The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has launched PlayHappens.org, a digital publication focused on the business of play. This new online resource is an evolution of the former Toy Fair NY Blog and provides readers with go-to-market strategies, business tools, research and trends, and other industry insights contributed by a team of toy industry enthusiasts and experts from multiple disciplines. [Read more...]
By Julie Livingston, Director of Business Development & Accounts, Child’s Play Communications; former Senior Director of Public Relations, Toy Industry Association
We all know that the fourth quarter of the current year and first quarter of the new year are a marathon of events and deadlines for the toy industry. First, it is the chaos of closing out holiday orders and enjoying a brief holiday break. Then, for many, it’s on to the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, followed by Nuremberg and then the annual New York Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Center from February 10 to 13. With such a compressed timetable, every minute in pre-Toy Fair planning counts.
The annual event draws approximately 1,000 global media representatives from top tier outlets including The Today Show, The View, CNN, the Associated Press, The New York Times, NY Daily News, Wall Street Journal, and many more. Media publicity affords toy companies with valuable promotion and exposure, which can help to hype “driver products”–those in-demand items expected to be hot sellers for the 2013 holiday season. [Read more...]
Playrific, a leading digital media aggregation service for children, has closed an oversubscribed $1.7 million round of equity financing. The funding was lead by Golden Seeds, a network of angel investors dedicated to investing in early stage companies founded and led by women, with participation of investors from a variety of other angel groups including Launchpad Venture Group, Walnut Ventures, Northeast Angels, and Maine Angels. [Read more...]
In partnership with Engage Digital, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) has announced that the 7th Annual Digital Kids Conference will be held in February with the American International Toy Fair. The conference, which will be held on February 12 and February 13, will bring youth-focused digital media executives, brand owners, and licensors together to learn how to engage children online and through digital devices. The conference will also feature information on how to produce inspiring products, establish successful online and mobile revenue generation strategies, and leverage the social media best practices.
All Toy Fair attendees will have a chance to attend the conference and listen to more than 25 speakers who will share tips about digital media. For more information, visit www.ToyFairNY.com.
Courtesy of the Toy Industry Association
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Toy Safety recently held meetings to discuss the development of global age determination guidelines for toys, based largely on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidelines from 2002. The meetings, which were held in Tokyo, also discussed magnets, cords, impaction, phthalates, total concentration of certain elements, and the alignment of toy standards.
Technical experts from the U.S.—including representatives from toy manufacturers and importers, testing labs, and the Toy Industry Association (TIA)—and industry and product safety agencies from more than a dozen countries also attended the discussions.
ASTM International held its third annual meeting with ISO to share information and work for further alignment. Issues such as battery and magnet ingestion were discussed. A detailed report from the U.S delegation will be available for viewing on the TIA Website upon completion.
Nearly 1,000 boys and girls stationed with their parents on Kadena U.S. Air Force Base in Japan were treated to an extraordinary day of gifts and play on November 1 by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services. Joined by Marine families stationed in nearby Okinawa, the children experienced a toy giveaway event, providing relief and a reminder of home to kids living with their parents so far away from what is familiar.
The TIF/BGCA Play Comforts program is the first-ever national toy distribution program to serve every branch of the military and is now in its third year of operation. Since the partnership launched, TIF has provided more than 200,000 toys to BGCA for children on U.S. military bases.
Through the Play Comforts program, toys donated to TIF’s Toy Bank by generous toy makers and merchants are delivered to families on dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad all year long.
The Toy Industry Foundation’s annual Holiday Toy Drive will be open from November 1 to December 31. The Holiday Toy Drive may be supported in three ways:
- TODAY Show Holiday Toy Drive: Each year, TIF partners with TODAY to share the toy industry’s generosity with the nation. Companies that donate toys to this program are listed on the TODAY Show website; if $150,000 worth of toys are collected, TIF will appear on-air to speak about what the Foundation does and how toy companies are making a difference.
- Play Comforts: In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services, TIF will have helped 50,000 children of military families throughout 2012. Approximately 600 more toys are needed to finish the year.
- General Donation to Toy Bank Network of 1,000 Charities: The Toy Bank works with children’s charities across the globe that help kids who are sick, living in disaster zones, underprivileged, or otherwise in need. Toys donated to the general network of charities will be matched with the appropriate recipients.
While the Toy Drive remains open through Dec. 31, donation forms must be submitted by Dec. 1 to ensure that the toys make it into the hands of children in time for the holidays.
For information on how to make a gift, contact email@example.com. Donation forms for the TODAY Show giving option can be accessed online.
Courtesy of Toy Industry Association
On January 2, toys that have a major E&E component must meet the European Union New Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS 2) limits. E&E equipment includes equipment dependent on electric current or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly. Under the new definition in RoHS 2, toys that need electric currents, or electromagnetic fields to fulfill at least one intended function are included. Compliance with RoHS 2 must be met by July 22 for toys where E&E component is minor or secondary such as a plush toy that sings. For more information, visit the European Commission website.
Courtesy Of The Toy Industry Association
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims to make sure that marketers’ claims about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful. The revisions include updates, modifications, and clarifications to current guides. The FTC also added new sections featuring information on the usage of carbon offsets, green certifications and seals of approval, free-of and non-toxic claims, and renewable energy and materials claims. Other modifications include caution against making broad, unqualified claims about products that are environmentally friendly or eco-friendly.