66 minutes | Oct 20, 2020

Episode 20: Chris Cofoni - CEO of TriAction Toys and Music Performer

In this episode, I am excited to be introducing you to another neighbor and he is a force to be reckoned with.  I am talking with a junior olympian swimmer, singer, traveler, and fisherman.  We talk a lot about toys in this episode and you won’t want to miss the big announcement. You may have heard this neighbor perform at the 12 Oaks Summer Slam, Raleigh’s High Park Bar or Woody’s Sports Tavern and Grill. This is the first EVER episode where our neighbor sings for YOU.  Chris Cofoni is the Founder and CEO of TriAction Toys. Chris is also a singer-songwriter. Chris was born in Westerly, Rhode Island.  He was raised in an Italian family along with his older sister by his Mom and Dad. His family moved quite a bit during his childhood years.  While attending high school, Chris discovered, after much nudging from his Mom, that he had a true musical talent. Last year Chris launched “Instraspection” which is his best album yet, recorded here in Raleigh. Chris is married with three children.   12 Oakers, we are so fortunate to have Chris as a neighbor and as an onsite performer, rockstar to boot. We look forward two Chris’ next performance, here in 12 Oaks.   In This Episode: [04:14] Welcome Chris Cofoni our 19th “P” in the pod[cast]. He is the CEO of TriAction Toys and a Music Performer. [04:33] TriAction, which stands for “innovate, design, and play” introduces popular European design and quality toys to American audiences, with distribution, specifically focused on independent toy stores and specialty retailers. [06:52] Chris had major roles in high school community theatre and professional theatre with Off Broadway runs and formed a rock band named Lucid. [07:38] In 2000, Chris had his first major release “Born Backwards.”  [09:32] He has been to 31 countries and the Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island is still the best beach he has ever walked on in the world.   [10:17] He was a junior olympian for freestyle swimming when his family lived in California.  [11:18] Some of the first people he made friends with after moving to Mystic, Connecticut approached him about singing with them in a rock band and they are still his best friends to this day.  [13:01] He was singing in Italian, German, and French at the age of 15.    [14:45] Chris was chosen to sing a solo out of the whole country with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C.  [16:10] He received a full talent scholarship to Hartt School of Music.  [17:39] His father showed him that nothing was more important than a hard day’s work other than family because that is why you work.    [19:02] There were times in his career when he took the next step and it was a very difficult decision but he made it based on something his grandfather told him. [20:40] His brand is a guy that never gives up.  [23:44] His assertiveness and passion together got him a promotion to the A&R department at Lunar Records.  The second record he worked on was with Norah Jones. [24:20] Of all the records he worked on, the one with Al Green had the biggest impact on Chris.  [25:40] Working with Norah Jones, Chris has Gold and Platinum plagues.   [27:13] Chris performs a small part of a song he wrote called Claustrophobia.   [33:43] He transitioned to the toy industry because the record industry had a huge drop.  [36:40] Chris started a new job at Melissa and Doug.  [38:52] He moved on and became VP of Sales for Jazwares. They launched Fortnite toys.   [41:07] Chris is doing licensed toys for Boglins now.  He is manufacturing at this time. [43:19] Through his experience, he has learned that out of a weakness can come a strength.   [45:13] After several years, he bumped into Daniela literally in Time Square on Valentine’s Day.  [47:52] Chris loves to fish.  He was in a Bass Club with his grandfather.  [49:48] Why did you choose North Carolina and 12 Oaks?   [52:42] Chris recommends having fun and traveling in your 20’s and make sure you know who you are before you commit to a life with someone else. [54:59] What are you most proud of? [56:24] If you had a chance to redo something in life, what would you do differently and why? [58:31] The one thing Chris learned from all of his travels was not to judge.   [60:23] What would you be known for? [61:07] Which actor would play Chris Cofoni? Links and Resources for Episode 20 12 Oaks Community Website Team Anderson Realty All About Chris Cofoni: Westerly, RI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westerly,_Rhode_Island Solana Beach, CA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solana_Beach,_California Mystic, CT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystic,_Connecticut Early Influencer:Dr. Andre´ J. Thomas http://www.drandrethomas.com Music Career Influencers:Bruce Lundvall (Blue Note Label Group) https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bruce-Lundvall Willie Mitchell and Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell (Royal Studios) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_%22Boo%22_Mitchell Irv Kratka (Music Minus One) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_Minus_One Toy Industry Influencers:Melissa and Doug Bernstein (Melissa & Doug, LLC) https://www.melissaanddoug.com/meet-melissa-and-doug.html Jazwares: https://www.jazwares.com TriAction Toys: https://triactiontoys.com Les Deglingos Teddy Kompaniet Boglins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boglin
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