Source: The Canadian Toy Association/the Toy Book

Serge Micheli Executive Director of The Canadian Toy Association talks about the association’s initiatives and goals for 2021 in the Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.

The Toy Book: What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian toy industry as we head into the year, and how is The Canadian Toy Association addressing them?
Serge Micheli: The biggest challenge facing The Canadian Toy Association is serving the needs of our members as it relates to the changing landscape due to the unprecedented pandemic. The Canadian Toy Association is continually working on providing clarification and support to the industry members on the various provincial mandates on retail sales and essential goods and services. We are also providing guidance regarding the impact on their companies and resources that we are making available to them.
In the summer of 2020, The Canadian Toy Association updated its bylaws to include retailers as members of the organization. We are pleased to welcome our new retailer members who have also joined The Canadian Toy Association Board of Directors. This will provide a larger voice for the industry on finding ways to provide more services to the industry.

TB: What are The Canadian Toy Association’s key initiatives for the year ahead?
SM: In the year ahead, The Canadian Toy Association will create online networking and educational events, as we are unable to have in-person events due to the pandemic. It is important for the Association to keep providing critical information to our members, and we are building out a series of webinars that will be led by industry leaders on topics that are relevant to the industry.

The Canadian Toy Association, working with The Toy Association in the U.S., will continue to expand the Genius of Play into Canada. We will build off the cross-Canada media tour and influencer program from 2020 and will focus on promoting the benefits of play to parents and children across Canada. There is a volume of information on the Genius of Play available on its website.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the Canadian Toy Association welcomed Indigo Kids, MasterMind Toys, and Toys “R” Us Canada as members of the Association and to our Board of Directors. We value and look forward to working together and leveraging our diverse membership to continue our focus on growth in 2021 and beyond.

We will continue to grow the Toys for the North charitable toy giving program by working with more toy companies to grow our donation volumes and expanding our partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and Thomson Terminals. It is our goal to reach into more northern communities to help bring more toys to children through this amazing program.

This State of the Industry Q&A response was originally published in the February 2021 edition of the Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue!

About the author

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik was the Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book from 2020-2022. She was also a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider.