President’s Letter – October 18, 2011: Preparing for the Season

While our toy retailers are hiring added sales staff and stocking their shelves for the 2011 holiday season, we here at TIA we are making our own holiday season preparations.

Each year at this time we encounter a rash of allegations about toy safety.  Often these allegations are based on mistakes of fact, misidentification of products, or – in a few cases – misuse of the season for self-interested objectives.

We put substantial effort into preparing in advance our responses to these attacks.   Our experience in prior seasons enables us to anticipate with some accuracy the areas in which allegations will be made despite a lack of supporting evidence. 

Occasionally a new issue will be raised, and we are always clear that we want to hear about any genuine safety issues that might endanger children.  But if such issues exist, we want to hear about them whenever they emerge and not just when it serves the publicity ends of self-styled consumer advocates.  Withholding information about safety hazards for self-interested objectives seems to me a violation of the public trust. 

TIA positions itself at the front lines to respond to false accusations with verified facts and we commit ourselves to setting the record straight. Any toy company that finds itself the target of one of these malevolent campaigns can call upon TIA and its resources for help.

The toy industry is the true protector of children’s safety when using our products.  We go to extraordinary lengths to assure that we have identified hazards, established standards to eliminate them and assure that our products meet the standards.  Our interest is truly in the safety of the children who play with our products. 

We are hearing good things about the upcoming season and hope all of you prosper.

Warm regards,

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Carter Keithley
ckeithley@toyassociation.org