Author: Guest Contributor

Why Amazon’s Push into 360-Degree Photography Is Good News for Toy Sellers

by Jeff Hunt, CEO at Snap36 Last summer, Amazon launched a trial of 360-degree photography, making it available to a few vendors on the platform. After just 60 days, the results were in: including 360-degree photographs in product listings increased conversions. Now, many categories have the capability to include 360-degree images on their product pages. There have been two major responses to this update in the industry: First, why did it take Amazon so long? And second: should we bother with 360-degree images? Here, I’ll address both. Solving for Tech, Quality, and Cost Creating 360-degree images has been possible...

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Toy Association Engages with Medical Community and Educators on Safe, Fun Play

The Toy Association staff traveled from coast-to-coast throughout the month of March to engage in constructive conversations with medical professionals, play scholars, and education workers about the toy industry’s long-standing leadership in toy safety and the many skill-building benefits of play. As a sponsor of the annual Advanced Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) Assembly held in Anaheim, California, The Toy Association provided information to physicians, nurses, and child life specialists about the toy industry’s history and record of safety work and enlisted the pediatric medical community’s assistance in disseminating toy and play safety information to patients and caregivers. “We also...

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A Greater Good for the Industry: Support the Genius of Play’s New ‘Play All May’ Celebration

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Do you believe in the power of play? Then get involved with a new initiative to educate families and media about play’s vital role in child development. This May, The Toy Association’s Genius of Play will launch Play All May, our first-ever, month-long celebration of play. In order to get the public and industry excited about Play All May, the initiative will incorporate: Daily toy giveaways (featuring products from Toy Association members) and shareable research on the value of play on social media; Partnerships with online influencers who will promote play’s importance; In-store promotion...

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The Toy Association Offers Toy Safety at Your Fingertips

The Toy Association has unveiled a Safety Education Program and an exclusive International Toy Safety Database to help ensure toy company representatives are knowledgeable and up-to-date on U.S. and international toy safety regulations and requirements. The Toy Book spoke with Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs at The Toy Association, to get the scoop on these important new resources and how they can be leveraged by Toy Association members free-of-charge. The Safety Education Program, announced at Toy Fair New York, is a brand-new resource offered by The Toy Association. Why was it created? Ed Desmond: The Toy...

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Approachable, Interactive & Affordable: Meet the New Tech from Toy Fair New York

by Reyne Rice, CEO and founder, ToyTrends and Robin Raskin, founder, Living in Digital Times At CES 2019, the focus was all about the tech in toys.  At Toy Fair New York, the equation flipped. It was all about the toys that were tech-centric.  As we hunted for the best of Toy Fair we found lots of technology working under the hood to create approachable, interactive and affordable tech solutions, designed especially to encourage kids to explore and interact. And this year “Kidults” got in on the action.  Here’s some of the emerging trends and hot products for the season...

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Saturated Fact: Using Trademarks to Build Your Brand

by Howard N. Aronson, managing partner, Lackenbach Siegel LLC Toy companies, like almost all consumer-oriented businesses, face an oversaturated market—or is it just saturated? A market is saturated when it is no longer generating new demand for certain products, whether as a result of increased competition, decreased need, or obsolescence. Consider water pistols, for example—a product that anyone can buy anywhere, anytime. Or board games—in the U.S., the market for board games is saturated because almost all Americans own a board game. An oversaturated market occurs when these conditions become so extreme that sales cannot budge—or even stay the same —from year...

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Allow Your Sales Reps to Thrive and Succeed

Learn how the Certified Master Sales Representative credential can enhance your business. by Kimberly Mosley, president, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association What’s happening at the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)? The launch of the brand-new Certified Master Sales Representative (CMSR) credential, for one thing. Members who attended ASTRA’s first CMSR in person—a customer-service-focused workshop during the annual December 2018 sales representative meetings in Las Vegas—got a sneak preview of upcoming programs. ASTRA members and other toy professionals can now enjoy 24/7 access to an online, on-demand education that can lead to a lifetime CMSR credential. Sales representatives make...

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Innovative Opportunities to Captivate Toy Consumers

An Exclusive Report from The Toy Association by Laurie Chartorynsky, communications specialist and content developer, The Toy Association How can toy manufacturers and retailers evolve to attract new toy consumers? The Toy Association’s recently released report, “Toy Manufacturing and Retail Solutions—the Future,” explores fresh ideas for the industry to innovate around who is playing, what truly defines a toy, and what play is in order to capitalize on the changing landscape. Toy companies face new realities, including shifting consumer preferences and technological advances, which are redefining the nature of a toy and how kids play. Given the advent of the...

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The Toy Association’s Smart Packaging Tool

Helping Manufacturers Produce More Eco-Friendly Packaging Designs by Laurie Chartorynsky, communications specialist and content developer, The Toy Association Consumers are usually shocked when they see the amount of packaging left behind after opening their child’s toy. Often referred to as “wrap rage” or the “Christmas-morning effect,” packaging seems like a heap of frustrating trash to a consumer. But what many consumers don’t understand is that packaging plays many important roles in the toy industry. Packaging is crucial to tell a story on-shelf in a split second. It also facilitates the transport and display of products while helping to reduce...

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Kid-Speaking Brand Packaging

Creating a Visual Language that Appeals to Younger Generations by Ted Mininni, president and creative director, Design Force How can we reach new generations of consumers? Many marketers at mature consumer product companies ask themselves this question, as younger customers actively seek brands offering personalities and experiences that are relevant to them. You may think this is best left in the hands of disruptors—the brash brand startups and fearless entrepreneurs. While there are plenty of examples of these kinds of brands, there are also intriguing new launches from consumer product companies with deep heritages. Brands that market the most...

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