China Toy Fair


Fibre-Craft Names Dan Shure as President

Fibre-Craft Materials Corp., a manufacturer of creative activities and toys under the Creative Hands, The Springfield Collection, and Bendastix brand names, has named Daniel B. Shure as its president effective immediately. Shure will report to John Abens, who assumes the new title of chairman.

Most recently, Shure was president of BeShure LLC, a consumer products consulting company, and prior to that, he managed toy and gift companies, including Strombecker Corporation, Processed Plastic Company, and Tootsietoy Corp. He also served several terms as a director of the Toy Industry Association.

Canadian Toy Association and Toy Industry Association Enter Affiliation Agreement

The boards of directors of the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), along with the U.S.-based Toy Industry Association (TIA), have approved a formal relationship. Under the terms of the initial three-year agreement, CTA will become an affiliate of TIA beginning July 1, and any TIA member with operations or sales in Canada will be eligible for CTA membership at no additional charge. In addition, CTA members, including distributors, will become eligible for membership in TIA.

Financial support provided by TIA will support CTA’s advocacy activities and operational programs, such as the promotion of toy sales in the Canadian market. CTA will no longer organize or host any trade fair or toy marketplace event.

A representative of each organization will sit on the leadership committee of the other body. CTA will maintain its Canadian incorporation, and its own mission, and its own bylaws. The agreement was approved by the TIA board of directors at its meeting on May 7, and by the CTA board of directors at its meeting on May 8.

Toy Industry Hall of Fame Nomination Period Is Open

ToyIndustryHallofFameToy Industry Association (TIA) members and toy industry stakeholders are invited to submit nominations of deserving candidates for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame next February. The nomination period will extend through June 27, and the nomination form can be downloaded. Voting to select 2015 inductees is restricted to TIA members.

Consideration for the Toy Industry Hall of Fame is limited to individuals, living or deceased, who have made outstanding contributions or provided outstanding service to the toy industry and TIA. Possible accomplishments include lengthy experience, innovative product or marketing introductions, or service on the TIA Board of Directors. [Read more...]

Lund and Company Wins First TOYPAC Raffle; Second Fundraiser Kicks Off This Week

Lund and Company Invention LLC was selected as the winner of the Toy Political Action Committee (TOYPAC) Phase I raffle drawing, which was held this past Monday. The company will receive a Toy Fair 2015 prize package, including free booth space, accommodations, and travel.

Every Toy Industry Association (TIA) member company that submitted a Prior Approval Form—which allows TOYPAC to contact company personnel to ask for financial contributions—was entered into the raffle. “TOYPAC enables TIA to collect voluntary personal donations from the Association’s members, combine those funds into a more substantial amount, and direct those contributions to support key legislators on both sides of the aisle through a transparent process,” said Ed Desmond, TIA’s executive vice president of external affairs. [Read more...]

TIA President and CEO Carter Keithley to Retire

Carter Keithley has announced that he will retire as president and CEO of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) effective April 30, 2015, after nearly a decade of leadership with the trade organization. As reported by the TIA, he announced his retirement on May 7, at the TIA Board of Directors meeting held in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“My years as chief executive of the Toy Industry Association were the highlight of my 40-year career as an association executive,” stated Keithley. “My only regret is that I did not come to TIA as a younger man able to sustain the pace and workload for a longer time. As I enter my 70th year of life, it is time for me to pass the baton to someone with fresh energy, vision, and ambition, so that TIA can continue to serve its members and support the growth and health of the toy industry.”

Keithley assumed his role in May 2006 during a period of upheaval for TIA and the industry. The Toy Center Buildings, located in midtown Manhattan, were closing after serving for many years as the site of New York Toy Fair. Barely a year into Keithley’s term, the toy industry was faced with yet another crisis when hundreds of playthings were recalled by the U.S. government. [Read more...]

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...]

New Indonesian National Standard for Toys Is in Effect

As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), as of April 30, toy companies that export to Indonesia are required to comply with a new Indonesian National Standard for Toys. This new standard calls for additional sampling, testing, labeling, and import documentation.

Last November, after more than 100 containers of toys were prevented from entering Indonesia, full implementation was delayed while Indonesian officials considered an amendment to the standard, which would make its requirements more feasible for companies and more closely aligned with international practice. An agreement had seemingly been reached with senior members of the Indonesian government to delay implementation by an additional six months, but the country’s minister of industry recently countermanded the decision.

Full details on the new standard can be found at the TIA website. Specific questions can be directed to Al Kaufman, TIA’s senior vice president of technical affairs, at (646) 520-4868.

TIA Releases Details on PlayCon 2014 Sessions

Digital experts from Google/YouTube, Amazon, RocketHub, and Tongal will present their insights on connecting with 21st century kids and moms, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding at PlayCon 2014, the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) International Conference of Play Professionals. The event is scheduled to take place from May 7 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Growing Up Digital: Creating, Consuming, Connecting” will feature Katie Rottier, head of U.S. industry, sports & toys, at Google/YouTube. “Amazon: Key Customer, Marketing Partner, Platform for Customer Engagement, or All Three,” will be presented by Eva Lorenz, category leader for Amazon’s Toys & Games store. For “Get Out of the Box—Get Into the Crowd!” Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, and Caleb Light-Wills, senior vice president of product at Tongal, will provide an in-depth look at crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

Full agenda details, as well as hotel and registration information, can be found at the TIA website.

PlayCon 2014 Agenda Includes Speakers from The NPD Group, Google/YouTube, and More

A number of educational topics related to the toy industry will be explored at PlayCon, the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) International Conference of Play Professionals, scheduled to take place May 7 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The May 8 program includes a keynote address delivered by Doug Van Andel, executive creative director at global ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi; a case study presented by Michael Moynihan, vice president of marketing at Lego Systems Inc.; a two-part session by The NPD Group focused on the latest sales data; a presentation entitled “The Broader World of Play,” from Katie Rottier, head of U.S. industry, sports & toys, at Google/YouTube; and more. [Read more...]

U.S. CPSC Now Accepting Comments on Third-Party Testing Costs

Last Thursday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hosted a day-long public workshop to gather technical information and evidence that could help to reduce third party testing costs for manufacturers of toys and children’s products sold in the U.S.

Held at the CPSC’s National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Rockville, Md., the workshop featured presentations of technical data by representatives of industry, consumer groups, and academic institutions. Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs for the Toy Industry Association (TIA), and Rebecca Mond, TIA director of federal government affairs, were both on-hand on behalf of the toy industry.

The technical data will assist the CPSC in determining which material types do not contain any of the six banned phthalates, lead, and/or heavy metals listed in the ASTM F963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, and therefore do not need to be routinely tested. [Read more...]