ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, announced at ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Columbus, OH, that PlanToys, the global leader in sustainable toy manufacturing, has won the Eco category for the ASTRA Play Awards with their Cheese & Charcuterie Board set. The award program is one of the few award programs in the industry that has toy retailers do all the voting to select its winners based on criteria including toy newness, uniqueness, availability, and significance to the industry.
ASTRA, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, announced that PlanToys, the global leader in sustainable toy manufacturing, has been named the winner of the 2023 ASTRA Excellence Awards for Manufacturer of the Year. The award program is the only one designed to recognize and honor outstanding contributions made by members of the specialty toy industry.
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) just wrapped up their 2023 Marketplace & Academy show in Columbus, OH, where thousands of new toys were featured, from plush to science kits to puzzles to toys you didn’t know your kids needed, but now can’t live without! The ASTRA team, composed of ASTRA staff, small retailers and Certified Play Experts, scoured the floor and spoke with members to discover the top trends in the industry.
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), has officially announced the winners of its coveted ASTRA Play Awards at their annual Marketplace & Academy event in Columbus, OH. The renowned program is the only one of its kind where independent and neighborhood specialty toy retailers vote to select the products that promote happy and healthy play in childhood and beyond! This year, 14 winners were chosen across a wide range of categories.
Intersell, the New Jersey-based brand behind the wildly successful KickerBall showcased at ASTRA in booth #951 in Columbus OH, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Released in 2018 KickerBall has helped soccer fans and athletes master their skill with its unique and revolutionary design and aerodynamic materials. The special panels channel air in ways a standard soccer ball can’t, allowing the KickerBall to swerve, bend and curve with ease. With an impressive celebrity fan base including some of the world’s greatest soccer players, Kickerball has sold over 2 million units globally, amassed over 1 billion views on YouTube and nearly 100 million on TikTok.
Glo, the company behind the award-winning sensory water toys, Glo Pals, is refreshing their water-activated light-up toys and expanding their product offerings this summer. The Glo Pal characters, Alex, Blair, Lumi, Pippa and Sammy have evolved, with new designs and personalities. Additionally, two new innovative sensory products, Pick Up Pals and Sensory Jar, are joining the line-up to expand play patterns beyond bath time.
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has just announced a bold new logo for their organization. Ahead of their trailblazing new endeavor, the Toy Boat, on February 20-24, ASTRA has revamped its logo and restated its vision statement as they move forward into a new toy landscape. Registration for the Toy Boat can be found here.
During November 2022, hundreds of retailers across the United States will be celebrating Neighborhood Toy Store Month, an expanded version of Neighborhood Toy Store Day. Spearheaded by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), the month-long event asks shoppers to remember the neighborhood toy stores in their communities as they kick off the holiday shopping season. Aligned with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, participating retailers offer shoppers discounts, special events and hands-on experiences with children’s toys throughout the month.
On Thursday, October 27, 2022, the biggest names in specialty games and crafts will be training retailers and their staff at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA. Due to the success of the Portland, OR and Long Beach, CA Game and Kit days, ASTRA thought it would be a great idea to have one on the East Coast. The Mass Mutual Center is centrally located for easy access from all the New England States as well as Upstate, NY. A knowledgeable staff helps increase retail sales – why not have fun at the same time?