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.

Women In Toys, Walmart to Collaborate at Toy Fair

A new collaboration between Women in Toys (WIT) and Walmart will help women-owned businesses of all sizes pitch their products to Walmart during the American International Toy Fair in February.

Through the Women in Toys–Walmart Women’s Global Economic Empowerment Initiative, WIT will host its version of speed-dating at Toy Fair, offering women-owned businesses a chance to pitch their children’s products, product lines, and brands to the retailer. The initiative will help Walmart reach its goal of sourcing $20 billion from women-owned businesses by 2016. [Read more...]

American International Toy Fair to Launch TIA’s Content Connection in February 2013

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced that the 110th American International Toy Fair will host Content Connection, an educational program to serve the licensors, brand owners, and entertainment executives who attend annually.

Taking place during the first two days of Toy Fair–February 10 and 11–at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Content Connection will expand on licensing-focused programming presented in conjunction with Toy Fair 2012. Sessions led by experts in the field of licensing will cover topics such as opportunities for traditional and e-enhanced toy manufacturers and designers; preschool market research; demographic trends, media use and retail infrastructure in youth markets around the world; basic concepts and best practices for licensing brands and properties; and more. [Read more...]

2013 Toy Fair To Host Digital Kids Conference

In partnership with Engage Digital, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) has announced that the 7th Annual Digital Kids Conference will be held in February with the American International Toy Fair. The conference, which will be held on February 12 and February 13, will bring youth-focused digital media executives, brand owners, and licensors together to learn how to engage children online and through digital devices. The conference will also feature information on how to produce inspiring products, establish successful online and mobile revenue generation strategies, and leverage the social media best practices.

All Toy Fair attendees will have a chance to attend the conference and listen to more than 25 speakers who will share tips about digital media. For more information, visit www.ToyFairNY.com.

TIA Educational Webinars To Cover Green Guides, Toy Fair PR Strategies

Courtesy of The Toy Industry Association

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will be holding two educational webinars as part of the TIA’s Knowledge Network, the Association’s year-round educational program that aims to educate and inform toy industry members. [Read more...]

ISO Meetings Explore Toy Safety Guidelines

Courtesy of the Toy Industry Association

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Toy Safety recently held meetings to discuss the development of global age determination guidelines for toys, based largely on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidelines from 2002. The meetings, which were held in Tokyo, also discussed magnets, cords, impaction, phthalates, total concentration of certain elements, and the alignment of toy standards.

Technical experts from the U.S.—including representatives from toy manufacturers and importers, testing labs, and the Toy Industry Association (TIA)—and industry and product safety agencies from more than a dozen countries also attended the discussions.

ASTM International held its third annual meeting with ISO to share information and work for further alignment. Issues such as battery and magnet ingestion were discussed. A detailed report from the U.S delegation will be available for viewing on the TIA Website upon completion.