In Memory Of
April 14, 1964 — July 3, 2020
Mercedeh Ward contributed to the toy industry she loved in a myriad of ways over the course of her 35-year career. A mechanical engineer by training, with a degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Mercedeh leveraged her considerable smarts and work ethic to ensure thousands of toys reached the market to deliver happiness to children. Her amazing career spanned multiple companies (in order): Mattel, Equity Marketing, Playmates, Spin Master, MGA, Funrise, Zippity Blue, and Spin Master (again).
At a time where there were few female engineers in the toy industry (and no one had yet heard of STEM), Mercedeh became the go-to product development expert for girls toys in Southern California, where executing the right aesthetic was paramount. She made major contributions to many powerhouse brands, including: Barbie, Bratz, and Amazing Amanda (first major animatronic doll). In her second stint at Spin Master, she helped drive the success of the #1 preschool brand, Paw Patrol.
Her breast cancer diagnosis in 2009 didn’t stop her for long. Even after she was diagnosed with a recurrence in 2019, she kept working until she was no longer able to. Mercedeh passed on July 3, 2020, surrounded by family. Her fighting spirit is an inspiration to us all.
Today, there are many female engineers succeeding in our industry, thanks in part to the trailblazing work by Mercedeh Ward…what a legacy she leaves! Mercedeh, we celebrate you!
Mercedeh Ward was a trailblazing female engineer in toys for 35 years, working on some of the biggest brands and paving the way for future generations of female engineers in the industry.