Sunday, November 11 2018 01:15

Veteran-Owned, The Simplay3 Company brings American-Made Toys to Families for the Holidays and Beyond...

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A Special Veterans Day Feature to Kick-off the 2018 Holiday Season...

At Toy Fair in New York earlier this year, I finally had the opportunity to meet Tom Murdough, founder and CEO of The Simplay3 Company. Launched in 2016 and based in Ohio, the name reflects the power of simple play, but the "3" is indicative of the fact that this is the third toy company from Murdough, who famously founded both Little Tikes (1969) and The Step2 Company (1991) before taking a detour into "retirement" (at least from toys) for a portion of the past decade. While Simplay3 is a rare example of of an American toymaker that actually produces American-made toys (along with "grownup" items like mailboxes and wheelbarrows), it's also unique in that it's a privately-held, Veteran-owned business. Mr. Murdough was a member of the United States Marine Corps, having served from 1961-1964.

Tom trained at Quantico and became part of the 1st Marine Division, serving during the Cuban missile crisis. He credits his military service and experience with inspiring the determination to succeed at any cost, facing down any and all challenges that may eventually come his way. And in nearly 50 years of toymaking, the challenges have been many, but Murdough knows that his people are more than capable of competing.


"We are in an industry that is 98% comprised of products from overseas," he said. "I believe in the ingenuity and work ethic of our committed American workers to produce great products and then see them succeed in the marketplace." 

Those qualities have led to some of my favorite products from the past year, including the Neighborhood Sharing Library and the Carry & Go Track Table. Both of those items have secured spots in my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™ alongside the Garden View Cottage, My Buddy and Me SUV and Trail Master 2-Seat Wagon

At their Streetsboro, Ohio headquarters, Simplay3 maintains a modest staff with an emphasis on quality with a commitment to customers and family. "I have always believed it to be critically important to develop close relationships with all employees and to keep communication open. This management style continues to be a key component of our business," Murdough explained. 

Simplay3's Tom Murdough with some important friends...

The Holidays & Simplay3:

For the first time, Simplay3 has published their own Holiday Gift Guide to showcase their full range of products for the entire family. Tom Murdough states: "We know that families are now busier than ever and have lots of options available to them. We also know that they want to make the right choices and are discriminating so we designed our guide to inform and help consumers make smart purchase decisions for their loved ones and offer them the convenience of online shopping direct from the manufacturer."

This holiday season, visit Simplay3.com for great deals (and free shipping!) on products that kids and grownups will love. You'll find great gifts and be supporting American-made products from a Veteran-owned business. To Tom and all who have served, we salute you!

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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