TIF Distributes New Toys to More than 2,000 Kids on North Carolina Air Force Base

TIF/BGCAThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services distributed brand new toys to more than 2,000 children and families living on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. on December 2. During the base’s annual tree lighting ceremony, kids were treated to more than just entertainment and festive activities—they were also given a generous donation of toys, games, and stuffed animals.

With the holiday season just around the corner, TIF and BGCA are hopeful that the toys will ease the stresses and challenges children face with parents who are frequently deployed. This special donation was made possible through toy companies to TIF’s signature giving program, The Toy Bank.

This event was held as part of the TIF/BGCA Play Comforts program—the first national toy distribution initiative to serve dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad. The program has provided more than $3.8 million in toys for children and families over the four years it has been running.

TIF’s Toy Bank includes AbraKIDabra, Alex Toys, Barnes & Noble, Cardinal Industries, Cartamundi USA, Hohner, Inc., Green Toys, Innovation First, Lego Systems Inc., Mattel Inc., MindWare, Ohio Art, Patch Products, Safari Ltd., Wonder Forge, Wyla/Just Pretend Kids, and exhibitors at the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas. For 10 years, The Toy Bank has provided toys to more than 11 million children in need worldwide.

COMMENTARY: The Many Incarnations of Apples to Apples

Christine.August12.2Apples to Apples has emerged as a go-to party favorite for players of all ages. Since its debut in 1999, the game has become incredibly popular and has been reinvented time and time again to cater to different audiences. It is now published by Mattel and is available online and at retailers worldwide.

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples Party Box contains more than 1,000 cards. Each player begins with seven red cards that contain “Things.” One player selects a green card and reads the “Description” aloud. The other players must then decide which of their red cards is the best match for the green card. For example, if the green card says “A day at the park,” players must choose the best card to fit that card. Players can select anything from the literal (perhaps “picnic”) to the silly (“dancing clowns”) to the ironic (“sad and lonely”). The player that read the green card must shuffle the cards and then pick the one they like best. The player that put in the winning card keeps the green card. The first player to get five green cards wins. [Read more...]

Oriental Trading Company Acquires MindWare

Qwirkle-BoxOriental Trading Company Inc., a direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys, novelties, and school supplies, has acquired MindWare Holdings Inc., a manufacturer, wholesaler, and direct retailer of “brainy toys for kids of all ages” based in Minneapolis, Minn. Oriental Trading Company is a Berkshire Hathaway company with headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

Over half of MindWare’s revenue is generated from exclusive, proprietary toys, games, and books the company has created. During the past two years, MindWare’s proprietary products received 46 awards from nine different parenting organizations and publications. MindWare products are sold via the company’s catalogs and website, as well as by specialty and mass market retailers and internationally through distributors in more than 35 countries. Select MindWare products, including the game Qwirkle, will appear in Oriental Trading’s catalogs and website this holiday season.

Fort Bliss Military Families Receive Thousands of New Toys from Toy Industry Foundation

FortBliss1Nearly 3,000 children living with their families on military base Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas were treated to a special toy giveaway on April 17 hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services.

Families stationed at Fort Bliss, as well as resident members of the Air Force, Marines, National Reserves, and others, enjoyed a “Day of Play” that included bouncy houses and games, music and entertainment, and a pizza party.  Children of all ages received brand new toys, games, and stuffed animals donated by generous toy manufacturers. Gifts distributed at this event were generously donated by Alex, DuneCraft, Ganz, Gibout Toys, Hasbro, Lee Magic Pen, Lego, Look Out World, Mattel, MindWare, RBI Toys, Reeves International, Safari Ltd., and TMI Toy Marketing International.

The event was held as part of the joint TIF /BGCA Play Comforts program – the first-ever national toy distribution initiative to serve every branch of the U.S. military.  Through Play Comforts, toys and games donated by caring toy companies are delivered on an annual basis to families on dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad. Now in its fourth year of operation, the program has provided more than $3.5 million in toys for children of military families.


COMMENTARY: MindWare Games Test Brain Power Without Words, Numbers, or Trivia

There are so many games on the market that get the gears moving in your brain, including Scrabble, Bananagrams, Trivial Pursuit, and Boggle. But what about those of us who didn’t major in English in college or don’t have a plethora of interesting facts stored away for a rainy day? MindWare has the answer… or well, answers.

Cirplexed! is a 360-degree game of strategy that doesn’t include numbers, facts, or words. Each tile features quarter circles of different colors. Each player creates his or her own game board by drawing and placing tiles, in an attempt to create the most single-color circles. It sounds simple, but even at 23 years old, I could only match about eight circles total. Though the game is designed for two to six players, it can be played solo, as well, to put your brain to work when friends and family members aren’t around.

Cirplexed

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Military Families in San Diego Receive Toys and Games from Toy Industry Foundation

Nearly 1,000 children of military personnel stationed in San Diego, Calif., were treated to a toy giveaway on March 2 by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services

Families stationed at Naval Base Coronado were joined by marine families from nearby Camp Pendleton for a fun-filled day of play, crafts, entertainment, and food. The children were gifted with brand new toys and games donated by toy manufacturers from across the nation.

The event was the first of many toy giveaways to be held on military bases this year as part of the joint TIF/BGCA Play Comforts program–the first-ever national toy distribution program to serve every branch of the military. Now in its fourth year of operation, the program has provided more than $3.5 million in toys for children residing on U.S. military bases.

Gifts distributed at this event were donated by Barb-a-Mel Books, Cartamundi, Cloud B, DuneCraft, Elenco, GANZ, Gibout Toys, Hasbro, Kidz Toys, Lee Magic Pen, LEGO, Look Out World, Mattel, MindWare, RBI Toys, Squishable, TMI Toy Marketing International, and Wonder Forge.