‘A WAVE OF CHANGE’ – The Toy Association Responds to Evolving Member Needs with New Strategy, New Name, & Major Rebrand, Driving Change Across the Organization
April 24, 2017

Largest National Toy Association Expands Core Member Services and Launches New Ventures

 

April 24, 2017 | New York, NY – The Toy Association – the largest trade association of its kind in the world – today unveiled a new mission statement, new name, and major rebrand driven by an innovative strategic plan. Formerly called the Toy Industry Association, The Toy Association supports a diverse membership whose global reach is revolutionizing the face of toys and play. The organization’s member-focused programs, products, trade shows, and consumer events promote international business growth for all members. Its new tagline, “Inspiring Generations of Play,” underscores the Association’s 100+ years of service and the many developmental benefits of play in a child’s life.

The Toy Association ended 2016 with 1,098 member companies that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The trade group has a long history of propelling the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual economic impact of $80.25 billion in the United States.

“The Toy Association’s members are the ‘North Star’ of our new strategic direction, assuring that everything we do is about them and their business success,” says Steve Pasierb, president & chief executive of The Toy Association. “Refining our strategic blueprint demanded a refreshed mission, which led to a change in name, an emphasis on branding, a new approach to digital communications, and new office headquarters to serve staff and members alike. We challenged ourselves to question every aspect of our reason for being, and found ways to be more agile, more relevant, and more successful at bringing our members best-in-class services and support.”

Mission Refresh Reflects Member-Focus

As part of its new mission statement to be “a unifying force for members’ creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play,” The Toy Association has elevated its presence on the world stage, effectively and powerfully advocating on behalf of its members’ businesses in North America and in markets spanning every continent.

The Association has also expanded its core services and embarked on new ventures, including Play Fair, a large-scale kid and family business-to-consumer event; ShopToys365.com, a first-of-its-kind business-to-business digital marketplace for toy retailers and suppliers; and The Genius of Play, a consumer-focused initiative which encourages families to make time for play by educating them about play’s critical role in healthy childhood development.

The group’s world-renowned trade shows showcase the brightest innovations in toys and play along with stunning technological advancements. Its North American International Toy Fair continues to shatter records with sold out space and attendees from more than 100 countries, while Fall Toy Preview remains committed to serving the long-lead planning needs of mass and high-volume specialty retailers. With its actionable research, The Toy Association is helping companies tackle business challenges – from rapidly changing global economic and population trends and intellectual property protection, to new chemical regulations and an empowered consumer base of millennial parents with nontraditional shopping habits. The Association’s advocacy work provides insight and support on key legislative and regulatory issues affecting members in global markets, and it maintains education outreach to American consumers and media on all aspects of toy and play safety.

David Hargreaves, chairman of The Toy Association’s board of directors and strategic advisor at Hasbro, Inc., emphasized the need for change: “This is not your father’s Toy Association, because this is not your father’s toy industry nor marketplace. The global toy and play landscape has transformed dramatically over the last few years. Our team is effectively overhauling every aspect of the Association with an eye to the future to make certain we continue to provide members with best-in-class resources, business insight, and support to help them grow and thrive.”

Strength Through Global Collaboration

As a worldwide leader, the Association collaborates closely with international toy associations, foreign governments, and national standards bodies to advance toy safety and align global standards. The organization sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for both the International Council of Toy Industries and the International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s ASTM F963 toy safety standard – one of the most respected and strictest toy safety standards in the world.

Digital and Workspace Innovation

The Toy Association will soon relaunch its digital presence with a new mobile-first website. It opens for business today in its brand-new Manhattan headquarters designed by renowned architects HLW International to reflect the energy, creativity, and excitement of the toy and play community.  The Association’s advocacy office in Washington, DC relocated last month to a new office space that reflects the organization’s innovative approach to business.

About The Toy Association     www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org  / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $80.25 billion, and its 950+ members drive the annual $26 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.

As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned North American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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