China Toy Fair


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.

Safe Kids Day 2014 Planned for Los Angeles, New York City

tia_logo[1]The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will sponsor Safe Kids Day 2014, hosted by Safe Kids Worldwide. The events for the nationwide initiative will take place on April 5th in Los Angeles and April 12th in New York City. The TIA will provide attendees with free tips, tools, and guidelines for choosing age-appropriate products to play with that will keep kids safe while they play. 

The bicoastal events will feature games, activities, guest appearances, and an opportunity for families to learn how to stay safe from preventable injuries.

TIA Elects New Leadership at 2014 Annual Business Meeting

March5.TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has elected three new members to its Board of Directors and a new chairman of the organization during its Annual Business Meeting in February. John Gessert of American Plastic Toys will assume the position as chairman for a year, replacing retiring Board Chairman Soren Torp Laursen of The Lego Group

The new members of the TIA Board are Drew Brazer, vice president of sales in North America for Lego Systems Inc.; D. Hugo Malan, senior vice president and president of sporting goods at Sears Holding Corp.; and William To, president of VTech Electronics in North America. Each elected member will serve for two-year terms, expiring at the 2016 TIA Annual Business Meeting. Laursen will become an advisor to the governance body.

The 2014 TIA Annual Business Meeting was held in conjunction with the 111th American International Toy Fair in New York City. The meeting also included accomplishment highlights from the first year of TIA’s 2013-2015 Strategic Plan and an announcement that the TIA had grown its financial reserves last year.

Toy Fair 2014 to Be Biggest U.S. Toy Fair Yet

The American International Toy Fair in February is expected to be the largest toy trade show ever held in North America. Though registration has been open for just a few weeks, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) reports that the show has already surpassed a record-breaking 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The 2013 event—which hosted the largest exhibit area since 2000—covered just over 366,000 net square feet at the Javits Center. As of press time, total registration for the 2014 American International Toy Fair is up 10 percent over the same period last year, while buyer registration is up 6 percent year-to-date, and international buyer attendance has surged 18 percent over last year’s point-in-time figures.

Approximately 30,000 visitors are expected to attend, exploring products on display by more than 1,000 exhibiting toy companies.

Licensing Expo, American International Toy Fair Announce Collaboration

licensingAdvanstar Licensing, organizers of Licensing Expo, and the Toy Industry Association Inc. (TIA), organizers of the American International Toy Fair, have announced a new collaboration to cross-promote attendance at their two complementary trade events next year.

Through this new alliance, Advanstar Licensing and TIA will introduce Licensing Expo exhibitors to current and emerging toy trends, and inform Toy Fair exhibitors of licensing issues and opportunities in emerging international markets. The collaboration will also provide cross-promotional opportunities via direct mail and electronic marketing, editorial content, and co-hosted seminars.

The American International Toy Fair will take place February 16 to 19 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Licensing Expo, which is sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, will take place June 17 to 19 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Bipartisan Congressional Toy Caucus Launched on Capitol Hill

caucusAccording to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), a bipartisan Congressional Toy Caucus was formed and launched on Capitol Hill at TIA’s 6th Annual Washington, D.C. Fly-In. Co-chaired by Congressman Ron Kind and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, the Toy Caucus was created to engage lawmakers in a constructive dialogue about issues currently facing the U.S. toy industry and the important role that toy businesses have in the development and education of children worldwide. Members of Congress who have toy companies in their districts and/or have an interest in the toy industry have been invited to participate in the Caucus.

Last year, the U.S. toy industry sold 3 billion toys and directly employs approximately 320,000 individuals with small businesses creating more than 30 percent of that number. Throughout the week, toy companies are meeting with federal policymakers to underscore the impact that their policy decisions have on real people and real companies.

TIA Presents Toy Safety Seminar for Chinese Manufacturers

Toy Industry Association (TIA)tia_logo[1] will co-present a Toy Safety Seminar on October 18 in Shanghai, China as part of its ongoing commitment to industry education. Since 1996, the TIA has conducted such seminars to provide factories with information on the most up-to-date U.S. standards, testing, and conformance requirements. This year, representatives from the TIA, along with experts from Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the industry, will share their practical understanding of the requirements. CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum will also give  key presentation.

The upcoming Toy Safety Seminar will cover key toy safety information and U.S. compliance requirements such as:

  • U.S. toy safety standards and regulations, including recent legislative changes and their impact on Chinese manufacturers and suppliers.
  • The role of the CPSC as the lead U.S. government body responsible for monitoring and enforcing toy safety in the U.S.
  • Necessary elements of a factory quality program.
  • Emerging issues and hazards and how they are being addressed.
  • Ensuring material safety and reporting.