The Canadian Toy Association

Tom Vernon

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Canadian Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees


A man of great ingenuity, Mr. Vernon founded Chieftain Products in 1980 and built it into one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of toys and games with his knack for recognizing a great idea. In 1982 he bought the rights to the then unknown Trivial Pursuit. Thanks in large part to his efforts, the game became one of the most popular in the world, and set new trends in home entertainment by changing the nature of adult games.

He made his first indelible mark on the toy industry in 1961 when he established a Canadian branch of Parker Brothers. He continued to run the Canadian operation after Parker Brothers (U.S.) was acquired by General Mills. In 1980 he pursued his entrepreneurial instincts and purchased McPherson-Thomson, which owned distribution rights to Scrabble. He later renamed the company Chieftain and expanded it in 1974 by purchasing the Kelton Corporation and so bringing such popular games as Etch-a-Sketch and Micro-Lite Oven under the house name.

Mr. Vernon served two separate terms as Chairman of the Canadian Toy Manufacturers Association 1972-74 and 1989-90.





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