman
Game Review: UNO
Game Review: Jenga
Book Review: PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie Books
Ted Fischer, Co-Founder and CEO of Ageless Innovation, on Unleashing the Power of Play
Lisa Wallace Shares how "I’m The Chef Too!" Moved from Her Kitchen to Kitchens Everywhere!
Hasbro's Tanya Thompson on Women Innovators of Play
Toy industry rebels build an invention studio from zero to one
Attention Toys and Games Marketers: Is it time for Tums or Veuve Clicquot?
Randy Klimpert Shares his Ukulele Collection
Steve Casino Peanut Art
Everyone's Talking about POP!
Princess Etch - a Multi-Talented Etch A Sketch Artist
Joseph Herscher of Joseph' s Machines.
Tom Dusenberry... Bought Atari, Wizards of the Coast, and Avalon Hill!
Matt Leacock created Pandemic... the game!
Scott Brown and Tim Swindle... are Launching a New Sport!
Daryl Andrews says... "GO TO CONVENTIONS!"
Ed Gartin is... the Evel Knievel of Inventor Relations!
POPDuo: Richard Dickson, Mattel’s President & COO, and Kedar Narayan, Young Inventor Challenge AMB
POPDuo: Will Shortz and Josh Wardle
POP Duo: Elan Lee, Co-Founder, Exploding Kittens.and Jeff Probst, Host and Exec Producer, Survivor
POP Duo: David Fuhrer, MNG Director, Blue Sq Innovations & Shawn Green, past Dodgers & Mets MLB Star
POP Duo: Bob Fuhrer, Founder, Nextoy and Tom Fazio, Golf Course Designer
Toy Inventors--The Heart and Soul of the Industry
Brian Turtle: 'Endless' Stories, Advice, Kevin Bacon and More! tBR Person of the Week
Jonathan Levy on Jon2.0 - from Co-Founding Mastermind Toys to Spin Master
Andrew Perlmutter's Journey from Glencoe to Funko with Crazy Ideas that turned out Golden
Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!