Tom Karen, OBE – designer of the Chopper bike and Marble Run – has died.

Tom Karen
In the toy and game industry, Tom is best remembered for creating the mould-breaking marble run first known as Builda Helta Skelta. Tom described this as his “…most inspired creation”. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to design in 2018.

Tom was born in Vienna in 1926, but settled in England during the Second World War. His many other creations include numerous white goods, cars, aeroplanes and even a Popemobile. He passed over peacefully on New Year’s Eve, surrounded by family.

A retrospective of Tom’s career is currently on show at One Garden City, Letchworth. His excellent autobiography, Toymaker, is available online. You can also read our 2020 interview with him here.

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