Voting Opens for 2013 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards

TAGIE.AwardsThese nominees for the annual Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards in the categories of toy design, game design, young inventor, and rising star were selected by industry colleagues. Now the public is invited to place their votes before the annual award show taking place in November as part of the 11th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

The 2013 TAGIE Award nominees are as follows:

Excellence in Toy Design

  • Bruce Lund, inventor of the Dino Construction Company Line
  • Cheong Choon Ng, inventor of Rainbow Loom
  • Jon Paul Capriola, inventor of ZippyDo
  • Sean Frawley, inventor of Aero Force Flight Designs: “Ultra-Light/Extended Flight” Gliders/ Wind Ups/ Power Gliders
  • Wim Ouboter, inventor of Microlino Airseat Hybrid

[Read more...]

TIA Opens Nominations for 2014 TOTY Awards, Board of Directors

toty14-logoThe Toy Industry Association Inc. (TIA) is accepting toy, game, and property submissions across 12 categories for the 2014 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. The nomination period will close at 5 p.m. PST on October 11. Finalists will be unveiled on November 25; winners will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony in February 2014.

Toy companies, inventors, retailers, and others are invited to nominate contenders; all submissions should include a brief, 50-word description plus a statement—up to 300 words—explaining why the product or property is deserving of recognition on the TOTY Awards ballot. Products must have been introduced to the marketplace within the past two years and must be available at retail in the U.S. on or before November 25 of this year. Each submission is $75 for TIA members and $125 for non-members. For more information, visit the TOTY website or email toty@toyassociation.org.

TIA also invites all members to submit candidates for seats on its Board of Directors. The board is responsible for the management and control of the activities, property, and affairs of TIA, including the strategic direction of the association, the annual budget, and the scope of responsibilities of the board and its committees.

The criteria that will be considered by the nominating committee for each nominee includes commitment to attend regularly scheduled board meetings each year and, as appropriate, other relevant TIA-sponsored events; and professional skills and experience (e.g., finance, law, marketing, etc.) that may be of value to the board.

All nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on October 11. More information, including criteria and where to submit nominations, can be found through TIA’s website.

Voting Opens for 2014 Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

HallofFame2014logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has opened its annual ballot to determine the next inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The voting period will extend to September 13. This year’s candidates were chosen from a slate of 24 highly-qualified nominees submitted for consideration by members of the Hall of Fame (HOF) Committee. All of the nominees left notable marks on the North American toy industry.

Living candidates for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

  •     Jill Barad, former CEO, Mattel
  •     Horst Brandstätter, president and sole owner, PLAYMOBIL/geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co. KG
  •     Thomas Chan, chairman and CEO, Playmates Toys Inc.
  •     Joel Glickman, founder, K’NEX Brands
  •     Bruce Raiffe, president, Gund, division of Enesco, LLC

Candidates for posthumous induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

Responses are due by September 13. Designated points of contact at TIA member companies, former Hall of Fame inductees, and recent TIA Board members are invited to rank their choices in the living and posthumous categories.

The inductees will be honored during the Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards ceremony on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which officially launches Toy Fair Week in New York City.

Smart Toys and Games’ Bunny Peek A Boo Wins Four Awards

bunnySmart Toys and Games Inc. has earned four awards from multiple toy and parenting awards programs for its game Bunny Peek A Boo. Recent awards include ASTRA Best Toys for Kids, Dr. Toy’s Best Green Toys, Parents’ Choice Awards, and the Tillywig Toy & Media Awards.

Bunny Peek A Boo’s wooden blocks and character rabbit allow children to develop spatial perception, logic, and problem solving skills as they “pull a rabbit out of the box” with this 3-D puzzle. The game offers 60 challenges designed to prepare children ages 2 to 5 for more difficult single player logic games. The game’s ability to be engaging, open-ended, fun, and safe were factors that influenced the judging. Bunny Peek A Boo is available at toy stores everywhere and on Smart’s website.

Hasbro Receives Environmental Merit Award

Hasbro_logo_newHasbro, Inc. recieved an Environmental Merit Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognizing the company for outstanding environmental work and significant contributions toward preserving and protecting natural resources.

The award acknowledges Hasbro’s environmental sustainability achievements, including:

  • Improving Product-to-Packaging Ratio: In April 2012, Hasbro announced plans to reduce materials used in product packaging for many of its brands.
  • Eliminating PVC in Packaging: Hasbro has eliminated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from new product packaging this year, and will continue to reduce PVC in all packaging until it’s eliminated.
  • Increasing Recycled Content: Hasbro exceeded its 2011 goal to derive at least 75 percent of paper and board packaging from recycled material or from sources that practice sustainable forest management. By 2015, Hasbro plans to increase that target to 90 percent usage of these materials and sources for all its paperboard packaging and in-box game content.
  • Using Materials Responsibly: Hasbro’s owned and operated factory in North America uses vegetable-based printing inks and aqueous coatings in its printing processes for game and puzzle components, boxes, and instructions. Additionally, the factory has received green certification for its printing processes by the nonprofit Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP).
  • Sourcing Paper Sustainably: Since 2011, Hasbro follows a paper sourcing policy, providing guidelines for suppliers regarding sustainable paper sourcing to help ensure that paper used in Hasbro products aligns with the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Additionally, both of its owned and operated factories have achieved certification from certifying bodies like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  • Reducing Waste: Hasbro sends zero waste to landfill from its North American manufacturing processes, and the company is committed to waste reduction across its facilities.

VTech’s InnoTab 2S Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet Awards Parents’ Choice Award

VTECH ELECTRONICS NORTH AMERICA, LLC LEARNING APPVTech, a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children, announced that its InnoTab 2S Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet, one of the first children’s learning based tablets with Wi-Fi, has been selected as a 2013 Parents’ Choice Award winner by Parents’ Choice Foundation.

VTech’s InnoTab range offers children their own tablet that opens up a world of age-appropriate educational content across the widest variety of curriculums, from downloads to software cartridges, combining innovative technology with a developmental learning tool that grows with a child and makes learning fun.

The InnoTab 2S Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet features a secure wireless connection to VTech’s comprehensive app store, the Learning Lodge, where children can explore more than 350 educational games, e-books, videos, music, and more; pick their favorites; create a wish list; and send the list right to their parents’ e-mail. Parents can then approve the wish list, which sends the purchases wirelessly, directly to the InnoTab 2S.

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Horton’s Kids Receives ICTI Annual Award for Children’s Charities

ICTIDay2Press-9[1]Horton’s Kids, a local nonprofit dedicated to educating and empowering the children of Washington, D.C.,’s Ward 8, was presented with the global toy industry’s ICTI Annual Award for Children’s Charities during a ceremony this afternoon at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Established by ICTI in 2003, the annual award honors a nationally acclaimed, independent charity that has made significant contributions to the advancement of children’s health and wellbeing. The recipient is nominated by the toy association hosting that year’s ICTI annual general meeting and selected from among nonprofit organizations across the host country. [Read more...]

JumpSport’s iBounce Encourages Kids to Jump Safely

JumpSport_iBounceLifestyleWhiteBackgroundHRJumpSport Inc., makers of the iBounce Kids Trampoline, has an iPad mount (also fits Kindle and other tablets) that shows animations of RompyRoo, the jumping kangaroo in three different adventures. Kids are able to get off the couch and exercise and they venture with RompyRoo in Hop-Along with Rompy Roo – Where Is Mr. Fuzzy?, Let the Games Begin, and The Grand Finale. In addition, learning numbers, colors, and letters are all part of a brief bouncy session. This trampoline with a technology twist allows kids to jump and play, as kids love to do, in a safe way.

The National Parenting Center has awarded a Spring 2013 Seal of Approval to JumpSort for making jumping on a kid’s trampoline a smart move. The JumpSport iBounce Kids Trampoline is for kids ages 2 to 5 or up to 80 pounds.

Toy Industry Hall of Fame Nominations Now Open

Members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and other toy industry stakeholders are invited to submit nominations of deserving candidates (living or deceased) for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, the TIA says in a news release. Selected candidates will join 62 current members of the hall of fame during a ceremony to be held in conjunction with the 14th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony on February 15 of next year. The nomination period will extend from May 28 through June 28. Membership in TIA is not a prerequisite for submitting a nomination.

Nominees for the Toy Industry Hall of Fame should have longstanding experience in the toy industry; unimpeachable integrity and respect among his or her peers; have made outstanding contributions to the industry and/or to TIA; and be recognized for various accomplishments. Examples include innovative product or marketing introductions; manufacturing process changes, which significantly improved processes or products; a prominent role in promoting the public’s awareness and appreciation of the importance of toys in the lives of children, or promoting the public’s awareness of the toy industry as a significant and responsible member of the business community; and service on the TIA board of directors, or in other important capacities in or related to toys and youth entertainment.

Additional information on the Toy Industry Hall of Fame is available online. Questions and completed nomination forms should be directed to TIA’s Stacy Leistner (646) 520-4858 by June 28.

Nominations for Annual Pink Power Mom Program Now Open

image001The Pink Power Mom Program, now in its 7th year, announced the call for this year’s nominations starting on Mother’s Day, May 12. Every year, Kids II recognizes and rewards eight women for their fight against breast cancer and honors these incredible women as Pink Power Moms. The Pink Power Moms are selected due to the inspiration they give their families, friends, and others battling breast cancer, as well as because of their resilient spirit and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Since 2006, the Pink Power Mom program has made a difference by supporting deserving moms who are breast cancer survivors and their charities throughout the U.S.  The program currently boasts a total of 48 women and more than 55 charities throughout the nation, all of whom have inspired and empowered people in their communities. By thinking globally and acting locally, the program has created a compassionate network of resources for women and families affected by breast cancer. [Read more...]