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.

ASTRA’s 2012 Marketplace & Academy Exhibit Space Sells Out

Exhibit space for the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) 2012 Marketplace & Academy has sold out. The exhibit hall, which will be the biggest ever, reports ASTRA, will feature approximately 100 first-time ASTRA exhibitors.

“Given the huge number of first-time exhibitors, the exhibit hall will be full of product we haven’t seen before,” said ASTRA President Kathleen McHugh. “And remember, even though exhibit space is sold out, we have plenty of room for any and all independent retailers.”

ASTRA will be held in Baltimore, Md. from June 10-13. For more information, or to register, visit www.astramarketplace.org or call ASTRA at 1-800-591-0490.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid 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.

ASTRA Reveals 2012 Marketplace & Academy Theme

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced that the theme of its 2012 Marketplace & Academy will be “Get more from your store: Build your business at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy.” The event will take place in Baltimore June 10-13.

“Independent retailers are always looking for creative new ways to increase revenue and contain costs. Never has it been more important for store owners to get the most out of every dollar they spend and every business decision they make,” said Kathleen McHugh, president of ASTRA. “Our theme reflects what retailers will find at Marketplace & Academy: unique quality toys that fit their stores, huge show-only discounts, and business tips from the best retailers in the industry.”

As more information becomes available about speakers and special events at Marketplace & Academy, it will be posted at www.astramarketplace.org.

ASTRA Expects Record-Breaking Numbers for its 2010 Marketplace & Academy

Although the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is still making its final counts, the organization expects to announce that its 2010 Marketplace & Academy had a record-breaking crowd.  Early indications, says ASTRA, signal that this year’s crowd was 25 to 30 percent larger than last year.

The event, held June 13-16 in Providence, R.I., is the year’s largest gathering of the specialty toy industry. Next year’s ASTRA Marketplace & Academy will be held in June in Anaheim, Calif. Specific dates will be announced later.



ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy Exhibit Space Sells Out

According to Kathleen McHugh, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), all available exhibit space for ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy has sold out. “Every square inch of exhibit space is spoken for, and that means all the regular booths, all the half-booths we feature to help small start-ups bring their creative new specialty product to market, and all the table-top exhibits in our unique inventor incubator,” says McHugh.

ASTRA recommends that independent toy retailers register for the event as soon as possible to avoid missing out on any of the limited-registration events.

The 2010 Marketplace & Academy will be held in Providence, R.I. from June 13 to 16. For more information or to register, visit www.astratoy.org or call ASTRA at 1-800-591-0490.

ASTRA Reveals 2010 Marketplace & Academy Speakers

ASTRA logo

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has announced that specialty retail consultants Rick Segel and Doug Fleener will headline ASTRA’s 2010 Marketplace & Academy.  Fleener will open the event with a keynote address titled “Raise the Bar! How to Create and Profit with a High Performance Retail Team.” Segel will close ASTRA’s 2010 event with a presentation entitled  “Marketing Optimization: The Secrets of Getting Better Results on a Shoestring Budget.”

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