The Canadian toy industry lost a much-respected colleague when Harry J. Adelman passed away peacefully at his Toronto home on May 4, 2016.
Born in Montreal in 1915, Mr. Adelman served in many roles throughout his long career, contributing to the growth and success of our industry.
He got his first start in the business in 1946 as a salesman for Montreal-based Reliable Toy Company, journeying as far east as Miquelon and St. Pierre to generate new retail clients.
During those same early years, he became involved in the Canadian Playthings Manufacturers Inc. (precursor of the Canadian Toy Manufacturers Association and later the Canadian Toy Association), serving as its first vice-president of publicity.
Community-spirited and a natural organizer, Mr. Adelman helped create Children’s Day, a special occasion at which children from Montreal-area orphanages enjoyed treats, toys and the company of hockey stars.
He was also instrumental in creating the Breakfast Speaker series. Held during Canada’s annual toy fair, this popular forum brought government ministers and department store executives together with industry members for face-to-face discussion.
Throughout his career of more than three decades, Mr. Adelman also worked for several other well-known toy companies, including Somerville Industries, and House of Games, where he served for seven years before retiring from active sales in 1982.
However, in the mid nineties, Mr. Adelman came out of retirement to serve as president of the Canadian Toy Importers Association (CTIA), which held annual early-season trade exhibitions in both Toronto and Montreal.
In recognition of his many contributions to the toy industry, Mr. Adelman was inducted into the Canadian Toy Association’s Hall of Fame in 1998.
Along with all members of the Canadian toy industry, Toys & Games offers sincere condolences to Mr. Adelman’s family and friends.
(Courtesy of Canadian Toy Association files.)