Ah, the start of a new year. Typically, it’s the time in which we take stock of what we have, consider how we can make our lives even better, and then “resolve” to carry out those plans. It’s with this in mind that I’ve put together a list of New Year’s resolutions–not for myself, mind you; I’ve already composed that list, which is why this commentary is up at deadline, instead of several hours past. No, I’m talking about resolutions that I’d like the toy industry to consider taking on. Because as absolutely perfect as a thing is, there’s nothing like a detached observer’s unsolicited advice to make it even more perfect, am I right? [Read more...]
Shoppers at Kidding Around! toy store in Greenwich Village weren’t kidding last Saturday when they rushed home to tell friends and family they were one degree closer to actor Kevin Bacon.
To mark the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day, Bacon stopped by Kidding Around! and took a turn as a cashier and a gift wrapper. Bacon’s charity, sixdegrees.org, connects celebrities with socially-conscious causes that can use a boost from celebrity events or drop-ins.
Hundreds of independent toy retailers in the U.S. and Canada will mark Neighborhood Toy Store Day with special in-store events and activities on Saturday, November 8.
Neighborhood Toy Store Day is an annual American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) event that occurs on the second Saturday in November. It is designed to help independent toy retailers spotlight attention on the quality and play value of specialty toys, plus the advantages of shopping at locally owned toy stores.
ASTRA retailers create activities around Neighborhood Toy Store Day that will engage their customers and communities. Meanwhile, ASTRA supports retailers by providing professionally designed, downloadable posters; post cards; ad slicks; and other images along with draft emails; social media posts; and press releases that retailers can use to promote their store.
To find an ASTRA store to visit on Neighborhood Toy Store Day, visit www.neighborhoodtoystoreday.com.
On November 9, independent toy stores across the U.S. will participate in the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) fourth annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day. The initiative raises consumer and media awareness about the positive influence that specialty and independent toy retailers have on the local community and economy.
Local toy stores will mark the occasion with special in-store events, including crafts, entertainers, scavenger hunts, and more. Participating ASTRA store owners can download banners and graphics and access sample promotional language on ASTRA’s website for members. For more information about Neighborhood Toy Store day, visit YourNeighborhoodToyStore.org.
The 2012 holiday season marks an important milestone for specialty toy franchise, Learning Express Toys. Founded by CEO Sharon DiMinico in 1987, the Massachusetts-based company is currently celebrating its 25th year at play. Originally started to raise money for a local nursery school, the franchise is now 135 stores strong and spread across 28 states. Despite its growth, Learning Express still maintains its identity as a genuine neighborhood toy store.
The franchise will be debuting a new website in the coming weeks, and creating online communities through social media platforms has become a priority on both the local and corporate levels. Most recently, the company released an online Skill Building Toy Guide for Children with Special Needs to help parents and caretakers find appropriate toys for the children in their lives.
Safari Ltd., manufacturer and worldwide distributor of museum-quality educational toy collections, has been busy with giveaways. In August 2012, Safari Ltd., manufacturer and worldwide distributor of museum-quality, educational toy collections, honored inspirational teachers in a Back-to-School Giveaway Contest on Facebook.
Based on fan nominations, Diana Mount, 3rd grade teacher at Chinook Elementary School in Vancouver, Wash., was selected because of her ability to recognize strengths in children that may be viewed as weaknesses. Mount won an assortment of educational replicas and posters to accommodate her classroom of approximately 30 students. Each nominated teacher also received a gift to recognize his or her dedication in the classroom. [Read more...]
The American Specialty Retailers Association (ASTRA) has announced plans to make the second Saturday in November an annual and nationwide celebration of local toy stores. During this year’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day (NTSD), ASTRA will announce the winners of its 2010 Best Toys for Kids awards. ASTRA is also providing its member retailers with ready-to-go press releases and a step-by-step retailer guidebook filled with tips on how to use the event to attract new customers. For more information on NTSD, visit ASTRA’s website.