Toy market news

Announcing $1,297 scholarship for aspiring toy creators

The Toy Coach Azhelle Wade is excited to announce a partnership with Learning Express Toys Lake Zurich to host ten aspiring toy creators in the Toy Creators Academy.

Toy Creators Academy is the most comprehensive toy business program that not only shows you how to fully develop your toy or game idea like a pro - but also how to properly pitch that idea to buyers and toy companies (Valued at $1,297 USD).

Over the past year, the Toy Creators Academy has trained more than 50 students who have developed and pitched ideas to distributors, production studios, and toy companies resulting in distribution partnerships and licensing opportunities.

The Toy Coach

Toy designer, inventor, and former toy company executive Azhelle Wade leads the Toy Creators Academy. A rockstar in the toy biz, Azhelle's worked for Fortune 500 companies like Toys R Us and Party City, and Madame Alexander, to name a few.

Today Azhelle is known industry-wide as The Toy Coach. She joyfully works as a consultant for popular IPs and toy companies of all sizes. Her online course, Toy Creators Academy, empowers newbies in the toy industry with step-by-step guidance, downloadable worksheets, and group coaching. Azhelle is also the host of the top-rated toy podcast, Making It In The Toy Industry. Azhelle's mantra for her followers: "Make it toyetic!"

The Scholarship

The Toy Coach's partnership with Richard Derr, the Owner and Regional Manager at Learning Express Toys Lake Zurich, is historic. Derr is a toy retailer and former Marketing Business Executive who loves the toy industry. Known as The Toy Man, he is known for sharing the state of the industry in his highly informative LinkedIn posts. "The toy industry needs this. We need fresh ideas...If we get one idea out of this, it's worth it." says Richard.

Learning Express Toys Lake Zurich is the national toy leader that instills the joy of learning in children - special needs, educational, developmental, and specialty.

The Toy Coach and The Toy Man are committed to bringing fresh creative minds to the toy industry and are proud to make the toy dreams of aspiring toy creators come true from across the globe.

Eligible applicants must be over 18 years old, show financial hardship, not be current or former students of Toy Creators Academy, not be full-time employees of a toy manufacturing company. Applicants must agree to conditions in the Scholarship application. For more details and to apply, visit . Applications will be accepted until Friday, September 17, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST.