President’s Letter – June 28, 2011: Global Vision - Global Scope

According to the latest report from The NPD Group, 2010 worldwide toy sales grew 5% over the previous year to $83.3 Billion.   This is fantastic news for the industry and a clear indication that our businesses are both global in scope and also growing!

TIA continues to be at the leading edge of toy issues at the global level. 

Twenty-five years ago we helped to form the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI), the vehicle associations serving the global toy industry now rely upon to build relationships, exchange information, coordinate activities and reproduce successful programs from one nation to another.  Though ICTI has no policy-making authority, it provided the platform for the development of the toy industry’s ground-breaking initiative for ethical manufacturing: the ICTI CARE Process.   Today, ICTI consists of 20 national toy association members.  Our own Arnie Rubin (Funrise) serves as its president and TIA serves as the administrating organization.  I encourage you to take a look at the organization’s website (www.toy-icti.org) to learn more.

But the agenda of international activities in which TIA is involved has grown far beyond ICTI.  Within the past year we have been actively engaged in issues such as:

  • APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Toy Safety Standards Initiative
  • United Nations Chemicals in Products Regulation Proposals
  • Canadian Toy Safety Regulation Proposals
  • Emerging Toy Safety Requirements in India and Argentina
  • Gulf States Conformity Assessment Policy Development
  • China Ministry of Culture Policies on Entertainment & Toy Licensing
  • IPR protection initiatives

Recently, we hosted a meeting of the International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable in Los Angeles where several of the world’s largest toy companies were represented. 

Many of the issues that we are addressing at the international level are also directly affecting the U.S. domestic toy industry at either the U.S. federal or state levels, if not both.   “Green chemistry” and “extended producer responsibility,” for example, were two of the key issues that were raised with California legislators during TIA’s recent “Toy Day” in Sacramento.  This event, our first in the state, was a huge success and laid the groundwork for continued activity to avoid regulatory proposals that often issue from that and other western states.  As we prepare for our next Washington, DC Fly-In in November 2011, we remain intimately involved in proposals to amend the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and monitor other federal activities, including FTC proposals that could affect how toy companies market their products to children. 

TIA has been transformed over the past four years into a powerful advocacy organization for the U.S. toy industry domestically and globally.  We extend our thanks to all of TIA’s members for your efforts, participation and steadfast support. 

Warm regards,

Image

Carter Keithley
ckeithley@toyassociation.org