This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. INDUSTRY MOVES

Tracey Devine steps up at InspirationWorks, Underground Toys hires new operations manager, Orchard Toys expands, Thames & Kosmos adds new agents and Dubut grows its team...

Underground Toys has expanded its team. Shane Stephens has joined as operations manager, working

out of the firm’s London HQ. He will be responsible for Underground’s international accounts.

Stephens brings nearly 15 years’ worth of experience from the toy industry and has previously worked with Tomy.

Glow Europe has hired Alexis Venn on board as sales director. A specialist in fast-moving consumer goods, Venn will manage the UK roll out of Glow Europe’s European promotional loyalty programmes and build on existing relationships with UK retailers, which the company established with the launch of Bumpeez last year. Venn has previously held senior positions at firms including TMS, Croco Worldwide and Logistix, working with brands such as Burger King, KFC, Kelloggs, Nestle and DeAgostini among others.

Orchard Toys has bolstered its design team with two new graduate recruits. The firm received nearly 100

applications for the

post of illustrator, and decided to hire April Nash (pictured above) a BA Hons graduate from De Montfort University, Leics. Nash commented: “It was difficult to contain my excitement when I was offered the position at Orchard Toys – I couldn’t wait to start and I am so happy I haven’t stopped smiling since I found out.” During the recruitment process, Orchard Toys also learned that Heather Yates, who is the company’s longest serving illustrator/designer was expecting her first baby.

So a 12-month contract was also offered, and accepted, by Rowena Cooper (below) another BA Hons graduate, from Norwich School of Art and Design. Cooper said:

“When I found out that I’d been offered the job at Orchard Toys I was over the moon. I feel really privileged

to be joining such a wonderful company and cannot wait to get started in my new role.”

InspirationWorks has promoted Tracey Devine to marketing director. “Tracey has played an integral part in the Inspiration

Works success story," said David Martin, UK director and general manager. “In conjunction with the R&D team she has brought a consistent, successful line of products to market and has driven the licensed programme, which is the foundation of today’s business. “She has also been at the forefront of the Kurio tablet project which is already being earmarked as one of the top UK toys for 2012.”

Thames & Kosmos has signed two new agents. Raymond Nedas (pictured) has joined the firm, bringing seven

years experience in the toy, gift and garden centre markets. His focus will be the South East of England. Mark Edwards has also been added to the team for the South West. Edwards has 20 years experience in the industry. This brings the Thames &

Kosmos team up to seven members. UK director Joanna Drage said: “We’ve had a very strong start to the year with sales reaching double our forecast figures.”

ToyNews’ partner Dubit has appointed two new staff members to its growing research division. Jill Pate (pictured left) joins Dubit from Explain where she gained experience in online community management and the utilisation of innovative youth research techniques. Her new role will see her working on projects for Turner Broadcasting and educational charity AQA. Pate is joined by Nikola Slobodian (pictured right) who takes up the role of research operations manager. The new position will see her developing team members and ensuring clients continue to receive the highest level of service, while promoting innovative techniques for researching young people. Dubit’s research manager, Peter Robinson said: “Jill and Nikola’s appointments come at an important time for Dubit, with 2011 being a record year for our research and game development departments.”

Hasbro has bolstered its European licensing and publishing team with a brace of new additions. Markus Pfitzner joins as senior licensing director for Northern Europe. He will be based in Germany and will oversee the firm’s licensing activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Central & Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. He previously held the role of licensing director at Mattel and, prior to that was brand manager at Nintendo.

In addition, Izabella Tumilowicz has been appointed senior licensing manager CEE region.

She will oversee the licensing programmes in Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and other CE markets.

Birchwood Recruitment offers bespoke solutions to finding the right sales and marketing people for the toy sector. 07796 697100,


THAT JOB This month:

Tips for the perfect CV

Did you know, on average a CV is looked at by a human eye for less than 30 seconds before it is uploaded onto a database? How do you stand out in the crowd?

The look

There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’. Your CV is yours and it needs to sell you, but remember that your CV is a selling tool and not your life story. You do need ALL your contact details on there in a logical order – contacts, profile, career history, education (although you can swap the last two around).

Career History

Start with your most recent role and work back. Make sure there are the following:

Full name of company with weblink - don’t assume everyone knows what your employer does;

Job title and dates at company; Please put achievements on your CV - just listing duties is not enough.


I tend to say references available on request.

Hobbies and interests

Only put them on if they are real, if they are of interest and if they don’t detract from your work life.

Spell Check

According to studies, up to 80 per cent of people will ditch a CV when they have spotted even one or two errors. And always use English language.

Be Appropriate

Make sure you have an appropriate email address. Not something like


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