Toy Story: Rutgers–Camden Junior Experiences Toy Fair, Gains Business Insight from Mattel Executives

Antony Muthangya poses with a sharp-toothed friend at New York City's Toy Fair.

Antony Muthangya poses with a sharp-toothed friend at New York City’s Toy Fair.

Hundreds of thousands of brand new toys — from action figures and model trains to puzzles, online games, and robot dinosaurs — transformed the Javits Center in New York City into the world’s largest toy box during this year’s annual Toy Fair.

What could be described as any child’s dream come true served as a unique opportunity for Rutgers University–Camden junior Antony Muthangya to observe how ideas are taken from concept to creation and marketed to the general public.

“My Toy Fair experience contributed to my overall appreciation of business,” says Muthangya, a Mount Holly resident and Rancocas Valley Regional High School graduate. “Everything consumers see in stores is usually curated almost a year in advance. Being able to find a niche as a company or recognize a trend early can prove to be very profitable.”

Muthangya is a management major at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, where he is a member of the Business Leader Development Program (BLDP), which provides undergraduate students with opportunities to gain enhanced leadership training, networking experience, and mentoring by faculty and business leaders from a wide variety of industries.

Through the BLDP, Muthangya toured the Toy Fair on Feb. 14 with Brian Greczyn, a Rutgers School of Business–Camden graduate and senior director of sales for toy manufacturer Mattel, and Jeff Clark, an account manager for Mattel.

While walking the show floor to look at and test out new toys, Muthangya took advantage of his time with Greczyn and Clark to learn all he could from them about about licensing, marketing, and the evolution of the toy industry.

Muthangya tests a cup stacking game at the annual Toy Fair.

Muthangya tests a cup stacking game at the annual Toy Fair.

“Their advice was to be passionate about what I do, and not to be afraid to challenge myself,” says Muthangya, who notes one of the crucial benefits to the Business Leader Development Program is making connections with established professionals.

“You get that one-on-one experience with them and have the chance to ask them questions and hear from people who work in industries outside of your own,” he says. “It’s really important as a business professional to learn how to network and learn to be versatile. It builds confidence and gives you a chance to make connections and become a leader throughout the business community.”

Muthangya, who was born in Kenya, says he wants to pursue a career in international business after he completes his undergraduate education and his MBA.

“I’m fascinated with different cultures and I feel that with the knowledge and the preparation I’m getting at Rutgers–Camden, I can be part of something bigger. Everyone has their part to play and I hope I can make an impact on an international level.”

“When I first came to Rutgers–Camden, I was the quiet kid,” Muthangya explains. “But now, I’m not afraid to raise my hand. You want to get involved in your community and make an impact. The Business Leader Development Program has taught me that.”

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