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.

Toy Fair PR Bootcamp Webinar to be Held on December 11

Toy companies exhibiting at the North American International Toy Fair can participate in the Toy Industry Association (TIA)’s annual Toy Fair PR boot camp webinar, scheduled for December 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET.

The free webinar, entitled Tips for Developing Your TF’15 PR and Promotion Strategies, will review tools and techniques for attracting the attention of retail buyers and media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times, Forbes, as well as trade magazines and bloggers that attend Toy Fair.

Webinar participants will learn how to develop a well-rounded media list; leverage social media to attract media attention; strategically present product, brands, and trend information to different media audiences; and more. The session will be presented by Adrienne Appell, TIA’s senior manager of public relations; Kimberly Carcone, TIA’s senior director of trade shows and event marketing; and Gina Espinosa from Virtual Press Office.

Registration for the webinar is now open and is free for all Toy Fair exhibitors. Questions may be submitted in advance to TIA’s Jackie Retzer at jretzer@toyassociation.org.

New Product Labeling Required for Toys Containing DINP for Sale in California

Under California’s Proposition 65, manufacturers of consumer products for sale in California will be required to include a warning label on items containing diisononyl phthalate (DINP). As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the law does not include a “safe harbor” level for DINP, and as such, companies with products containing any amount of the substance are required to comply. The requirement goes into effect on December 20.

Last year, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added DINP to Proposition 65, which requires the labeling of products containing any one of the approximately 800 chemicals of concern identified by the state.

Under the federally mandated Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), DINP is restricted to maximum levels of 0.1 percent in mouthable toys and components and remains legal for use in non-mouthable toys and inaccessible components. TIA members and industry stakeholders that sell toys in California are advised to include the required warning label on all packaging of products that may contain any levels of DINP.

Any questions may be directed to TIA’s Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs, at akaufman@toyassociation.org.

Buyer, Trade Guest Registration Open for North American International Toy Fair

Oct22.ToyFairBuyer and trade guest registration has opened for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, according to the Toy Industry Association. Toy Fair 2014 is scheduled to take place February 14 to 17 in New York City.

The event, formerly the American International Toy Fair, was recently re-named the North American International Toy Fair, as part of a new affiliation agreement between TIA and the Canadian Toy Association. CTA and TIA will have a single toy fair, rather than single marketplace events in the U.S. and Canada.

Last year’s Toy Fair had a record-breaking 414,060 net square feet of exhibition space and welcomed an 11 percent increase in international buyers, an 8 percent rise in exhibitors, and a 5 percent spike in attendees.

TIA to Induct Two to Hall of Fame

TIAThe Toy Industry Association will induct Pat Feely, chairman of the Toy Industry Foundation and retired CEO of Radica Games Ltd., and the late Leslie Berger, founder of Cardinal Industries Inc., into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held on Feb. 13 in conjunction with the annual Toy of the Year Awards to kick off the 112th North American International Toy Fair.

Feely and Berger have been chosen in recognition of their contributions to the toy industry and the impact they have had on children through a commitment to toys and play, according to the TIA. They will join 67 others who have been inducted since it was established in 1984.

Feely has been in the toy industry for 37 years and engineered a turnaround and expansion of Radica Games and Tonka. He has been serving as chairman for the Toy Industry Foundation for the past eight years. In addition, he has served as chairman of the TIA for two years and was an advisor to the TIA Board of Directors for six years, where he helped form the TOTY Awards program and diversify the TIA Board.

The late Leslie Berger founded Cardinal Industries, one of the oldest privately owned toy businesses in the U.S. He served on the Toy Manufacturers of America, now called TIA, board for several years. He also secured the license to General Hospital from ABC in the early 80s.

TIA to Host Young Professionals Cocktail Party in Dallas

TIA.YoungProfessionalsNetworkThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Young Professionals Network (YPN), which supports the growth, development, and retention of young professionals in the toy industry, will host a networking cocktail party on October 8 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The event will take place following the close of the second day of Fall Toy Preview.

All young toy industry professionals ages 35 and under are invited to attend the party, to be held at the Hilton Anatole Gossip Bar. Admission is free for both TIA members and non-members; TIA member company representatives will receive one complimentary drink.

RSVP for the cocktail party is requested by October 2. Questions and suggestions for expanding or improving upon the YPN—formerly known as Toy Industry Next Generation (TING)—may be directed to TIA’s Bernadette Boyle, membership manager, at (646) 454-5585.

TIA Fly-In Facilitates Discussions Between Toy Executives and Congress

toyindustryThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) held its seventh annual Washington, DC Fly-In last week, where representatives of toy companies met with members of Congress and key lawmakers to discuss industry issues.

Fly-In participants advocated for support of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, an amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act that would prevent multiple, overlapping state and local chemical regulatory programs and eliminate impediments to interstate commerce that increase product costs for consumers.

TIA and the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) also presented Champion of Play awards to five members of Congress during the opening reception, with TIF’s Toy Bank donating toys to children’s charities within the home states of the honorees.

Greater China Business Forum to Take Place in New York City

TIAThe U.S. Commercial Service is hosting a two-day conference on export opportunities in Greater China, which will take place on October 7 to 8 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

The Global Markets: Greater China Business Forum program will cover export opportunities and challenges related to the major cities of Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as offer participants the chance to meet one-on-one with visiting U.S. Commercial Service diplomats from Beijing, Chengdu, Macau, Ulan Bator (Mongolia), Shanghai, Shenyang, Taipei, Singapore, and more. Additionally, subject matter experts will be on-hand to consult individually with companies interested in learning about intellectual property rights (IPR), standards and certifications, e-commerce, trade finance, export controls, government procurement, and additional topics.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is a supporting organization for this event, and TIA members receive a discounted rate ($100 off the regular rate) when they register. More information is available online at the U.S. Commercial Service web site. Representatives of TIA member companies may contact Anne McConnell at amcconnell@toyassociation.org to obtain the online registration code for the discounted rate.

Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese Manufacturers Scheduled for November

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will present two Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese manufacturers this fall. TIA has partnered with Mattel in planning these events and Mattel will provide on-site logistical support. The programs will include up-to-date reviews of U.S. toy safety standards, testing, and conformance requirements to assist local manufacturers licensed to experts toys and children’s products. The programs will take place in Hong Kong on November 17 and Shenzhen on November 18.

The session in Hong Kong will be co-presented by the TIA, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Hong Kong Toys Council. Speakers will be from Mattel and The Federation of Hong Kong Industries. The Shenzhen session held on the following day will be co-presented by the TIA, the State Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China, the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and the CPSC. Speakers will be from Mattel and the China Toy and Juvenile Products Association. [Read more...]

Women in Toys (WIT) Kicks Off New Initiatives in Dallas on October 6

WITWinningMovesWomen in Toys (WIT) has launched its new Empowerment Program with three exciting initiatives that provide members with opportunities for professional support, career development, and a roadmap to success.

The Winning Moves Empowerment Workshop gives entrepreneurs, inventors, and manufacturers the opportunity to pitch products to retail giant Wal-Mart as well as top toy and game companies including Hasbro, Spin Master, and Winning Moves Games. The event takes place on October 6 at Dallas Market Center at 1:00 pm, the day before the Toy Industry Association‘s Fall Toy Preview begins. It also features panel discussions, one-on-one speed mentoring, and networking opportunities such as a cocktail party open to women, men, members, and non-members.

One-on-One Mentoring pairs industry expert mentors with up-and-coming WIT members as well as those looking to change their career path. Volunteer mentors include manufacturers, retailers, marketing/PR agencies, and licensors. Members interested in becoming a mentor or mentee can sign up at www.womenintoys.com or contact Nancy Zwiers at nancy@funosophy.com

Learn-the-Ropes Webinars are hosted by industry experts and will provide information, insights, education, and support on a wide variety of topics. These are designed to help members with their career goals and professional development. Webinars will begin in December on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Anyone looking for more information can visit www.womenintoys.com or contact Deb de Sherbinin at deb@kidsmartusa.com.