TIA to Present Research on Australian, Mexican, U.S. Toy Markets at Toy Fair

ToyFair15LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will present new research reports on the Australian, Mexican, and U.S. toy markets at the 112th North American International Toy Fair next month (TIA is the producer of the event). Taking place throughout the day on Sunday, February 15, the educational sessions will be held as part of TIA’s ongoing efforts to help toymakers identify and capture valuable export opportunities.

Experts from global consultancies Altios International and Kidz Global will present commissioned research findings on Australia’s and Mexico’s market demographics and economic growth, children’s routines and play preferences, cultural gift-giving occasions, brand awareness, primary retail and distribution channels, media opportunities, and more.

The U.S. seminar will take place on February 15 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; Mexico data will be shared from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and Australia findings will be presented from 2 to 3 p.m. These sessions are free for TIA members and $179 for non-members; attendees save $80 when they sign up for both the market research package and TIA’s Licensing Content Connection program during general Toy Fair registration.

ISO and IEC Update Product Safety Guidance Document

TIALogoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have published a third edition of ISO/IEC Guide 50. This guidance document, issued on December 15, is intended to help standards developers, designers, manufacturers, policymakers, and others in the development of products, packaging, and structures that minimize the potential for causing deaths or serious injuries to children. [Read more...]

TIA Concerned FDA Stance on Lasers Could Affect Toy Manufacturers

TIALogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has been tracking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health‘s (CDRH) thinking on the safety of lasers and laser diodes used in kids’ toy products. Most laser-like toys on the market employ harmless LED lights to simulate lasers; however, any toy that uses actual laser technology and falls under current FDA definitions for laser products must comply with FDA rules for low power lasers. [Read more...]

ICTI Annual Meeting to Take Place in Cancun, Mexico This May

The 41st annual general meeting of the International Council of Toy Industries will be held in Cancun, Mexico from May 3 to 6 next year. The meeting will be hosted by the Mexican Toy Association at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun, and will bring ICTI members to discuss the state of the toy industry and update on each country’s domestic market.

According to the Toy Industry Association, the general meeting agenda will include discussions and presentations, including a global toy industry sales report from The NPD Group, a presentation from the president of the Mexican Toy Association, an update on the status of the ICTI Care program, and more.

TIA’s Alan Kaufman Elected President of ICPHSO

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the organization’s senior vice president of technical affairs, Alan Kaufman, has been elected president of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). He will assume the role of president for a one-year term beginning next February.

With more than 35 years of experience in the consumer product safety field, Kaufman’s objective will be helping to lead ICPHSO’s efforts to ensure the safety of products made and sold in the global marketplace. Created in 1993, ICPHSO is a non-profit organization that provides forums for the exchange of ideas and information related to health and safety issues for products manufactured and marketed around the world.

Kaufman was a member of ICPHSO for several years before joining the organization’s board of directors in 2010.

More Details Released on 2015 TOTY Awards Ceremony

TOTY2015logoThe 15th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on February 13 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. The evening event, which kicks off the North American International Toy Fair, will include a cocktail networking reception with hors d’oeuvres and dinner, followed by the awards ceremony.

Over the course of the event, presenters will announce the TOTY winners in 12 categories, as well as the People’s Choice Award, which is based solely on consumer votes, and the overall Toy of the Year Award, which is selected by mass and specialty retailers, journalists, and Toy Industry Association (TIA) members. The winners will be chosen from more than 600 products submitted for consideration during the open call for nominations this fall. Voting is currently open for all TOTY finalists at www.toyawards.org. [Read more...]

CPSC Amends Operating Plan to Reflect Concerns about Testing Burdens

CPSCAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), on December 13, the U.S. Senate passed an omnibus appropriations bill to fund government operations through next September. The bill included $123 million in funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is the amount the agency asked for in its budget request for next year.

The committee report accompanying the bill includes a requirement that the CPSC allocate $1 million to reduce unnecessary and duplicative testing burdens. The language instructs the CPSC to provide a report within 90 days on the status of the agency’s testing burden reduction efforts, as well as a public timeline detailing what steps, if any, the agency will take to reduce testing costs while still assuring compliance. The accompanying report also includes a requirement that $4 million be allocated to import surveillance activities.

On Friday, December 12, the CPSC voted to amend the agency’s fiscal year operating plan for next year, after being strongly urged to use $1 million to find ways to reduce testing burdens. The agency voted 5 to 0 to amend their operating plan to include these funds.

Any questions related to this matter may be directed to the TIA’s Rebecca Mond, director of federal government affairs, at rmond@toyassociation.org.

TIA Discusses Industry Priorities at Annual Strategy Meeting

TIALast week, Toy Industry Association (TIA) members attended TIA’s Annual External Affairs Strategy Meeting held in Los Angeles to discuss key priorities for next year, and to strategize on new and emerging topics projected to impact the toy industry next year and beyond.

On December 3, there was an update and forecast of the industry’s short-term priority policy areas, including chemical regulation, product safety, environmental sustainability, marketing to children, and international trade. On December 4, TIA staff and member representatives participated in a full-day series of brainstorming sessions to discuss how TIA’s efforts on behalf of the toy industry could be enhanced, both domestically and abroad. [Read more...]

TIA Considers Three for Board of Directors

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) nominating committee has submitted candidates for consideration by the membership, for election to the association’s board of directors. Successful candidates would serve a two-year term expiring at the annual meeting in 2017.

The proposed board members are: Bruce S. Raiffe, president of Gund; Howard Kahn, CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales of Tomy International. Additional nominations, made in writing and signed by no less than 10 percent of the TIA’s membership, may be submitted to TIA President Carter Keithley at ckeithley@toyassociation.org no later than January 16.

Raiffe, Kahn, and Cunnion would fill the seats of retiring board members Joel Berger of Cardinal Industries Inc.; Peter Henseler of Tomy International; and D. Hugo Malan of Sears Holdings Corp.

The election of new board members will occur during the TIA Annual Business Meeting that will convene at 8 a.m. on February 16, in conjunction with North American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The meeting is open to all stakeholders of the toy industry—both members and non-members.

Toy Fair 2015 Sells Out of Exhibit Space

ToyFair15LogoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), exhibit space for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, scheduled for February 14 to 17, has officially sold out. The show has already surpassed a record-breaking 419,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and going forward, prospective Toy Fair exhibitors will be placed on a wait list (under no financial obligation).

The expanded show floor, equivalent in size to more than seven football fields, will feature hundreds of thousands of innovative new toys, games, and youth entertainment products. The North American International Toy Fair draws buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, and other play professionals from 100 countries, who will be on-hand scouting toy trends, spotting unique product lines and brands, and writing orders for next year.

Major global retail outlets already registered to attend include Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Apple, and Hobby Lobby.