PlayCon 2015 Speakers to Include UK Specialty Toy Store Founder

HyattGaineyInnovative business research and trends related to youth, play, and technology will be shared at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) upcoming educational and networking conference, PlayCon 2015, schedule to take place from April 29 to May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz. Attendees who sign up by February 28 will receive PlayCon’s early bird registration rate. [Read more...]

TIA Launches 2015 Toy Industry Financial and Operating Benchmark Study

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will again partner with Industry Insights Inc. to conduct a confidential Toy Industry Financial and Operating Benchmark Study, which will enable toy companies to see how their numbers compare to companies of similar size, category, and distribution channel. [Read more...]

Deal Reached to End Severe West Coast Port Backlog

Multiple sources report that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract, ending several months of back-ups and delays at 29 West Coast ports.

The deal was reached with the assistance of U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, following more than nine months of talks. As reported by Bloomberg News this past Friday, talks had broken down this month over a union demand that it be able to fire arbitrators in workplace grievances. The two sides had reached terms over salaries, benefits, the right of union members to maintain and repair truck chassis used to haul shipping containers, and health care. [Read more...]

North American International Toy Fair Still Largest Toy Show in Western Hemisphere

ToyFair15LogoLast week’s 112th North American International Toy Fair—the largest toy marketplace held in the Western Hemisphere—opened its doors to nearly 25,000 global play professionals. Owned and operated by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), Toy Fair 2015 grew in size and scope over the previous year, with a record-breaking 421,300 net square feet of exhibit space filled with 1,064 exhibitors, importers, distributors, and sales agents, and hundreds of thousands of brand-new toys and games. [Read more...]

CPSC Commissioners Emphasize Testing Burden Relief at TIA’s Toy Safety Update

CPSCIn their remarks during the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Toy Safety Update, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioners Ann Marie Buerkle and Marietta Robinson emphasized that easing unnecessary third-party testing burdens for toy manufacturers will be a priority focus for the agency during the coming year. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Association (TIA) Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIAAt its annual general meeting held on Monday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of three new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in February of 2017. Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA Board were Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales at Tomy International; Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Bruce Raiffe, president of Gund. [Read more...]

Q&A with Carter Keithley, President and CEO, Toy Industry Association

TIA.CarterKeithleyThe Toy Book: What challenges are currently facing the toy industry and how is the Toy Industry Association (TIA) addressing them?

Carter Keithley: Over the past several years, our industry has done a tremendous amount of work to maintain and strengthen our robust safety standards. Nonetheless, the toy industry continues to be confronted with spurious allegations about the safety of toys and non-toy children’s products. Of course, these misleading allegations often emerge around the holiday season, and they have the potential to damage our industry’s reputation and unnecessarily worry toy givers. This is especially frustrating given the many proven developmental benefits of toys and play. [Read more...]

Washington State Children’s Safe Products Act Deadline Approaching

TIASafetyHelmetThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) is reminding members who sell children’s products in Washington State of an upcoming reporting deadline for the state’s Children’s Safe Products Act. By March 2, these companies are required to report the presence of any of 66 listed chemicals of high concern to children that may be found in their products. The full list of chemicals at the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology website. [Read more...]

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...]

Toy Fair 2015 Promises to Be the Largest Yet

ToyFair15LogoThe global toy industry will gather at the 112th North American International Toy Fair this weekend for a sneak peek at this year’s new creative and skill-building toys and games. An exclusive event for trade guests and media hosted by the Toy Industry Association, Toy Fair will open its doors on February 14 for a four-day run. [Read more...]