Grammy-Winner Alicia Keys to Cut Ribbon, Unveil New App at Toy Fair Opening Ceremony

Feb14.AliciaKeysAs first reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Grammy-winner Alicia Keys, co-creator of the interactive children’s app The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee from Bento Box Interactive (BBI) and AK Worldwide Inc. (AKW), will help cut the ribbon at the American International Toy Fair’s opening ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, February 16 at 10 a.m. Immediately afterward, Keys will hold a press conference moderated by Marian Bossard, TIA’s vice president of meetings and events.

The press conference will include a question and answer session and introduce the new interactive storytelling app Mookey, the latest extension of The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee, suitable for kids ages 4 and up. Other participants in the press conference include Scott Greenberg, BBI co-founder and CEO, and Makeda Mays Green, educational adviser for BBI/AKW.

The ribbon-cutting will officially kick off the largest toy show ever held in North America, with more than 30,000 anticipated attendees from 100 countries, and hundreds of thousands of toys and games across a record-breaking 411,500-plus square feet of exhibit space.

The 111th American International Toy Fair will take place on February 16 to 19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. After-hours and networking events during Toy Fair week include the 14th annual TOTY (Toy of the Year) Awards on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

Vote for Your Favorite 2014 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Finalist

toty14-logoThe toy industry has its 84 toy, game, and property finalists for the 2014 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY), according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The annual TOTY awards program is sponsored by the toy industry to recognize the top toys available across 12 categories—from e-connected to activity to educational and outdoor toys.

The 2014 finalists represent 68 unique products or properties from 41 companies, and were selected from more than 520 nominees submitted for consideration by 153 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.

Through January 13, toy lovers of all ages can visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings. Each vote is a chance to win one of twelve TOTY prize packages filled with the toys and games featured in each category.

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TIA Opens Nominations for 2014 TOTY Awards, Board of Directors

toty14-logoThe Toy Industry Association Inc. (TIA) is accepting toy, game, and property submissions across 12 categories for the 2014 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. The nomination period will close at 5 p.m. PST on October 11. Finalists will be unveiled on November 25; winners will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony in February 2014.

Toy companies, inventors, retailers, and others are invited to nominate contenders; all submissions should include a brief, 50-word description plus a statement—up to 300 words—explaining why the product or property is deserving of recognition on the TOTY Awards ballot. Products must have been introduced to the marketplace within the past two years and must be available at retail in the U.S. on or before November 25 of this year. Each submission is $75 for TIA members and $125 for non-members. For more information, visit the TOTY website or email toty@toyassociation.org.

TIA also invites all members to submit candidates for seats on its Board of Directors. The board is responsible for the management and control of the activities, property, and affairs of TIA, including the strategic direction of the association, the annual budget, and the scope of responsibilities of the board and its committees.

The criteria that will be considered by the nominating committee for each nominee includes commitment to attend regularly scheduled board meetings each year and, as appropriate, other relevant TIA-sponsored events; and professional skills and experience (e.g., finance, law, marketing, etc.) that may be of value to the board.

All nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on October 11. More information, including criteria and where to submit nominations, can be found through TIA’s website.

Voting Begins For 2011 Toy Industry Hall of Fame

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is accepting votes for the 2011 Toy Industry Hall of Fame, to take place in conjunction with the Toy of the Year Awards during Toy Fair Week in New York City. Voting started yesterday and will run until August 27, with the winners awarded on February 12.

Living nominees include:
•Fashion Institute of Technology Toy Design Department Chair Judith Ellis
•Former Radica Games, Ltd. CEO Patrick Feely
•Funrise Toys, Ltd. Founder and CEO Arnie Rubin
•Director Steven Spielberg
•Hasbro, Inc., Chairman Alfred Verrecchia

Posthumous nominees include:
•Russ Berrie, Inc., Founder Russell Berrie
•Duncan Yo-Yo Founder Donald Duncan
•Briarpatch, Inc., Co-founder Martine Redman

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