ASTRA to Host September Workshop on Play, Child Development
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) will offer a two-day, in-person, hands-on workshop in September as part of its Certified Play Expert program, a professional education initiative to help toy industry retailers, sales representatives, and manufacturers strengthen their businesses through increasing their knowledge about play and child development.
“Parents and other toy buyers depend on the specialty toy industry for toys that are loads of fun for kids, and promote healthy, developmentally-appropriate play at the same time,” says Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA. “Becoming well-versed in the art and science of play is an important business strategy that leads to differentiating your products or your store from the competition and builds trust with your customers. Earning the ASTRA Certified Play Expert credential will deepen your knowledge about child development and the importance of play.”
The two-day workshop will be held in Chicago on September 14–15, 2017. Participants will get top-quality, research-based instruction in several core areas, including: theories of child development, characteristics of major developmental stages, types of play and their benefits, advocating for play, and making sense of play. Information about the program, how to register, and deadlines for participation is available here.
Amazon Rolls Out Instant Pickup
Amazon has launched Instant Pickup, a free service offering Prime and Prime Student members a curated selection of daily essentials available for pickup in two minutes or less at five of Amazon’s fully staffed pickup locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, and College Park, Md. Items available with Instant Pickup include snacks, drinks, and electronics as well as some of Amazon’s most popular devices.
“Instant Pickup is another way Amazon is making life more convenient for Prime members,” says Ripley MacDonald, director, student programs, Amazon. “As shopping behaviors continue to evolve, customers consistently tell us that they want items even faster. Whether it’s a snack on-the-go, replacing a lost phone charger in the middle of a hectic day or adding Alexa to your life with an Echo, Instant Pickup saves Prime members time. While Instant Pickup is available at select pickup locations today, we’re excited about bringing this experience to more customers soon.”
With Instant Pickup, Prime and Prime Student members can use the Amazon app to shop hundreds of need-it-now items such as food, cold drinks, personal care items, technology essentials, and Amazon devices such as the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and a selection of Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. Prime members can browse the selection, place an order—even add last-minute items to an online order— and pick it up from a self-service locker all within two minutes or less.
Instant Pickup will be available at more locations in the coming months. Amazon operates a total of 22 staffed pickup locations on or near college campuses across the country. All Amazon customers can ship their orders to a pickup location, and Prime members receive Free Same-Day and One-Day delivery on millions of items.
For more information about Instant Pickup, visit www.amazon.com/InstantPickup.
Nominations Open for 14th Annual Women in Toys Wonder Women Awards
Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) announced today that nominations are now open for the 14th Annual Wonder Women Awards, which honor top female thought leaders, executives, entrepreneurs and other changemakers whose work or product has made a positive impact in toys, licensing and entertainment. Honorees will be celebrated at the annual Gala on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, during New York International Toy Fair.
“This special event brings together industry leaders from around the world to shine the spotlight on award winners and nominees. It’s a night filled with celebration, gourmet fare and lots of fun surprises,” says Janice Ross, Wonder Woman Gala co-chair and head of global licensing at American Greetings Entertainment.
Genna Rosenberg, Wonder Woman Gala Co-Chair and Founder at GennComm adds, “It’s an honor to be a part of this event that recognizes such amazing women, connects colleagues, and showcases the remarkable women in our industry.”
Categories for the Wonder Woman Awards include:
- Inventor/Creator: Recognizes an individual for their excellence in product or property design including creativity, originality and iconic value, and who has made a significant contribution to innovation in the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries.
- Licensing: Recognizes an individual who is an industry innovator exhibiting creative ways to bring brands to life with consumers through partnerships, curated retail programs and both traditional and non-traditional distribution channels. This award presented in association with LIMA and UBM.
- Manufacturing: Recognizes an individual who has demonstrated industry leadership to develop and launch a new product, modify an existing product, or develop a business process that dramatically improves how a product is delivered. This award presented in association with the Toy Association.
- Marketing: Recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in marketing a brand which has clearly excelled in performance leadership, delivering value for consumers and resulting in commercial success.
- PR: Recognizes an individual who has achieved outstanding, proven results that marketing communications have had on consumer engagement and improved performance of a brand – including strategy, creativity, branded content, communications effect, and ROI.
- Rising Star: Recognizes an individual whose contributions have impacted the toy, licensing or entertainment industry during the first 5-10 years of her career, has demonstrated significant promise as an emerging leader, and exhibits an ingenuity of thought with potential for substantial and lasting influence on the industry.
- Retailer: Recognizes an individual who is committed to excellence in their stores, demonstrates exemplary service to the industry and to their communities, provides an exceptional customer experience, and embraces innovation.
- Sales: Recognizes an individual who demonstrates excellence in their role as a senior sales professional, cultivates industry growth by providing best-in-class business solutions, and whose exceptional leadership has had a critical impact in retaining or growing revenue.
- Lifetime Achievement: Recognizes an industry thought leader who personifies innovative and visionary leadership, and has made significant contributions to toys, licensing or entertainment during a career spanning at least 25 years. Candidate has served as a role model or mentor with a strong commitment to the advancement of women, making a lasting impact on the industry at large.
- Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award: Established with the support of Tech4Kids, this award recognizes outstanding industry mentors credited by their peers for providing exceptional contributions, education, advice and support, and the impact they have had on the professional development and career advancement for those individuals. The Award was created in honor of Elise Lachowyn, a beloved leader, mentor and friend to many in the toy industry.
Nominations are open until October 31, 2017. Those wishing to nominate a Wonder Woman are not required to be a WIT members. However, a nominee must be a WIT member in good standing, or join WIT to be eligible to win.
To nominate a Wonder Woman, please visit www.womenintoys.com. The Wonder Women Awards Selection Committee and WIT Board of Directors will review all nominees and select finalists in each category. Voting will be open to all members, board members, and advisory board.
Nominations fee schedule and timelines are as follows:
Nominations Fee Schedule
- $75 – June 1 through August 31
- $100 – September 1 through October 31
- June 1 – Nominations Open
- October 31 – Nominations Close
- November 21 – Final Nominees Announced; Voting Begins
- December 19 – Voting Closes
- February 1 – Award Finalists Announced
Nickelodeon Launches New Pro-Social Initiative
As part of Nickelodeon’s commitment to recognize real kids who are making a difference in the world, the network is launching the Nickelodeon HALO Movement, a new year-round pro-social initiative celebrating kids who are helping and leading others (HALO). Beginning this month, Nickelodeon is teaming up with longstanding volunteer partners Key Club and DoSomething.org to mobilize kids to participate in service projects, for the opportunity to receive seed grants or scholarship funds for school. WeHALO.com provides information on how to participate in the Nickelodeon HALO Movement and apply for HALO grants through Key Club and DoSomething.org.
As part of the Nickelodeon HALO Movement, Key Club, a student-led volunteer organization sponsored by Kiwanis International, will provide its members with opportunities to participate in service projects that can be submitted for a chance to receive seed grants to further support their cause. DoSomething.org, a tech platform for young people and social change, will select monthly scholarship winners who participate in and complete their campaigns.
On WeHALO.com, the digital hub for the Nickelodeon HALO Movement, users can submit videos, photos or notes showing how they are helping and leading others, for the opportunity to be featured on the site. WeHALO.com also provides tips and information on ways to get involved in the community and allows users to share their HALO moments using #WeHALO.
The Nickelodeon HALO Movement builds on the HALO Awards, an annual concert event honoring young community leaders, and The HALO Effect, the 2016 docu-series that gave viewers an in-depth look into the inspirational stories of teens who are eager to share the issues important to them.