China Toy Fair


Ted Kiesewetter to Receive ASTRA’s Top Honor

ASTRAlogoToy industry legend Ted Kiesewetter will be honored at the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) Marketplace & Academy with ASTRA’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. A veteran of nearly forty years in the toy industry, Kiesewetter founded International Playthings Inc. (IPI), now a division of Epoch Company Ltd.

He also supported the industry through his co-founding of Playing for Keeps, which promoted healthy play with products that focus on the features of the child’s play rather than the features of the toy. Kiesewetter was an early and consistent supporter of ASTRA and its efforts to promote collaboration and cooperation among manufacturers, retailers, and sales representatives.

ASTRA will present Kiesewetter with the award at its annual awards breakfast and business meeting, which will be held June 9 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. PT at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix.

COMMENTARY: A Fresh Take on Traditional Outdoor Toys and Games

These days, it’s pretty crucial for toy companies to be as innovative as possible. But sometimes, providing kids with a new take on an old-school toy or game is just as effective. Sure, kids are ridiculously interested in tablets, iPhones, and computers, but when it comes to play the rules haven’t changed all that much. Although kids are now growing up in the “digital age,” they are always going to love running, jumping, laughing, and exerting energy in a physical way.

Toys such as pogo sticks, Skip-Its (my favorite), and sidewalk chalk were staples throughout my childhood, and contrary to those who believe kids are actually digital robots, they remain favorites for children growing up now, too.

Kidoozie Pogo JumperI never got around to mastering the pogo stick, but this bouncing device still remains a popular activity for kids of all ages. The Kidoozie Pogo Jumper from International Playthings offers kids a lot of hop, but enhances the fun by adding a built-in speaker that squeaks with every bounce. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Bath Time Is Play Time in My House

I’m a lucky mom (for many reasons), but in the context of this post I’m lucky because my kids love taking baths. It’s one less thing to fight about. However, the reason they don’t mind cleaning up is that it’s fun. It’s not the getting clean part they enjoy (Lena has tried to make me forget about that portion of the experience many times), but the playing. Entertaining a 4-year-old in the tub is very different from distracting an 8-month-old, but bath toys have come a long way since I was a kid (plastic cup and Dawn dish soap, anyone?), and I’ve got a whole array of toys to get the job done. [Read more...]

TIF Contributes More Than $300,000 in Toys to TODAY Show Gift Drive

toyindustryMore than 30,000 children in need nationwide will receive brand new toys and games this holiday season, thanks to generous toy companies that partnered with the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) to participate in the TODAY Show Holiday Gift Drive.

TIF appeared on the TODAY Show’s November 26 episode to celebrate the toy industry’s contribution to the gift drive, benefiting dozens of charities across the country. The companies pitched in to donate more than $300,000 worth of toys for families facing financial hardships and children who are sick, living in domestic violence shelters, residing on military bases, or otherwise in need.

The Foundation thanked the following companies: Cartamundi USA, Children of America Dolls, Creations By You, Do-a-Dot Art, Green Toys,
Griddly Games, International Arrivals, International Playthings, Little Pim, McNeill Designs, Orb Factory, Safari Ltd., Savvi, Schleich USA, Smart Gear, Smart Toys and Games, ThinkFun, Ukloo Kids, VTech, WowWee USA, and Wyla, Inc.

TIF has participated in the TODAY Show Gift Drive for the past four years, providing a total of 88,000 toys (valued at more than $900,000).

Sanrio Expands Hello Kitty Brand

hello_kitty001Sanrio Inc. has inked multiple partnership deals to expand the Hello Kitty brand across toys, sporting goods, and infant accessories

Blip Toys will produce dolls, plush, novelty, and play sets, while Just Play and International Playthings will create plush and soft toys. Fashion Angels and Ohio Art focus on creativity with sketch portfolios, hair chox, tapefitti, Etch A Sketch, doodle sketch, and nano blocks. MMA International and Street Flyer are responsible for sporting goods such as tennis, volleyball, basketball, and soccer equipment, as well as active skates, skateboards, and pogosticks. Baby Trend will create infant gear such as car seats, strollers, play yards, and high chairs, while Aden and Anais provide blankets, bibs, hooded towels, and washcloth sets. Ginsey will create bath accessories.

The Hello Kitty brand will also expand to the digital and publishing category with LeapFrog  and Viz Media.

International Playthings Partners with Channel IQ to Enforce MAP Policy

International Playthings, LLC, is introducing a minimum advertised price policy across its product line with the help of Channel IQ. Stabilizing an online marketplace with tighter MAP policies creates a safer environment to offer better promotions and maintain reputations. A MAP policy is an integral component of a manufacturer’s strategic dealer program, covering the sales of a product line where advertising guidelines are used to help maintain a brand’s positioning and value in the marketplace.

Channel IQ gives manufacturers such as IPL visibility into who is selling their products online and at what price, thus providing actionable intelligence for them to manage optimal advertising and promotional programs for their sales channels and, most importantly, its customers.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Games & Puzzles: Find 5 Fast

Find 5 Fast is a game featuring “magical discs of common things.” In the game by International Playthings, players shuffle the discs and try to find the common object on all five discs. Whoever finds it first marks the object with a colored coin and then flips over a disc of his or her choosing. The magic is that there will always be one common object on all five discs no matter which disc is turned over during the game.

For more challenging game play, there’s a version that uses six magical discs and has more objects on each one. Included in Find 5 Fast is five magical double-sided discs, six magical double-sided discs for advanced play, 16 scoring chips, a built-in scoring board, and rules in English and French.

Check out The Toy Book‘s July/August issue for more games and puzzles!