Sweet Suite 2016

COMMENTARY: These Toys Are Full of All-American Goodness

The Lemonade Set, from BeginAgain Toys

Shopping consciously is a lot easier when there are toy companies out there dedicated to manufacturing products in the U.S. While made-in-the-U.S. toys may not have been one the biggest trends at Toy Fair this year, we still wanted to round up some of the fantastic products we saw, that you all should keep an eye out for this year!

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Q&A with John Gessert, President, American Plastic Toys

APT.John GessertThe Toy Book (TTB): Which toy categories do you expect to expand in 2015? Which do you expect to contract?

John Gessert (JG): We are starting to see more interest at the consumer level in toys that promote or support basic play patterns. We have received notes from consumers that complement our products not only for being made in the U.S., but also for providing a basis for good basic role playing that results in active play that promotes imagination. Another role-play area that seems to be increasing from initial line reviews for fall is in doll-related play. It appears that demand for doll accessories has increased for 2015.
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Stephen J. Pasierb Named President and CEO of TIA

StevePasierbHeadshotStephen J. Pasierb will join the Toy Industry Association (TIA) at the end of April as president and CEO. In this role, he will be responsible for leading the growth, development, and oversight of the TIA, and will succeed current president and CEO Carter Keithley, who will retire at the end of April.

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TIA Elects New Leadership at 2014 Annual Business Meeting

March5.TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has elected three new members to its Board of Directors and a new chairman of the organization during its Annual Business Meeting in February. John Gessert of American Plastic Toys will assume the position as chairman for a year, replacing retiring Board Chairman Soren Torp Laursen of The Lego Group

The new members of the TIA Board are Drew Brazer, vice president of sales in North America for Lego Systems Inc.; D. Hugo Malan, senior vice president and president of sporting goods at Sears Holding Corp.; and William To, president of VTech Electronics in North America. Each elected member will serve for two-year terms, expiring at the 2016 TIA Annual Business Meeting. Laursen will become an advisor to the governance body.

The 2014 TIA Annual Business Meeting was held in conjunction with the 111th American International Toy Fair in New York City. The meeting also included accomplishment highlights from the first year of TIA’s 2013-2015 Strategic Plan and an announcement that the TIA had grown its financial reserves last year.

Toy Industry Foundation Brings Holiday Cheer to Families on Hawaii Military Bases

More than 3,000 boys and girls living with their parents on Hawaii’s Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter U.S. Army bases were treated to two days of toy giveaways on December 4 and 6,respectively. The events were hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services, who brought the spirit of the season to military families complete with gifts, holiday carolers, and the lighting of two of the largest Christmas trees in the country.   [Read more...]

Fall Toy Preview Sees Increases in Total Attendance and Global Participation

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

More than 700 buyers from around the world attended the Toy Industry Association’s Fall Toy Preview 2012 in Dallas. This is a 3 percent increase in total buyers who attended to look at the new toys and games for Holiday 2013. A 10 percent increase in foreign buyers was also noted.  The top five foreign countries represented by buyers were Canada, the UK, Mexico, Australia, and Hong Kong. Roughly 348 companies exhibited their latest product lines, including Alexander Doll Company, American Plastic Toys, Famosa, Hape, Inc., Melissa and Doug, Playmobil, Ohio Art, Blip Toys, Safari Ltd., and Razor USA. In sponsorship with Techno Source and presented by Carlin West Agency/NFL Rush Zone, the opening night party for the event raised funds for the Toy Industry Foundation and allowed participants to meet with Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.