New York, NY | September 16, 2010 – The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) will kick off its second annual “Birthday Bids” online charity auction on Thursday, September 23, 2010, at 3:00 pm (Eastern). Commemorating the anniversaries of several beloved classic toys and games, the seven-day fundraising effort will provide collectors and kids of all ages with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to own exclusive limited edition products – including two Star Wars collectors’ items signed by George Lucas – while also helping children who are at-risk, abused, abandoned, ill, or otherwise in need.
Hosted by eBay’s Giving Works, the Toy Industry Foundation Birthday Bids auction will conclude promptly at 3:00 pm (Eastern) on Thursday, September 30th. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Foundation programs such as The Toy Bank, which distributes brand new toys to charities serving children.
Among the toys and games included in this year’s “Birthday Bids” auction are three featured autographed items:
§ Star Wars All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) Walkers (autographed by George Lucas)
Use the force to secure one of the two supersized collectibles celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back and signed by filmmaker George Lucas. Generously donated by Hasbro, these colossal vehicles stand two feet tall, 28 inches long and 12 inches wide. Holding up to 20 Star Wars figures each, these AT-ATs are loaded with play and electronic features … including driver action figures and pop-out speeder bikes, “chin guns” and zip-lines to recreate the classic Luke Skywalker scene from Episode V.
§ The Game of Life (autographed by inventor Reuben Klamer)
Commemorate the golden anniversary of “The Game of Life” with a special edition of this Milton Bradley classic and a personalized message from infamous game inventor Reuben Klamer. This deluxe package also includes a bonus copy of the new Monopoly Anniversary Edition – 75 Years Young!
Additional beloved classic toys and games in this year’s auction include:
§ Raggedy Ann™
Celebrate 95 years of friendship between Raggedy Ann and her pal Andy with one of the 150 hand-carved, fully jointed, 8-inch wooden dolls created by the Madame Alexander Doll Company.
§ Thomas the Train
Thomas and Friends have been riding the rails for 65 years. One of a limited run of die-cast collectibles produced by Mattel for the American International Toy Fair has rolled its way into this year’s auction.
§ Etch A Sketch
Inspired artists will mark the golden anniversary of the World’s Favorite Drawing Toy® and the centennial anniversary of Ohio Art with one special Etch A Sketch package featuring two must-have versions of this classic toy. The 100th anniversary model will keep screen-based artistic treasures safe in a special edition collector’s tin; the retro-enhanced 50th anniversary edition features a red metallic frame, bronze screen, gold decorative knobs and is embossed with the signature of the toy’s inventor.
Just one year after the 50th birthday of the world’s most iconic fashion doll, collectors can commemorate another major milestone in Barbie history with the 30th anniversary of Black Barbie. For this year’s birthday auction, Mattel has generously donated one of the 600 limited edition "Barbie® Golden Gala” African American Silkstone dolls that was produced for the 2009 Collector Convention.
Kids of all ages will want to cuddle up to one of the limited edition premium plush toys donated by Gund as the World’s Most Huggable bear turns 30 this year.
“Every toy collector will be excited to get his or her hands on these incredible toys,” said Jean Butler, TIF Executive Director. “We are equally grateful to the toy companies for the donation of these fantastic collectibles and to the collectors for the bids that we hope to see stream in during the course of this year’s auction. Every dollar raised will help to make play possible for deserving kids around the world.”
In conjunction with its partners, the TIF sends toys to hundreds of worthy organizations providing disaster relief, to patients and their families in Ronald McDonald Houses, and to hospitals and other charities in the U.S. and abroad. TIF has joined with the My Stuff Bags Foundation to provide duffel bags filled with toys, clothing and other essential items to more than 50,000 foster children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. And the TIF partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services is reaching families in every branch of the military – from California to the Carolinas – to bring toys and fun to children living with the stress of having a parent that has been deployed in service to the nation.
The annual Birthday Bids auction is a vital component of ongoing efforts to promote individual giving in support of the Foundation’s work.
About the Toy Industry Foundation (www.toyindustryfoundation.org)
The Toy Industry Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring joy, comfort, and learning to children in need through toys and play. While other organizations provide food, shelter and support services to children and their families, TIF sees to it that these children have toys and opportunities to play in an attempt to restore both fun and a sense of normalcy to their lives. The Foundation currently fulfills its mission through core programs including The Toy Bank™, public education initiatives, and grants to organizations whose missions are in line with that of the Toy Industry Foundation.
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