China Toy Fair


TIA to Host Young Professionals Cocktail Party in Dallas

TIA.YoungProfessionalsNetworkThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Young Professionals Network (YPN), which supports the growth, development, and retention of young professionals in the toy industry, will host a networking cocktail party on October 8 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The event will take place following the close of the second day of Fall Toy Preview.

All young toy industry professionals ages 35 and under are invited to attend the party, to be held at the Hilton Anatole Gossip Bar. Admission is free for both TIA members and non-members; TIA member company representatives will receive one complimentary drink.

RSVP for the cocktail party is requested by October 2. Questions and suggestions for expanding or improving upon the YPN—formerly known as Toy Industry Next Generation (TING)—may be directed to TIA’s Bernadette Boyle, membership manager, at (646) 454-5585.

300,000 Come Out to Verona’s Tocatì Festival

by Alexis Willey

The 12th edition of the Tocatì Festival, or International Festival of Street Games, featured Mexico as this year’s guest country. The festival, which was held in the historical center of Verona, Italy, took place on September 18 to 21.

The festival featured roughly 40 traditional games from both this year’s guest country, Mexico, and various Italian regions. About 300,000 people—matching the total from the previous year—took part in more than 40 traditional games, which filled the city streets and squares with life.

Among the Mexican games was Carrera de arihueta (played by Tarahumaras women); Juego de la caña de maíz (played by the ethnic group Tzotzil of Chiapas); and the pre-Columbian games from Sinaloa State, Ulama de antebrazo (a ball game in which the ball is hit with the forearm) and Ulama de cadera (in which the ball is hit only with the hips). There was also the Mexican game Pelota p’urepecha, played with a ball that is actually on fire. [Read more...]

TIA Fly-In Facilitates Discussions Between Toy Executives and Congress

by Alexis Willey

toyindustryThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) held its seventh annual Washington, DC Fly-In last week, where representatives of toy companies met with members of Congress and key lawmakers to discuss industry issues.

Fly-In participants advocated for support of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, an amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act that would prevent multiple, overlapping state and local chemical regulatory programs and eliminate impediments to interstate commerce that increase product costs for consumers.

TIA and the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) also presented Champion of Play awards to five members of Congress during the opening reception, with TIF’s Toy Bank donating toys to children’s charities within the home states of the honorees.

Greater China Business Forum to Take Place in New York City

TIAThe U.S. Commercial Service is hosting a two-day conference on export opportunities in Greater China, which will take place on October 7 to 8 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

The Global Markets: Greater China Business Forum program will cover export opportunities and challenges related to the major cities of Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as offer participants the chance to meet one-on-one with visiting U.S. Commercial Service diplomats from Beijing, Chengdu, Macau, Ulan Bator (Mongolia), Shanghai, Shenyang, Taipei, Singapore, and more. Additionally, subject matter experts will be on-hand to consult individually with companies interested in learning about intellectual property rights (IPR), standards and certifications, e-commerce, trade finance, export controls, government procurement, and additional topics.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is a supporting organization for this event, and TIA members receive a discounted rate ($100 off the regular rate) when they register. More information is available online at the U.S. Commercial Service web site. Representatives of TIA member companies may contact Anne McConnell at amcconnell@toyassociation.org to obtain the online registration code for the discounted rate.

Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese Manufacturers Scheduled for November

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will present two Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese manufacturers this fall. TIA has partnered with Mattel in planning these events and Mattel will provide on-site logistical support. The programs will include up-to-date reviews of U.S. toy safety standards, testing, and conformance requirements to assist local manufacturers licensed to experts toys and children’s products. The programs will take place in Hong Kong on November 17 and Shenzhen on November 18.

The session in Hong Kong will be co-presented by the TIA, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Hong Kong Toys Council. Speakers will be from Mattel and The Federation of Hong Kong Industries. The Shenzhen session held on the following day will be co-presented by the TIA, the State Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China, the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and the CPSC. Speakers will be from Mattel and the China Toy and Juvenile Products Association. [Read more...]

Women in Toys (WIT) Kicks Off New Initiatives in Dallas on October 6

WITWinningMovesWomen in Toys (WIT) has launched its new Empowerment Program with three exciting initiatives that provide members with opportunities for professional support, career development, and a roadmap to success.

The Winning Moves Empowerment Workshop gives entrepreneurs, inventors, and manufacturers the opportunity to pitch products to retail giant Wal-Mart as well as top toy and game companies including Hasbro, Spin Master, and Winning Moves Games. The event takes place on October 6 at Dallas Market Center at 1:00 pm, the day before the Toy Industry Association‘s Fall Toy Preview begins. It also features panel discussions, one-on-one speed mentoring, and networking opportunities such as a cocktail party open to women, men, members, and non-members.

One-on-One Mentoring pairs industry expert mentors with up-and-coming WIT members as well as those looking to change their career path. Volunteer mentors include manufacturers, retailers, marketing/PR agencies, and licensors. Members interested in becoming a mentor or mentee can sign up at www.womenintoys.com or contact Nancy Zwiers at nancy@funosophy.com

Learn-the-Ropes Webinars are hosted by industry experts and will provide information, insights, education, and support on a wide variety of topics. These are designed to help members with their career goals and professional development. Webinars will begin in December on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Anyone looking for more information can visit www.womenintoys.com or contact Deb de Sherbinin at deb@kidsmartusa.com.

Disguise Inc. to Produce DreamWorks Halloween Costumes

by Alexis Willey

DisguiselogoDisguise Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with DreamWorks Animation to manufacture and distribute DreamWorks branded Halloween costumes and accessories.

The partnership includes the rights to create kids and adult costumes based on DreamWorks heritage properties such as Shrek and VeggieTales, as well as upcoming movie releases Penguins of Madagascar, Home, and How to Train Your Dragon 3.

dreamworks_animation_logoThe costumes will be available at retailers nationwide for next year’s Halloween season.

Roominate Creators Jump into the Shark Tank on September 26

by Alexis Willey

Roominate.logoThe founders of the toy line, Roominate, will pitch their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-inspired product line on this Friday’s season premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank.

Roominate is a line of wired building systems designed for young girls to promote creativity while designing their own structures with circuits, modular pieces, and universal joints.

Kids’ Usage of Smartphones and Tablets Outpaces Other Electronics, Says NPD

NPDGrouplogoAccording to Kids and CE: 2014, the latest report from The NPD Group, kids’ usage of smartphones and media tablets outpaces their usage of all other consumer electronic devices in U.S. households.

Seventy-one percent of households with a child ages 4 to 14 reported owning a smartphone this year, up from 55 percent two years ago. Furthermore, incidence of ownership of media tablets doubled between 2012 and this year, growing from 21 percent to 43 percent, respectively. Among those with kids in the household, 35 percent said that their child uses a smartphone, up from 21 percent two years ago. For media tablets, the figure was 31 percent, up from 13 percent two years ago.

As far as personal ownership of consumer electronic devices among children ages 4 to 14, portable devices were the only device group to exhibit steady increases in ownership among the children themselves. Incidence of personal ownership of cell phones—including traditional cell phones and smartphones—held steady at 19 percent this year. [Read more...]

The Hub Network to Become Discovery Family Channel on October 13

HasbroStudios.logoThe Hub Network will become the Discovery Family Channel effective October 13. While the network will broaden its programming focus to serve families in primetime, it will continue to showcase Hasbro Studios children’s content in daytime.

During the daytime, the channel will offer a line-up of brand new Hasbro Studios’ series, as well as such library programming as My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, and Transformers Rescue Bots.

Discovery Family Channel will continue as a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, with Discovery Communications taking a 60 percent ownership position in the new channel and Hasbro’s stake decreasing to 40 percent. The network will be consolidated and managed under the Discovery portfolio of networks. [Read more...]