TIA Spotlights Value of Toys and Play in a Child’s Healthy Development in New Campaign

Toy Industry Association InfographicThe Toy Industry Association has launched an industry-wide campaign to stress the important role that toys and play have in the healthy development of children. The Genius of Play campaign includes awareness of facts: for example, pediatricians recommend children spend at least one hour a day engaged in open-ended play, and that children who have access to a variety of toys reach higher levels of intellectual development.

TIA members, industry professionals, academics, and play-focused organizations developed the campaign. The TIA also polled Millennial and Generation X parents about their lifestyles, views on play, spending habits, and purchasing decisions. In its findings, the survey said that 95 percent of parents agree that time spent playing together as a family enhances the child-parent relationship.

Parents, caregivers, teachers, and play professionals are encouraged to visit The Genius of Play website to learn more information about the value of play and share it across social media platforms. Watch the video made for the campaign below, featured on the website, that demonstrated the benefits of play.

TIA to Host Webinar on Technology’s Impact on Future Play Trends

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host a webinar, From PDA to Pandora: A Decade of Technology Disruption and How it Affects the Family, on December 10. The one-hour webinar will provide an overview of trends in consumer electronics ownership among families—and how technology is expected to impact future play trends.

Russ Crupnick, consultant at The NPD Group and managing partner of MusicWatch Inc., will present the webinar, which will be moderated by Anne McConnell, TIA director of market research and data strategy. Crupnick will highlight key trends from NPD’s Kids & CE reports from the last 10 years, as well as provide a recap of his presentation at PlayCon last spring, which addressed the impact of technology in the toy market.

Webinar participants will learn key trends in consumer electronics ownership and usage; what influences families to purchase tech devices for children, how the products are used, and how adoption varies by age and gender; how technology fragments toy and play customers and impacts different segments of the customer base; and how technology changes shopping and discovery habits—and how marketers need to adapt.

The webinar is free for TIA members and $49 for non-members. Registration is required. Questions from participants may be submitted in advance to TIA’s Jackie Retzer at jretzer@toyassociation.org, and answers will be folded into the presentation when possible. The session will be recorded and available post-event for those who are unable to participate live.

TIE Assists Companies in Complying with EU Toy Safety Directive

As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has published a free resource to help toy manufacturers, importers, and distributors comply with the legal requirements in the European Union’s Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.

The 35-page online guide, entitled Toy Safety in the EU, was published by TIE in cooperation with the European Commission as part of an education campaign financed by the EC. Available in English and French, the resource includes guidelines regarding technical documentation, safety and conformity assessments, EC declarations of conformity, European Conformity (CE) markings, packaging requirements, sample testing, and more. The document also includes tips, FAQs, definitions, and links to EC resources.

Questions from TIA member companies that export toys to Europe may be directed to Alan Kaufman, TIA senior vice president of technical affairs, at akaufman@toyassociation.org.

Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese Manufacturers Scheduled for November

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will present two Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese manufacturers this fall. TIA has partnered with Mattel in planning these events and Mattel will provide on-site logistical support. The programs will include up-to-date reviews of U.S. toy safety standards, testing, and conformance requirements to assist local manufacturers licensed to experts toys and children’s products. The programs will take place in Hong Kong on November 17 and Shenzhen on November 18.

The session in Hong Kong will be co-presented by the TIA, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Hong Kong Toys Council. Speakers will be from Mattel and The Federation of Hong Kong Industries. The Shenzhen session held on the following day will be co-presented by the TIA, the State Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China, the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and the CPSC. Speakers will be from Mattel and the China Toy and Juvenile Products Association. [Read more...]

American International Toy Fair to Host Digital Kids Conference

DKConnThe 9th Annual Digital Kids Conference will co-locate with the American International Toy Fair in February at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The Digital Kids Conference will take place on February 16 to 17 and will address new strategies, valuable tools, and marketplace insight that will help youth-focused media professionals to create best-selling digital toys, games, and media services for kids. In addition, the pre-conference Learning Summit, scheduled for February 15, will explore the changing innovations occurring in learning technology, with a focus on consumer and curriculum based learning products and services.

All Toy Fair attendees will have access to the conference and Learning Summit and Toy Industry Association members will receive reduced rates to attend the sessions. Digital Kids Conference attendees will have access to the Toy Fair show floor and be among the first to view the new toys and games on display.

Kids India 2014 Announces Special Educational Program Open to TIA and CTA Members

kids india 2014Toy Industry Association (TIA) and Canadian Toy Association (CTA) member companies with an interest in the Indian toy market are invited to participate in a special program for overseas visitors at the second annual Kids India, a three-day trip that will provide toy makers with a view inside India’s rapidly developing economy and emergent retail landscape. The program is hosted by Spielwarenmesse eG (Nuremberg Toy Fair) in cooperation with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), and will run from September 18 to 20 at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Center in Mumbai.

The program will kick off on September 18, when visiting toy companies will connect with representatives of Spielwarenmesse eG and receive a tour around the Kids India fair, before taking part in the fair’s workshop program, followed by a dinner reception at the Westin Hotel. Participants will also visit various Mumbai-based toy stores, including the world-renowned Hamleys Toy Shop, and receive information about the Indian toy market, including consumer demographics and opportunities for market entry. The program will conclude on September 20 with a sightseeing tour of Mumbai. [Read more...]

New Opportunities for Toy Companies at Fall Toy Preview 2014

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has made several changes to its Fall Toy Preview to widen the show’s attendee base and provide added value for members of the global toy industry. According to the TIA, the updates were developed by the Trade Show Committee and were based on feedback received from buyers and sellers who responded to TIA post-show surveys.

As part of the changes, Fall Toy Preview is no longer strictly a “by-appointment-only” event allowing exhibitors onsite opportunities to do business. The TIA will now offer new booth packages that provide exhibiting companies with both open or combination—closed with and open display area—booths.

In addition, specialty buyers who are ready to show product for the 2015 holiday season and have an interest in previewing are invited to attend. Traditionally, only toy companies that sold product to mass market were allowed to exhibit. Also, the show will introduce new educational programming and a Woman’s Empowerment Initiative co-hosted by Women in Toys and Wal-Mart. Additional events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Fall Toy Preview will take place on October 7 to 9.

TIA Environmental and Sustainability Committee Re-Launched

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAt the Toy Industry Association‘s newly re-launched Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting, sustainable metrics and materials for eco-friendly products and packaging, the development of an industry-wide definition of sustainability, and consumer trends and engagement on environmental issues were among the topics discussed.

The committee re-launched to help monitor environmental issues that impact the toy industry. It is also in place to assist toy companies in starting eco-friendly programs internally and to increase the sustainability of their products.

A recent survey distributed by the TIA is aimed at helping prioritize specific sustainability issues. Results showed that participants want the sustainability efforts to be beneficial in the long-run while keeping up to date on consumer trends, sustainable tools and materials for packaging, and developing cross-industry collaborations on common sustainability interests.

The committee will meet again in August to continue discussing and developing plans for a more sustainable future in the toy industry.

Toy Industry Association to Conduct 2014 Toy Industry Marketing and Promotions Study

The Toy Industry Association will conduct the 2014 Toy Industry Marketing and Promotions Study, its first-ever analysis of the industry’s advertising, marketing, and social media practices. The study will examine the promotional tools and techniques used by companies of all sizes, categories, and distribution channels.

Industry Insights Inc., the same firm that conducted the TIA’s Financial and Operating Benchmark Study and Compensation and Benefits Survey, will also conduct this study. TIA members can participate for free in an online survey or series of phone interviews until May 30.

The study will collect data on in-house vs. outsourced functions, trends and expectations for digital and traditional media, and the effectiveness of social media, among other topics. [Read more...]

TIA Urges Resolution to Vancouver Truck Driver Labor Dispute

tia_logo[1]The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is urging for a swift resolution to the ongoing truck driver strike at one of Canada’s busiest ports, Port Metro Vancouver. As reported by the TIA, nearly 1,500 unionized and non-unionized container truck drivers have been protesting for more than three weeks. The protest has impacted $126 million worth of goods and the drivers have turned down legislation introduced by the provincial government, seeking a negotiated agreement.

“With a year-round flow of products, and especially as we head into the very busy spring/summer outdoor toy season, our industry relies upon the full operation of all North American ports to support the global supply chain,” Carter Keithley, President and CEO of the TIA, said.