By Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, The Toy Association
As always, and especially in trying times, the entire team at The Toy Association and our Board of Directors is committed to helping toy companies protect and grow their businesses. As such, we have been diligently working to help companies that are impacted navigate the Toys“R”Us (TRU) bankruptcy and liquidation, with a number of resources and special calls during which members can ask questions of experts and get up-to-the-minute information and legal guidance. It’s essential to help the toy community navigate both the bankruptcy process and the next 18 to 24 months as the industry, the marketplace, and consumers all establish new patterns.
Last week, we held a special “town hall” call with our members, who heard from Rick Locker, The Toy Association’s legal counsel, and Jason Torf, a bankruptcy attorney and representative of several unsecured creditors in the TRU case. If you weren’t able to participate, a recording of the call is available on our website. There is an important follow-up call taking place this Friday, March 30 at 11 a.m. (Eastern). During this discussion, legal counsel and financial consultants to the official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee (UCC) will share their insights with members impacted by the bankruptcy and they seek to gather a list of member questions and concerns that can be raised in future hearings. Please try to participate and if you can’t make it – it will also be recorded and available on our website early next week.
The Toy Association is also in support of Member Motions seeking full payment of all Administrative trade claims, so please reach out if your company needs our help. Likewise, we are providing regular updates on the special Toys“R”Us Bankruptcy Information resource page on our website. Our Executive Committee is committed to securing any additional resources needed to support members, including a Bankruptcy Counsel and financial advisors, while in the meantime, members are encouraged to contact Paul Vitale and Rick Locker with any questions. I also encourage everyone to watch for announcements in Toy News Tuesday, and for our members to keep their eyes open for important Member Alerts via email.
These are challenging times, from dealing with the TRU bankruptcy, to supporting the #SaveToysRUs movement, to aggressively pushing back on the potential of tariffs on toys made in China. Yet there are a few things we can be certain about: the birth rate will be unaffected, kids will celebrate birthdays, Christmas is still on the calendar, toys bring joy, and the many developmental benefits of childhood play are proven facts.
Toymakers are an innovative sort and I am confident that together we can and will adjust to marketplace realities.