Voting Opens for 2014 Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

HallofFame2014logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has opened its annual ballot to determine the next inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The voting period will extend to September 13. This year’s candidates were chosen from a slate of 24 highly-qualified nominees submitted for consideration by members of the Hall of Fame (HOF) Committee. All of the nominees left notable marks on the North American toy industry.

Living candidates for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

  •     Jill Barad, former CEO, Mattel
  •     Horst Brandstätter, president and sole owner, PLAYMOBIL/geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co. KG
  •     Thomas Chan, chairman and CEO, Playmates Toys Inc.
  •     Joel Glickman, founder, K’NEX Brands
  •     Bruce Raiffe, president, Gund, division of Enesco, LLC

Candidates for posthumous induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

Responses are due by September 13. Designated points of contact at TIA member companies, former Hall of Fame inductees, and recent TIA Board members are invited to rank their choices in the living and posthumous categories.

The inductees will be honored during the Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards ceremony on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which officially launches Toy Fair Week in New York City.

American International Toy Fair to Host Digital Kids Conference

digitalkidsThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) and media company Engage Digital have announced that the eighth annual Digital Kids Conference will co-locate with the American International Toy Fair in February at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Taking place February 18 to 19, the Digital Kids Conference will address new strategies, tools, and marketplace insight that will enable youth-focused media professionals to create digital toys, games, and media services for kids. The partnership between the two shows will provide Toy Fair attendees with access to the Digital Kids Conference, and TIA members will receive reduced rates to attend the sessions. Digital Kids attendees will gain access to the Toy Fair show floor, where they will be among the first to view 150,000 new toys and games on display by more than 1,000 toy companies.

Toy Fair 2014 will be held from February 16 to 19. Toy Fair will showcase the year’s new products and also include an educational program designed to help toy inventors and designers, licensors, independent and specialty retailers, and many more constituents grow their businesses, comply with new safety requirements, identify the biggest toy trends of the year, and more.

Registration for TIA’s Sixth Annual Washington D.C. Fly-In is Open

DCFlyInLogoRepresentatives of small, mid-size, and large toy companies are invited to make their way to the nation’s capital for a line-up of events scheduled for this year’s Toy Industry Association, Inc.’s (TIA) Washington D.C. Fly-In, to be held on September 17 to 19. Each activity will showcase to federal policymakers the impact that the U.S. toy industry has on the economy, and the positive role that toys play in the development and well-being of American children.

A Congressional Toy Caucus will launch during the Fly-In. Its goal is to help advance the discussion of toy safety, the value of play, the growth of small toy businesses, the importance of creativity and innovation, and the increase of free trade opportunities in foreign markets.

According to TIA-commissioned reports, the total economic impact of the toy industry in the U.S. is $75.03 billion. From toy inventors and designers to store clerks in every state, the toy industry supports an estimated 321,030 jobs across the country—of those, just over 30 percent are employed by small businesses. Although the average unit price of a toy is less than $8, the industry generates roughly $22 billion annually in direct retail toy sales.

TIA will host a Congressional reception on Capitol Hill on September 18, and additional TIA-directed communications to members of Congress will raise toy industry awareness in D.C. A special Capitol Hill briefing on the world of toys and games will be held on September 19, and a print ad will be published in The Hill, a widely read political paper. Registration for the Fly-In is open.

DreamWorks Teams Up with Hasbro for Two Franchises

dreamworks_animation_logo_1Hasbro, Inc. and DreamWorks Animation have entered into an agreement to create toys and games inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations and Trolls properties. Through this deal, Hasbro will unveil franchise-inspired product lines across major toy categories, with theatrical releases supporting B.O.O. and Trolls arriving in theaters in 2015 and 2016, respectively.Hasbro_logo_new 3.20.28 PM

B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations is the classified agency you’ve never heard of and certainly never seen. Dedicated to protecting the Universe from evil hauntings, the agents of B.O.O. have a secret weapon: they are ghosts themselves. When B.O.O. faces its biggest threat yet—an uber-villain with a ghastly plan—top agent Jackson Moss (Seth Rogen) and his wacky partner Watts (Melissa McCarthy) team up for the job.

DreamWorks Animation also recently announced the acquisition of the Trolls franchise. The Trolls experienced a resurgence in the 1990s, and in 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Trolls on its list of One Hundred of the Century’s Most Treasured Toys.

Horton’s Kids Receives ICTI Annual Award for Children’s Charities

ICTIDay2Press-9[1]Horton’s Kids, a local nonprofit dedicated to educating and empowering the children of Washington, D.C.,’s Ward 8, was presented with the global toy industry’s ICTI Annual Award for Children’s Charities during a ceremony this afternoon at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Established by ICTI in 2003, the annual award honors a nationally acclaimed, independent charity that has made significant contributions to the advancement of children’s health and wellbeing. The recipient is nominated by the toy association hosting that year’s ICTI annual general meeting and selected from among nonprofit organizations across the host country. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Hall of Fame Nominations Now Open

Members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and other toy industry stakeholders are invited to submit nominations of deserving candidates (living or deceased) for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, the TIA says in a news release. Selected candidates will join 62 current members of the hall of fame during a ceremony to be held in conjunction with the 14th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony on February 15 of next year. The nomination period will extend from May 28 through June 28. Membership in TIA is not a prerequisite for submitting a nomination.

Nominees for the Toy Industry Hall of Fame should have longstanding experience in the toy industry; unimpeachable integrity and respect among his or her peers; have made outstanding contributions to the industry and/or to TIA; and be recognized for various accomplishments. Examples include innovative product or marketing introductions; manufacturing process changes, which significantly improved processes or products; a prominent role in promoting the public’s awareness and appreciation of the importance of toys in the lives of children, or promoting the public’s awareness of the toy industry as a significant and responsible member of the business community; and service on the TIA board of directors, or in other important capacities in or related to toys and youth entertainment.

Additional information on the Toy Industry Hall of Fame is available online. Questions and completed nomination forms should be directed to TIA’s Stacy Leistner (646) 520-4858 by June 28.

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...]

Revision of U.S. Safety Standard for Tricycles Announced

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

An update of the American National Standard for Tricycles is now available. Approved by the standards developing body last year, the newly published standard defines safety requirements for all tricycles intended for use by children ages 8 and under and provides a basis for common understanding among producers, distributors, and users of tricycles.

Questions pertaining to the revised standard may be directed to Toy Industry Association’s Joan Lawrence, vice president of standards and regulatory affairs (646) 520-4844.

Toys Account for 45 Percent of Global Market for Licensed Preschool Properties

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

According to a new report released last week at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Content Connection, an educational program for licensors attending the American International Toy Fair, retail sales of licensed merchandise for character-based preschool properties totaled $10.4 billion worldwide last year, up 1 percent over 2011.

The Global Market for Preschool Properties research study was presented during the seminar held on February 10 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

According to the report, toys accounted for 45 percent of the total on a global scale, up from 38 percent in 2005. The second largest merchandise category was apparel, accessories, and soft goods (24 percent), followed by publishing (9 percent), DVDs (8 percent), and paid apps/electronic content (5 percent).

For more information, visit www.epmcom.com/preschool.