Digital Kids Conference at Toy Fair to Teach Creative Digital Playthings for Kids

DigitalKidsConference2015The Digital Kids Conference, taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center alongside the North American International Toy Fair (hosted by the Toy Industry Association), will teach play professionals how to engage and educate kids through digital toys and games. [Read more...]

TIA to Host Programs and Events for Global Toy Fair Participants

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has created programs and events for exhibitors, retailers, and members of the media for the North American International Toy Fair. The agenda is as follows:

International Visitor’s Welcome Reception on February 14, 6 to 7:30 p.m. The TIA will encourage registered international Toy Fair exhibitors, buyers, members of the media, and invited trade officials to meet and mingle.

U.S. Market Research Presentation on February 15, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. International toy companies can receive help identifying potential expansion opportunities within the U.S. [Read more...]

TIA Continues to Work with Officials to Alleviate West Coast Port Delays

Feb4.ILWUThe Toy Industry Association is continuing to work with industry stakeholders, port directors, and U.S. and international government officials on solutions to the ongoing congestion issues at the West Coast ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Tacoma, and Seattle. [Read more...]

U.S.-Canadian Steering Committee to Consider Unified Toy Standards

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), U.S. and Canadian regulators, standards development organizations, and toy industry representatives held discussions in Ottawa, Canada, on January 7 to discuss the possibility of unified U.S.-Canadian toy safety standards that would be acceptable for both countries to use in regulating toys. [Read more...]

ICTI Annual Meeting to Take Place in Cancun, Mexico This May

The 41st annual general meeting of the International Council of Toy Industries will be held in Cancun, Mexico from May 3 to 6 next year. The meeting will be hosted by the Mexican Toy Association at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun, and will bring ICTI members to discuss the state of the toy industry and update on each country’s domestic market.

According to the Toy Industry Association, the general meeting agenda will include discussions and presentations, including a global toy industry sales report from The NPD Group, a presentation from the president of the Mexican Toy Association, an update on the status of the ICTI Care program, and more.

TIA Considers Three for Board of Directors

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) nominating committee has submitted candidates for consideration by the membership, for election to the association’s board of directors. Successful candidates would serve a two-year term expiring at the annual meeting in 2017.

The proposed board members are: Bruce S. Raiffe, president of Gund; Howard Kahn, CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales of Tomy International. Additional nominations, made in writing and signed by no less than 10 percent of the TIA’s membership, may be submitted to TIA President Carter Keithley at ckeithley@toyassociation.org no later than January 16.

Raiffe, Kahn, and Cunnion would fill the seats of retiring board members Joel Berger of Cardinal Industries Inc.; Peter Henseler of Tomy International; and D. Hugo Malan of Sears Holdings Corp.

The election of new board members will occur during the TIA Annual Business Meeting that will convene at 8 a.m. on February 16, in conjunction with North American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The meeting is open to all stakeholders of the toy industry—both members and non-members.

TIA Analysis Challenges PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland Reports

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) recently conducted an in-depth review of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Trouble in Toyland reports issued between 2008 and 2013. The TIA’s analysis found that PIRG’s reports were based on improper testing methods that are not approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and fail to support PIRG’s allegations that the identified toys present any danger to children at play.

Under federal legislation passed in 2008, toys sold at retail must be tested by a CPSC-accredited third-party testing lab, in order to prove compliance with more than 100 safety standard requirements. TIA’s examination, however, found that U.S. PIRG’s toy hazard claims and testing procedures over the past six years were not approved by the CPSC, and did not follow the same procedures that toy companies are required to follow by law.

Chiefly, none of the alleged safety issues named in PIRG’s reports were based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accredited lab; and out of the 88 products identified in PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland reports over the last six years, the CPSC has not recalled any toys as a result of PIRG’s allegations. In addition, 20 percent of the products named in PIRG’s reports between 2008 and 2013 are not classified as toys, and therefore are not governed by the same safety standards as children’s toys.

A copy of the complete TIA analysis of the 2008 to 2013 reports is available at the TIA website.

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.