aNb Media News, August 28, 2018

ASTRA to Offer Two-Day Workshop In September

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today that it 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,” noted 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 Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, September 15, 2018 and Sunday, September 16, 2018. 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 and advocating for play. Information about the program, how to register, and deadlines for participation is available here.

First-Time Donor Party City Steps Up in Toy Foundation Summer Toy Drive

Underprivileged youth and teens were gifted with new toys this summer thanks to Party City’s donation of 150,000 items to The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) Summer Toy Drive.

Items including Hello Kitty, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Despicable Me puzzle erasers, as well as pencil cases and plush, were generously provided by the first-time donor to TTF’s Toy Bank. Party City’s items were delivered to Braddock Redux, a not-for-profit that serves, supports, and mentors local youth in Braddock, PA. The organization’s mission is to mobilize teens and young adults from both within and outside the community for the overall betterment of the Braddock area through employment and training opportunities, art initiatives, green initiatives, the creative re-use of existing structures, and other opportunities that arise.

“We are grateful to receive this generous donation from our new donor, Party City,” said Jean Butler, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “This donation will make play possible for youth and teens who otherwise may not have access to the ‘tools of play’ due to circumstances beyond their control. We appreciate Party City’s generosity and look forward to building our partnership with them in the future!”

Added Bill Furtkevic, vice president of marketing at Party City: “At Party City, we are committed to caring for our communities by working together with like-minded partners, such as The Toy Foundation. Our philanthropic efforts focus on bettering the lives of children in both our own backyard and around the globe, and we are proud to be able to help bring a smile and small celebration to those in need through this great organization.”

The Toy Bank is generously stocked by manufacturers, retailers, and distributors throughout the year, and makes play possible for families living in poverty, foster children, military families, kids undergoing medical treatments, children with special needs, and many others. The Toy Foundation collects millions of toys and distributes them to a network of more than 1,000 charities across the nation and around the globe. The Toy Foundation’s Summer Toy Drive is ongoing through Labor Day weekend. Visit to donate.

wit wonder women awards 2019Nominations Now Open for Women in Toys 2019 Wonder Women Awards

Nominations are now open through October 31 for the 2019 Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) Wonder Women Awards.

The annual WIT Wonder Women Awards honors outstanding women for their achievements and accomplishments, and their commitment to enriching their workplaces and our industry.

Nominate a colleague, friend, yourself, or any woman who has made an impact in toys, licensing or entertainment for this year’s categories: Creator/Inventor, Licensing, Manufacturing, Marketing/PR, Sales, Social Responsibility, and Rising Star.

Finalists will be announced in late November will be determined by a vote of the WIT Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Chapter Chairs, and the WIT Nominations Committee, based on the candidate’s achievements and accomplishments. Click here for additional guidelines.

Final voting for the winners will begin in December, conducted by WIT members, the Board of Directors, the Advisory Board, and key industry influencers. Winners will be announced at the Wonder Women Awards Gala on Sunday, February 17, 2019.

For more information on the nomination process and criteria, as well as how to submit a nominee for consideration, click here.  You may also purchase your tickets to the 2019 Wonder Women Awards Gala.

Voting is Open for Toy Industry Hall of Fame Posthumous Inductees

Toy Association members are invited to cast their votes for the posthumous inductees into the 2019 Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Voting is open through Monday, September 24.

Ballots have been emailed to all eligible voters; to request a link to the ballot, email Akshata Hase.

Candidates for posthumous induction include:

Harvey Greenfield – former chairman of the Board, Commonwealth Toys & Novelty Co. Inc.
Harry Kislevitz – founder, Colorforms Corporation
Fred Kort – founder, Imperial Toy Company
Joe Mendelsohn – former president, Kenner Products

The living inductees for the Toy Industry Hall of Fame will be Brian Goldner (chairman and CEO, Hasbro) and Stan Lee (former chairman, Marvel Comics). The Toy Industry Hall of Fame Committee carried forward both Goldner and Lee from the 2018 planned inductees.

The Toy Industry Hall of Fame was established in 1984 to recognize people – from toy inventors to toy retailers – who made significant contributions to toys and play. The opportunity to honor these individuals is a special tradition for The Toy Association and its members. The posthumous candidates were chosen from a slate of highly qualified nominees submitted for consideration by members of the Association’s Hall of Fame Committee.

Designated points of contact at Toy Association member companies, former Hall of Fame inductees, and recent Toy Association Board Members are invited to rank their choices in the posthumous category. In this defined pool of respondents, no single organization shall have more than one vote.

The chosen 2019 inductees will be announced in November. The Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction will take place during the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.

More information on the candidates is available online.