Innovation: Star Wars the Bounty Hunter Code

Recognized throughout the industry as the place for innovative, high-quality illustrated books, becker&mayer! is a leader in creating unique formats that stand out at retail. We can create something eye-catching and unusual at impulse-buy prices or, at the other end of the spectrum, we can craft high-end collector’s items. With extensive experience working in plastics, electronics, and other materials, our company has developed many successful series over the years for licensing and publishing partners worldwide. Ninety percent of our content and format ideas are brainstormed in-house, and we hold patents on our most innovative products.


History: Thumb Wrestling, Star Wars Lightsaber Thumb Wrestling

Founders Jim Becker and Andy Mayer have known each other for a long time (truth be told, since before either of them were fully potty-trained). They went to elementary through high school together just outside of New York City. Then, shortly after college, the two friends joined together to form becker&mayer! In the 1980s, Jim and Andy found success in designing electronic children’s toys and authoring a variety of humor books.

Perhaps their biggest early hit, The Official Book of Thumb Wrestling (published by Workman), remained in print for more than twenty years and sold more than 400,000 copies—and no wonder, since it is THE definitive book on the subject. At least, it was—until becker&mayer!’s Star Wars: Lightsaber Thumb Wrestling was published by Chronicle Books in 2013, thirty years later.

Jim remains the Creative Director of becker&mayer!’s SmartLab Toys division, and Andy has retired to the beaches of Southern California. The company has grown to encompass nonfiction books for children and adults, a genre fiction program, and the educational toy company SmartLab.


Culture: becker&mayer! Halloween 2013

Good ideas come from everyone. We recognize that our strength and innovation comes from our co-workers, whether they are editors, designers, or accountants. At becker&mayer!, we value an energetic, creative work environment rooted in collaboration.

We place great value on teamwork: that’s why we always give an award for “Best Group Costume” at Halloween. We could tell a few stories about Halloween, but a couple of them involve body stockings, so maybe we won’t. We’ll just say that not much work gets done that day, what with all the interdepartmental trick-or-treating going on. Sometimes we even get the office dogs to wear costumes. . .