TOIA logoThe Toy Association urges families to follow age labels, keep small parts from kids under three-years-old.

A new national survey of toy-purchasing parents conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of The Toy Association has revealed troublesome findings about parents’ toy safety beliefs and behaviors. In light of these findings, The Toy Association is alerting families of the top safety tips to keep in mind leading up to the holiday season – and all year long.

According to the survey, while many of these parents (67 percent) say that toys with small parts are among their chief safety concerns, 82 percent think the age label on toy packaging is “just a suggestion” – and 73 percent think it’s okay for younger children to play with their older siblings’ toys.

What’s more, 81 percent of these parents say that when they shop for toys for children, they tend to focus more on the types of toys that kids are interested in, rather than the toys recommended for the child’s age.

”Parents and other consumers should always heed the age label on toy packaging. Toys labeled 3-plus are not safe for kids under three, because they may contain small parts, which can be a choking hazard,” Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of safety and regulatory affairs at The Toy Association, said in a release. “Contrary to what some parents might think, a toy’s age grading isn’t about how smart a child is. It’s based on the developmental abilities of kids at a given age and the specific features of the toy.”

Two-thirds of parents (67 percent) also said that they believe toys manufactured outside the United States are less safe than those made in America, when in fact all toys sold in the U.S., no matter where in the world they are made, must adhere to strict federal safety standards and laws that are in place to protect children at play. Parents can rest assured knowing that toys sold at reputable retailers – whether in stores or online – are tested to more than 100 rigorous U.S. safety laws and regulations.

However, adults play an important role in ensuring that kids are playing safely and appropriately. Staying safe this holiday season is as easy as 1-2-3 – check out The Toy Association’s top three safety tips:

1. Always follow the age label on toy packaging. Avoid toys with small parts for kids under 3 (or kids who still mouth toys). Toys with small parts have a warning label on the packaging, so keep a careful eye out as you shop.

2. Keep older kids’ toys, which may contain small pieces, out of reach from younger siblings and their friends. Always supervise children while they play.

3. Shop at a retailer you know and trust. Store staff at established businesses will be knowledgeable about age-appropriate toys. Online sellers will include safety information and the toy’s age grading in product descriptions. On the other hand, garage sales, secondhand stores, or temporary retailers may not know about the latest safety information and certified products – and may not be around should an issue arise later on.

“Once the gifts are unwrapped, parents should get on the floor and play with their kids,” Lawrence says. “Showing little ones how to properly use a toy or game is the best way to make sure they understand how to safely enjoy it. Best of all – playing together as a family is lots of fun and even has enhanced developmental benefits for children.”

The Toy Association and its members take toy safety extremely seriously and are committed year-round to educating parents and caregivers about safe play. Following this simple safety advice can go a long way toward preventing unnecessary accidents and injuries.

For more advice on safe play – including tips for first-time parents, advice on magnet and battery safety, how to ensure safe play outdoors, and much more, visit The Toy Association’s free resource for parents and caregivers - www.PlaySafe.org.

UnknownOutsourcing will help to keep WIT Laser-Focused on its mission and members.

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT), the leading global career development and networking organization for professional women working in the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries, has outsourced its management services to The Toy Association.

To best keep pace with its expansive growth while maintaining control of administrative costs, WIT will outsource to The Toy Association a variety of services including administrative, financial management, legal coordination, and back-end membership support. This will afford WIT the opportunity to improve productivity and efficiency, and allow its volunteers and small staff to place even greater focus on its mission, member services, and programming. With this agreement, WIT will continue to run as an independent nonprofit organization, without any changes to its governance structure.

“As WIT has grown and gained greater momentum, we have realized the value of adding the expert services and resources that The Toy Association has to offer,” says Ashley Mady, president of WIT and founder of Brandberry, Inc. in a release. “We’re excited to free up our volunteers and staff so they can focus their expertise on WIT’s mission and goals, and we’re thrilled to be working with The Toy Association to help take us to the next level.”

The Toy Association is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. As a global leader, The Toy Association sustains the Canadian Toy Association and acts as secretariat for: the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI), the governance board of ICTI CARE, and the International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable. 

“We’re passionate believers in WIT, its leadership, and the thousands of professionals it serves every year,” says Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “It’s both a distinct honor and a fantastic opportunity to bring our organizations closer together, to strengthen WIT’s operations, and look for opportunities to help take this great organization to the next level.”

WIT has more than 1,200 members worldwide and chapters across the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, France, the UK, and Australia. WIT’s resources, events, educational and empowerment initiatives, and scholarship programs are funded in part by its generous sponsors and partners, including Mattel, Nickelodeon, Spin Master, Hasbro, PlayMonster, Bandai, and Toys“R”Us.

Play Fair logoPlay Fair provides greater ways for children, parents, teenagers and fans to play!

Play Fair returns to New York for its second annual show Nov. 4-5 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. Play Fair, a public celebration of play and entertainment for all ages, brings new and beloved toy and pop culture brands together under one roof for an interactive and fun-filled live event open to families, fans and media.

A joint venture between the Toy Association and LeftField Media, and presented by Spin Master and Toys “R” Us, Play Fair is nearly doubled in size in 2017, providing greater ways for children, parents, teenagers and fans to play! More than 20,000 families and fans will be delighted with hands-on exhibits and demonstrations, awe-inspiring displays, talent appearances, dozens of toy and entertainment brands, and never-before-seen exclusives.

Play Fair also introduces its first Media & Industry Preview Night for press and industry professionals on Friday, Nov. 3. The special event offers advance access to exhibitors, entertainment, and play experiences the evening before Play Fair opens to the public. Preview Night attendees also receive a first look at the finalists for The Toy Association’s 2018 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards.

At Play Fair attendees can feel, touch, and take home their favorite toys and games — and be the first to glimpse the toys of tomorrow from more than 40 exhibitors including Cartoon Network, Hasbro, Just Play, K’NEX, LEGO, Midtown Comics, ALEX Brands, Moose Toys, Spin Master, Maddie Rae’s Slime Glue, The New York Doll Company, Toys “R” Us, VTech, Kvellix, Inc. (NUTSO) and WowWee. See firsthand which toys, games, and entertainment will be the biggest hits this season, just in time for Black Friday. More information and scheduling of events can be found at www.playfairny.com/special-features.

UnknownThe No. 1 specialty tween retailer aims to expand key lifestyle categories.

Justice, the No. 1 specialty tween retailer, has tapped The Joester Loria Group (JLG) to execute a brand extension program that will provide access to a range of branded lifestyle categories to tween girls at select third-party retailers.

Justice has unparalleled reach to today’s tween girls. Through inclusive marketing campaigns that serve every girl every day, digital Ambassadors, exciting in-store and online events, philanthropic activities and must-have fashions, Justice has established a unique bond with girls and parents in over 6 million households. The chain of 900 North American stores, with over $1 billion in annual sales, is far more than a clothing destination for tween girls. Justice is dedicated to enhancing a tween girl’s self-esteem, allowing her to express her style and individuality. The Joester Loria Group will expand the footprint of the Justice brand and the reach for Justice branded products for millions of customers.

Key lifestyle categories designed to capture Justice’s fresh fashion-driven approach will include bedding and room décor, back-to-school, optical frames, arts and crafts, games and party goods. Strategic partnerships with key manufacturers and select retailer partners will be supported on Justice’s marketing platforms and through innovative marketing opportunities with partners.

“Our business focuses on building our customer’s self-esteem and providing her with product and experiences that allow her to express herself,” Justice President Lece Lohr said in a release. “We look forward to working with The Joester Loria Group to extend the reach of our brand by bringing exciting product categories to the Justice customer wherever she shops.”

“We are delighted to represent this powerhouse brand and work with Justice in developing trend-right product designed specifically for young girls,” Debra Joester, president of The Joester Loria Group adds. “No other brand understands or reaches tween girls like Justice!”

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UnknownThe session, called ‘Licensing: The Next Generation,' will debate next gen platforms, content, retail and merchandising, commerce and technology.

The world’s first and biggest digital news organization – BuzzFeed – will keynote at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE). The session, called ‘Licensing: The Next Generation,' will take place Wednesday, Oct. 11 and will debate next gen platforms, content, retail and merchandising, commerce and technology.

Eric Karp, head of licensing at BuzzFeed, will be joined by Dan Amos, Tinderbox, John Erlandson, Authentic Brands Group and Naz Cuevas, Sybo Games’ new head of licensing. The panel will be chaired by License Global's Group Publisher Steven Ekstract and is one of over 30 sessions covering the latest trends in gaming, toys, fashion and lifestyle, sports and much more in the Licensing Academy and Brands & Lifestyle Theatres.

What else is at #BLE2017?

* 2,500+ innovative brands are being showcased across entertainment, sports, video games, food & drink, celebrity, heritage and more.

* The beautiful Product Showcase will let retailers and licensors discover over 170+ licensed products ranging from apparel to DIY and from electronics to stationery.

* With the global games market set to reach $109 billion in 2017, visitors can uncover the potential of gaming licensing with the all-new Gaming Activation Area, keynote session and gaming exhibitors including Sony, Sega, Activision and Capcom.

* The brand-new Toy & Game Innovation Zone from Mojo Nation will showcase some of the most interesting examples of licensed toys and games launched within the last 12 months, as well as preview some of the hottest new lines coming Christmas 2017 and beyond. Don’t miss ‘Meet the Designer’ sessions at 12:30pm on Tuesday and 3:00pm on Wednesday.

* License This! final between Ioguis and Deckled Edge at 13:15, Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Licensing Academy Theatre.

* Birthdays celebrations! The Hungry Caterpillar is 50, Rainbow is 45, JCB is 20 and Rocket Licensing is 10.

* Europe’s largest character parade – 11:00 am, Tuesday, Oct. 10.

* The MTV Bar returns to D95 for a fabulously immersive experience. Create your very own GIF at the taxi photo booth, enter for a chance to win tickets to this year’s MTV EMAs, and power up with a drink (or two). 

Visitors can register for free tickets at www.brandlicensing.eu/register. 

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