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.

TIA and JPMA Enter Information-sharing Partnership

tia_logo[1]The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) have entered into an information-sharing partnership to better provide safety and product information to their respective customer pools.

jpma_newestlogoAs of September 7, the organizations are working together to “provide trusted and timely information on a wider variety of topics to families with kids of all ages,” according to Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of standards and regulatory affairs.

American International Toy Fair to Host Digital Kids Conference

DKConnThe 9th Annual Digital Kids Conference will co-locate with the American International Toy Fair in February at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The Digital Kids Conference will take place on February 16 to 17 and will address new strategies, valuable tools, and marketplace insight that will help youth-focused media professionals to create best-selling digital toys, games, and media services for kids. In addition, the pre-conference Learning Summit, scheduled for February 15, will explore the changing innovations occurring in learning technology, with a focus on consumer and curriculum based learning products and services.

All Toy Fair attendees will have access to the conference and Learning Summit and Toy Industry Association members will receive reduced rates to attend the sessions. Digital Kids Conference attendees will have access to the Toy Fair show floor and be among the first to view the new toys and games on display.

Kids India 2014 Announces Special Educational Program Open to TIA and CTA Members

kids india 2014Toy Industry Association (TIA) and Canadian Toy Association (CTA) member companies with an interest in the Indian toy market are invited to participate in a special program for overseas visitors at the second annual Kids India, a three-day trip that will provide toy makers with a view inside India’s rapidly developing economy and emergent retail landscape. The program is hosted by Spielwarenmesse eG (Nuremberg Toy Fair) in cooperation with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), and will run from September 18 to 20 at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Center in Mumbai.

The program will kick off on September 18, when visiting toy companies will connect with representatives of Spielwarenmesse eG and receive a tour around the Kids India fair, before taking part in the fair’s workshop program, followed by a dinner reception at the Westin Hotel. Participants will also visit various Mumbai-based toy stores, including the world-renowned Hamleys Toy Shop, and receive information about the Indian toy market, including consumer demographics and opportunities for market entry. The program will conclude on September 20 with a sightseeing tour of Mumbai. [Read more...]

CPSC Releases CHAP Report on Phthalates and Phthalate Alternatives

Following four years of investigation by the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP), appointed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the CPSC has released a long-awaited report detailing the potential health effects of phthalates and phthalate alternatives in toys and child care articles. Phthalates are substances used to make certain plastics soft and pliable, and there exist federal restrictions on the presence of phthalates in toys and certain children’s products.

Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, there are currently permanent bans on three types of phthalates—DEHP, DBP and BBP—in toys and certain child care articles, and interim bans on three additional phthalates—DINP, DIDP and DnOP—in mouth-able components of these products. [Read more...]

CPSC to Host Workshop on Possible Amendments to Import Filing Requirements

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will host a workshop on September 18 to share information and gather data on proposed changes to certificate of compliance requirements for companies that import regulated finished consumer products into the U.S.

The workshop will allow CPSC to clarify issues and understand stakeholders’ concerns related to the proposed amendments to the Certification of Compliance Rule, which would require companies that import products manufactured outside of the U.S. to file general conformity certifications—or children’s product certifications—electronically with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to importation, in conjunction with other customs entry documents. [Read more...]

Registration Opens for TIA’s 7th Annual Washington, DC Fly-In

Registration is open for the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) 7th Annual Washington, DC Fly-In, which will bring toy company representatives to the nation’s capital on September 16 to 18. The objective will be to discuss the priority issues impacting TIA’s member companies, including chemical regulations and testing requirements, with members of Congress and other government officials.

This year’s event will kick off on September 16 with a United We Play opening reception on Capitol Hill, hosted by TIA and the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF). During the evening, the hosts will announce a donation of 2,500 toys to children’s charities within the home districts of five members of Congress to be honored at the reception. The Fly-In will continue with a full schedule of meetings and activities on September 17 and 18.

The DC Fly-In is free to attend and open to all TIA members, and registration may be completed online. The host hotel for the Fly-In is the Mandarin Oriental in downtown Washington. Anyone interested in more information should contact Rachel Derby, TIA’s director of government affairs, at (202) 459-0351.

New Affiliation Between TIA and CTA Now in Effect

A new affiliate agreement between the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the Canadian Toy Association (CTA) went into effect on July 1. As previously reported by TIA, the partnership was formed to help strengthen the products, services, and events both organizations offer their collective members and industry stakeholders throughout North America.

Under the terms of the initial three-year partnership agreement, any TIA member with operations in Canada will be eligible to become a member of the CTA with one membership fee, while current CTA members will pay a single set of dues to access the benefits of CTA and TIA membership. A representative of each organization will sit on the leadership committee of the other body, and CTA will maintain its Canadian incorporation, mission, and bylaws.

Every CTA member is now in the TIA membership database and has unrestricted, members only access to TIA’s online products and services, including free educational webinars, proprietary reports on market research and industry practices, legislative bulletins on industry issues, and more. [Read more...]

New Opportunities for Toy Companies at Fall Toy Preview 2014

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has made several changes to its Fall Toy Preview to widen the show’s attendee base and provide added value for members of the global toy industry. According to the TIA, the updates were developed by the Trade Show Committee and were based on feedback received from buyers and sellers who responded to TIA post-show surveys.

As part of the changes, Fall Toy Preview is no longer strictly a “by-appointment-only” event allowing exhibitors onsite opportunities to do business. The TIA will now offer new booth packages that provide exhibiting companies with both open or combination—closed with and open display area—booths.

In addition, specialty buyers who are ready to show product for the 2015 holiday season and have an interest in previewing are invited to attend. Traditionally, only toy companies that sold product to mass market were allowed to exhibit. Also, the show will introduce new educational programming and a Woman’s Empowerment Initiative co-hosted by Women in Toys and Wal-Mart. Additional events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Fall Toy Preview will take place on October 7 to 9.

TIA Environmental and Sustainability Committee Re-Launched

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAt the Toy Industry Association‘s newly re-launched Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting, sustainable metrics and materials for eco-friendly products and packaging, the development of an industry-wide definition of sustainability, and consumer trends and engagement on environmental issues were among the topics discussed.

The committee re-launched to help monitor environmental issues that impact the toy industry. It is also in place to assist toy companies in starting eco-friendly programs internally and to increase the sustainability of their products.

A recent survey distributed by the TIA is aimed at helping prioritize specific sustainability issues. Results showed that participants want the sustainability efforts to be beneficial in the long-run while keeping up to date on consumer trends, sustainable tools and materials for packaging, and developing cross-industry collaborations on common sustainability interests.

The committee will meet again in August to continue discussing and developing plans for a more sustainable future in the toy industry.