Recipient, Lifetime Achievement, 2010
Eddy Goldfarb is an acclaimed toy inventor and game designer whose best known creation is perhaps one of the world’s wackiest novelties – the perpetually popular Yakity-Yak Talking Teeth. Since their debut in 1949, tens of millions of Eddy’s teeth have been sold – and the success of those chattering teeth laid the foundation for his nearly mythic career as a toy and game inventor.
For close to 60 years, Eddy has proven he has the chops to create successful playthings, with close to 700 products on the market and 300 patents for toys and games. He has left his mark on the impressionable brains of countless generations of youngsters with hits like Ker-Plunk, LEGO Creator Game, Busy Biddy, Battling Tops, Stompers, Baby Beans, Quiz Whiz, Vac-U-Form, Arcade Basketball, Sand Spin Art, Shark Attack, Merry-Go-Sip, Hydro Strike Line, Marblehead, Poppin Hoppies, and Milky the Cow.
Eddy was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2003, and was the first American to receive the I.D.I.O.T. Award (International Designers & Inventors of Toys) from the United Kingdom and European inventor community. Besides churning out countless creations, Eddy is known as the guy who made it cool and profitable to be an independent inventor, not beholden to one manufacturer – paving the way for future toy and game inventors.
Growing up in Chicago, Eddy devoured his brother’s copies of Popular Science, building toy rockets ships and perpetual-motion machines. A technical whiz at an early age, he always knew he wanted to be an inventor – he just didn’t know of what.
At the onset of World War II, Eddy volunteered for submarine duty. Out to sea for two months at a time, and surrounded by the curved walls and ceilings of the submarine covered with pipes, valves, knobs, dials and gauges, there was no better place for Eddy to cut his inventing teeth than this “dream come true” assignment where Eddy read a numerous books, took copious notes and developed a multitude of ideas. With his wife Anita backing him from the start, and the mental horsepower to excel in just about any engineering field, Eddy gravitated toward toys, believing his most lasting impact revolves around the simple premise that kids will learn to do anything – if properly entertained.
A father of three and grandfather to two, today Eddy resides in California where he runs his California-based design firm with his son Martin.
The Chicago Toy and Game Group congratulates the 2010 Lifetime Achivement Award Recipient, Mr. Eddie Goldfarb.