China Toy Fair


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.

Voting Opens for 2014 Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

HallofFame2014logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has opened its annual ballot to determine the next inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The voting period will extend to September 13. This year’s candidates were chosen from a slate of 24 highly-qualified nominees submitted for consideration by members of the Hall of Fame (HOF) Committee. All of the nominees left notable marks on the North American toy industry.

Living candidates for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

  •     Jill Barad, former CEO, Mattel
  •     Horst Brandstätter, president and sole owner, PLAYMOBIL/geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co. KG
  •     Thomas Chan, chairman and CEO, Playmates Toys Inc.
  •     Joel Glickman, founder, K’NEX Brands
  •     Bruce Raiffe, president, Gund, division of Enesco, LLC

Candidates for posthumous induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

Responses are due by September 13. Designated points of contact at TIA member companies, former Hall of Fame inductees, and recent TIA Board members are invited to rank their choices in the living and posthumous categories.

The inductees will be honored during the Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards ceremony on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which officially launches Toy Fair Week in New York City.

Registration for TIA’s Sixth Annual Washington D.C. Fly-In is Open

DCFlyInLogoRepresentatives of small, mid-size, and large toy companies are invited to make their way to the nation’s capital for a line-up of events scheduled for this year’s Toy Industry Association, Inc.’s (TIA) Washington D.C. Fly-In, to be held on September 17 to 19. Each activity will showcase to federal policymakers the impact that the U.S. toy industry has on the economy, and the positive role that toys play in the development and well-being of American children.

A Congressional Toy Caucus will launch during the Fly-In. Its goal is to help advance the discussion of toy safety, the value of play, the growth of small toy businesses, the importance of creativity and innovation, and the increase of free trade opportunities in foreign markets.

According to TIA-commissioned reports, the total economic impact of the toy industry in the U.S. is $75.03 billion. From toy inventors and designers to store clerks in every state, the toy industry supports an estimated 321,030 jobs across the country—of those, just over 30 percent are employed by small businesses. Although the average unit price of a toy is less than $8, the industry generates roughly $22 billion annually in direct retail toy sales.

TIA will host a Congressional reception on Capitol Hill on September 18, and additional TIA-directed communications to members of Congress will raise toy industry awareness in D.C. A special Capitol Hill briefing on the world of toys and games will be held on September 19, and a print ad will be published in The Hill, a widely read political paper. Registration for the Fly-In is open.

The Strong, TIA Partner for Museum Installation

overview1The Strong and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) partnered to house TIA’s Toy Industry Hall of Fame alongside The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y. The two halls of fame—one recognizing classic toys and the other recognizing the individuals who designed, made, and sold them—will share a $4 million museum installation, 75 percent of which will be funded by TIA and the toy industry.

By fall 2015, The Strong’s existing 5,000-square-foot National Toy Hall of Fame gallery will be fully transformed and renovated to accommodate the new halls. The new gallery will feature a programmable 100-foot-long by 20-foot-high LED theatrical screen visible from the street through a circular glass wall. The screen will blend stop-motion animated effects, pulsating color, and sound to highlight messages about toys, invention, and play.

Additional gallery components will include a second, smaller LED theatrical screen, an orientation theater, and five highly interactive, artifact-rich play environments that feature distinct modes of play—imagine, create, build, move, and compete. Inductees will be recognized on individual etched glass panels mounted on two lit, 14-foot-high curvilinear glass walls. Artifacts, documents, touch-screen interactivity, and physical play will position the inductees of both halls in the broad cultural context of play and its impact on the social history of everyday life. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Hall of Fame Nominations Now Open

Members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and other toy industry stakeholders are invited to submit nominations of deserving candidates (living or deceased) for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, the TIA says in a news release. Selected candidates will join 62 current members of the hall of fame during a ceremony to be held in conjunction with the 14th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony on February 15 of next year. The nomination period will extend from May 28 through June 28. Membership in TIA is not a prerequisite for submitting a nomination.

Nominees for the Toy Industry Hall of Fame should have longstanding experience in the toy industry; unimpeachable integrity and respect among his or her peers; have made outstanding contributions to the industry and/or to TIA; and be recognized for various accomplishments. Examples include innovative product or marketing introductions; manufacturing process changes, which significantly improved processes or products; a prominent role in promoting the public’s awareness and appreciation of the importance of toys in the lives of children, or promoting the public’s awareness of the toy industry as a significant and responsible member of the business community; and service on the TIA board of directors, or in other important capacities in or related to toys and youth entertainment.

Additional information on the Toy Industry Hall of Fame is available online. Questions and completed nomination forms should be directed to TIA’s Stacy Leistner (646) 520-4858 by June 28.

Donate Toys to TIF to Help Support Families Affected by the Oklahoma Tornado

tif_logoThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is actively collecting toys, books, games, plush, action figures, and other playthings to support families affected by the recent Oklahoma tornado.

Winds exceeding 200 mph tore through suburbs of Oklahoma City, destroying communities and leaving homes and schools in piles of debris. While search and rescue efforts are winding down, families will soon need to rebuild their homes and replace what was lost in the storm. Donations of new books, toys, and other soothing playthings will help families restore their lives.

The TIF is asking manufacturers, retailers, and licensors in the industry to donate product to The Toy Bank–TIF’s signature program–in support of the communities damaged by the storm. With the assistance of local community charities in The Toy Bank’s network and TIF logistics partner Kids in Distressed Situations, donations from the toy industry will be given directly to families in need.

To make a product donation to The Toy Bank in support of Oklahoma tornado relief, download the Toy Bank donation form and send it to thetoybank@toyindustryfoundation.org.

Cash donations are also needed to underwrite the costs associated with The Toy Bank’s operation. To provide a financial gift, visit TIF’s website.

CPSC Filing Requirements Could Add $18.7 Million Burden on Industry

Proposed changes to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) certificate of compliance requirements could add complexities and significantly alter the way most companies manage their logistics for inbound freight to the U.S., according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The changes could more than double compliance costs for children’s product companies—from an approximate $15 million annual spent to comply with current certification requirements to nearly $34 million annually. Comments on the proposal are due to the CPSC by July 29.

Under the amended rule, companies that import regulated finished products manufactured outside of the U.S. would be required to file product certificates electronically with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to importation in conjunction with other customs entry documents. Additionally, certifications would have to be identified prominently on the finished product, shipping carton, or invoice with a unique identifier and be accessible online without password protection.

TIA will be submitting comments to the CPSC by the deadline regarding the content requirements of the certificate, the economic impact of the certification rule, the logistics of electronic certification, and more. Members may contact TIA’s Rebecca Mond with any feedback to be included in the submitted comments, or to receive additional information about the rule’s impact. Comments on behalf of individual companies may be submitted directly to the CPSC at www.regulations.gov (docket number CPSC-2013-0017).

U.S. Companies Look to Overseas Markets for Growth

Since the domestic market is flat, American toy companies are increasingly becoming interested in exporting, says Carter Keithley, TIA President, who also informs about the New York Toy Fair, the importance of licensing for the toy business, the trends in the U.S. marketplace, and the Association’s activities.

by Daniele Caroli, editor, Giochi & Giocattoli

In order to be updated on the U.S. toy market and on the Toy Industry Association’s activities and events, I met Carter Keithley, president, at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, just a few days before the opening of the New York American International Toy Fair, which is managed by the TIA. [Read more...]

BREAKING: Walmart’s Scott McCall to Deliver PlayCon Keynote

Some say retail is dead. Others say retail is king. Which is it? Go to PlayCon and find out what the world’s largest retailer has to say. The Toy Industry Association and PlayCon present an exclusive, one-on-one interview session with Walmart’s Senior Vice President for toys, seasonal merchandise, and celebrations, Scott McCall. A longtime Walmart leader, McCall joined the organization in 1993 and has served in numerous decision-making positions including divisional merchandising manager of toys from 2002 to 2007.

TIA to Hold Third Annual California Toy Day

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will hold its Third Annual California Toy Day this spring in Sacramento, Calif. The event is free and open to all toy industry stakeholders.

From May 14 to 15, toy manufacturers, importers, and distributors that are based in California–or those who simply have business interests in California–will join together to discuss the key issues and concerns that the toy industry will face this year.

TIA staff will schedule and coordinate all meetings and events, as well as meals and ground transportation. A block of hotel rooms will be arranged at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento for a negotiated rate.

Registration, agenda, and hotel details will be made available on the TIA website.

Questions may be directed to Jennifer Gibbons, TIA director of state government affairs (916) 594-9432 or Andy Hackman, TIA vice president of government affairs (202) 459-0356.