Top Secret Toys Bring Must See Toys to Astra Marketplace

Retailers and specialty toy buyers are taking a road trip to St. Louis in June for ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy. They call it a “big toy family reunion” featuring the best and brightest in products, ideas and connections. One connection not to miss is the Rehkemper family business, Top Secret Toys, at Booth 2927. As inventors, the Rehkempers’ firm created GigaPets back in the 90’s and is excited to unveil the newest addition to the modern collection with the most advanced GigaPet yet, Bit Bunnies. This remarkable GigaPet is just one of the many Top Secret Toys to be unveiled at Marketplace.

Top Toy Trends From The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (Astra) To Kick Off 2024

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (Astra), composed of local retailers, manufacturers, Certified Play Experts, and toy industry professionals, surveyed a group of independently owned retailers about the toy trends they’re seeing so far for 2024. Based on their insight… it’s safe to say – that it will be a very fun year! “Our small retailers are on the front lines with consumers, having conversations, and seeing first hand what’s hot every day,” said Sue Warfield, President, Astra.“ They are the perfect resource to help us determine trends for the first part of 2024 and this year they have not disappointed. We’re excited to see these trends and watch as what’s hot continues to evolve throughout the year.”

PlanToys Cheese and Charcuterie Board Wins 2023 ASTRA Play Awards for the Eco Category

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.

PlanToys Named Winner of the 2023 ASTRA Excellence Awards for Manufacturer of the Year

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. 

Top Toy Trends From ASTRA 2023 Marketplace & Academy Revealed

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.

American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) Announces 2023 ASTRA Play Award Winners

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 Debuts at 2023 ASTRA

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 Pals Kick Off ASTRA Marketplace & Academy with New Products

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.

ASTRA Reveals Brand New Logo

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.