Contact:  Adrienne Citrin, TIA
646.520.4863

New Edition of ASTM F963 Toy Safety Standard Published Today

180-day Clock Starts for Transition to New Edition under the CPSIA

New York, NY | February 17, 2009 – A new edition of the Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, ASTM F963-2008, has been published today by ASTM International.   This widely used toy safety standard includes guidelines and test methods to protect children from a wide range of potential hazards, including lead exposure, choking, and sharp edges.  Changes included in the new edition include new safety guidelines for magnetic components in toys and a number of other potential hazards.

Already widely used by the industry, under the terms of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) F963 became a federally mandated safety specification on February 10, 2009.   

Under the law, the 2007 edition of the standard is still mandatory.  In a letter sent today to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, ASTM International – the standard developing organization responsible for ongoing maintenance of the specification – informed the agency of the new edition.  

If the CPSC agrees that the revisions improve safety, there will be a six month window before the new standard goes into effect under the law. 

“This will give industry an opportunity to become familiar with updates from the previous edition,” explained Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of safety standards and regulatory affairs.

According to ASTM, enhancements and additions now approved for F963 include the following:

  • Magnets — (enhancement) Revisions account for incidents of ingestion due to magnetic components that were small parts of a toy and to reflect the age of children involved in the incidents. The section on magnets now also includes special use and abuse requirements to avoid magnets from detaching from components during play.

  • Acoustics — (enhancement) Requirements to this section were changed to provide greater clarity. The revisions to this section also further harmonization between F963 and the European toy standard, EN71-1.

  • Yo-Yo Tether Toys — (addition) Requirements have been added to address potential strangulation hazards associated with yo-yo elastic tether toys intended for children three years of age or older. 

  • Impaction hazards — (enhancement) A new section providing impaction hazard requirements for toys intended for children up to the age of 48 months has been added. Diagrams of spherical and hemispherical ends were also added. 

  • Flammability — (enhancement) Revision establishes the protocol and general criteria for flammability testing of solids and soft toys in conformance with the requirements of 16CFR 1500.3(c)(6)(vi).

Other revised areas of the standard include sections on jaw entrapment; packaging film/age requirements as they pertain to use and abuse testing; and folding mechanisms and hinges.

The standard does not affect the limits for lead or phthalates as described in the CPSIA.

“Congressional recognition of ASTM 963 signifies the thoroughness of the standard and the role of ASTM in toy safety,” said Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of safety standards and regulatory affairs.  “TIA is pleased to introduce this updated version of the standard to our constituents and encourage all companies in the toy industry – manufacturers and retailers – to get involved in the standards process.”

ASTM F963 is maintained by ASTM International Committee F15, Consumer Products and its Subcommittee on Toy Safety.  The subcommittee is comprised of technical experts from academia, consumer groups, industry and government who work together to review and update the standard on a regular basis; it is chaired by Joan Lawrence. 

Copies of the standard are available in electronic format or hard copy from ASTM International.

About TIA
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing over 500 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales.  Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play.  

  

ASTM International Approves Guidelines Regulating Cadmium in Children’s Jewelry

November 10, 2011 | ASTM International has approved a new standard regulating cadmium levels in children’s jewelry for sale in the United States, according to a November 10 press release issued by ASTM  International.

Designed by a children’s jewelry subcommittee convened under the banner of ASTM International, “Specification for Consumer Product Safety for Children’s Jewelry” (ASTM F2923) aims to replace differing state-by-state regulations with a unified standard and provide guidance to the jewelry industry.

“ASTM F2923 is the cornerstone for assuring consumers that children’s jewelry has been tested and proven to conform to safe manufacturing standards,” Brent Cleaveland, chairman of the subcommittee, stated in the press release. “The next step is to educate our state and federal legislators that this standard exists and should be used to promote harmonization.”

Under the standard, children’s jewelry (defined as items “primarily intended” for children 12 and under) will be lab tested to see if more than 0.03 percent cadmium is contained within. Items failing the total content test will either be scrapped or tested further to gauge the solubility and potential exposure to cadmium if the items were to be ingested (for small items) or licked (for larger items that could not be swallowed).

The concern over cadmium in children’s jewelry arose out of a 2010 Associated Press story which reported elevated cadmium levels in children’s jewelry items found in some stores. Certain media reports erroneously referred to these items as “toys” but a review of toys on the market conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) confirmed that toys do not pose a risk from cadmium.

“There is a longstanding standard that limits accessible cadmium and other heavy metals in the surface coatings of toys,” said Joan Lawrence, VP of standards and government affairs at the Toy Industry Association (TIA).  “While there have been reported issues regarding the presence of cadmium in children’s jewelry products, no such issues have been identified in toys,” Lawrence added, underscoring the effectiveness of the existing toy standard.

The new ASTM standard for children’s jewelry includes requirements to address other potential hazards, some modeled after the existing ASTM F963 standard for toys. “We congratulate and applaud our colleagues who participated in the development of this children’s jewelry standard,” said Lawrence. “Their efforts to ensure the safety of these products – and their dedication to develop a standard in short order – is to be commended.”

 

Toy Industry Association Joins The Sustainability Consortium

January 31, 2012 | The Toy Industry Association (TIA), the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, has announced its membership with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), an independent organization of diverse global participants working to design and implement credible, transparent and scalable science-based measurement and reporting systems accessible for all producers and users of consumer products.

TIA has long-considered environmental sustainability to be a top industry priority. The Association’s Environmental Mission Statement, approved in 1999, confirms the commitment of TIA’s members to protecting the environment and their consideration of the environmental impact of their products and activities while continuing to provide safe, quality merchandise that meets customer and consumer needs. TIA's Environmental Sustainability Committee has worked collaboratively with NGOs and retailers to help protect the environment by addressing the environmental aspects of products in order to reduce waste and promote recycling.

As part of the Consortium’s Toy Sector Working Group, the Association will work alongside several of its member companies and other toy industry stakeholders, including Disney and Walmart, to help advance sustainable developments. The toy industry will also benefit from Consortium research activities that facilitate understanding and informed decision-making among consumer, supply chain, scientific and regulatory communities.

During a meeting in Hong Kong in early January, Toy Sector Working Group members reviewed the industry’s sustainability developments and efforts, how these efforts are being used in practice today, and expectations of where further alignment may be required. The meeting concluded with a development of action plans and a proposed roadmap of activities to address common issues spanning the product life cycle.

“As part of the Toy Sector Working Group, we plan to explore several areas from plant-based plastics to packaging reduction,” said Alan Kaufman, SVP of Technical Affairs at TIA. “TIA will keep our members updated and represent our industry in this prestigious multi-stakeholder forum.  We also look forward to working alongside TIA member organizations as co-members of the Working Group.”

TIF Welcomes New Toy Bank Contributor in March

The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) thanks 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. for their first-ever donation to The Toy Bank in March 2010!  4Kids Entertainment generously contributed hundreds of trading card game sets and accessories to The Toy Bank in support of Play Comforts, TIF’s national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America serving military families.

All Toy Bank donors are eligible for a tax deduction, have their company name listed on the TIF website, Toy Bank website, TIF Annual Report, and TOTY Tribute Book, and receive a Toy Bank “Official Contributor” image for use on their company website.  TIF will post a direct link in the Foundation’s online donor listings for Toy Bank donors who post this image on their company websites.

For more information about making a product donation or a financial contribution in support of this program, please visit www.toyindustryfoundation.org or contact Amanda McDorman at 646-520-4878.  

Toy Fair 2012 Educational and Networking Opportunities

January 3, 2012 | The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) American International Toy Fair is a little over a month away … and the educational seminars taking place once again at this year’s show will serve to enhance the learning experience of every attendee.

A variety of sessions will focus on the distinct needs of Toy Fair audiences, including independent and mass retailers, the creative community, safety & compliance experts, craft & hobby professionals, importers, exporters and more.  For up to the minute session descriptions, presenter details, and scheduling visit the Toy Fair website or check the on-site signage.

  • Saturday, February 11

    First-Time Exhibitor Orientation
    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Room 1C03, Level 1

    This session is designed to provide guidance to new exhibitors and answer any last minute questions or concerns about participating in the show. This session will also include a tour of the Javits Center.
  • Sunday, February 12

    TIA’s Independent Thinking presents:  “Guerilla Marketing: Free and Low Cost Marketing Ideas to Drive More Traffic and Profits to Your Store”
    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Presented by Patricia Norins (Publisher, Specialty Retail Report, GIFT SHOP magazine & GREENRetailer), this fast-paced session will share inexpensive, innovative and unbelievably effective grassroots marketing strategies.  Norins will discuss 50+ marketing ideas that you can put to work right away to build stronger relationships with your customers and to increase store traffic and sell more products.
  • Monday, February 13

    A Guide to Exporting
    3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    This session will be presented by Anne S. Evans, District Director, U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.
  • Tuesday, February 14

    Toy Safety Compliance Update
    9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Special Events Hall 1D, Level 1

    Expanding on the format of recent years, this year’s in-depth, three-hour session will include presentations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and provide detailed information on toy safety standards, laws, and compliance requirements in the U.S. and abroad. The presentation is free to TIA members; the non-member fee is $149.

    TIA’s Independent Thinking presents: “3 Secrets to Increasing Retails Sales & Profits in 30 Days”
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
     
    This session will be presented by Cathy Donovan Wagner, founder of RETAILMavens.com, a company devoted to teaching independent and specialty retailers how to increase their profits. With more than 20 years of experience in retail as both an owner and a consultant, Wagner will use her unique position of having worked on both sides of the counter to share her working knowledge of what a store needs to be successful.

Toy Fair 2012 will take place February 12-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Visit ToyFairNY.com or contact info@toyassociation.org for more information.

Save the Date for ToyDesignCon 2012: Informing and Inspiring Toy and Game Designers

March 13, 2012 | Toy Industry Association and The Strong, home of the National Museum of Play, invite toy and game designers to come together for a three-day “play date” this June at the world’s most comprehensive historical collection of toys and games.

From June 24th through  June 26th, ToyDesignCon 2012: Informing and Inspiring Toy and Game Designers will bring creative professionals from TIA member companies to The Strong in Rochester, NY for a unique design conference that will feature the history of toy design, offer new ways to innovate, and provide updates on emerging regulations and technology affecting current and future toy design.

Toy designers, design teams and inventors from TIA member companies who come to this playful, interactive conference will have access to The Strong’s vast resources – including the musem and its play areas and observation rooms; library and archives of play; and world-renowned toy collections.

“TIA is pleased to partner with The Strong to host this inaugural conference in support of TIA's toy designer and inventor community,” said TIA president Carter Keithley. “We look forward to a fun-filled event that we hope will stimulate fresh design ideas by taking inspiration from the past and providing information for the future.”

More information will be available in the Events section of the TIA website in the near future.

TIA Visits the Madame Alexander Doll Company

TIA President Carter Keithley talks with Gale Jarvis, President of the Madame Alexander Doll Company. A longtime TIA member company (they first joined Toy Manufacturers of America back in 1933!), Madame Alexander produces a complete line from high fashion dolls for the discriminating collector to play dolls for children. Ms. Jarvis talks about the origins of the company, her favorite dolls, and her vision for extending the original values of Madame Alexander to new generations through the use of contemporary characters and modern materials. 

Tenenbaum Becomes New CPSC Chair Following Unanimous Vote of Senate

Inez Tenenbaum, former South Carolina Superintendent of Education, was confirmed Friday, June 19, to serve as chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate came three days after her confirmation hearing. She started her four-year term on Monday, June 22, and is expected to be sworn in by President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden later this week.

“I will ensure that the Commission is operated in an open, transparent, and collaborative way and in a manner worthy of the American people. As the new Chairman, I will reassure America's families that their government can and will protect them from unknown or unforeseen dangers in the products they use,” Tenenbaum told the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in her prepared remarks.

One of her first priorities will be issuing clear guidance on implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

“Not only do I have the mandate to enforce the law, I'll be building the agency so we can meet the changes of a global economy with the imports we receive,” she said.

“I'm confident she has the determination and skills to lead this important commission,” said Senator Jim DeMint, who defeated Tenenbaum, a Democrat, in their 2004 Senate election.

TIF Welcomes New Toy Bank Contributors

March 26, 2012 | The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF), the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, thanks the following 76 companies for their first-ever donation to The Toy Bank in February and March 2012.

>>>> VIEW NEW FEBRUARY/MARCH DONORS HERE <<<<

The majority of new donors gave their first-ever donation during The Toy Bank collection at the close of Toy Fair 2012, when a record-breaking 32,330 toys, games and plush were donated by more than 200 companies.

Toys donated to The Toy Bank support TIF’s partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Military Services and My Stuff Bags Foundation. Toys are also distributed to charities in Canada and across the U.S. through Toy Bank partner Kids in Distressed Situations.

All Toy Bank donors have their company name listed on the TIF website, TIF Annual Report, and TOTY Tribute Book, and may request an official Toy Bank Supporter badge for use on their company website. 

For more information about making a product donation or to request the Toy Bank Supporter badge, please contact Foundation Coordinator Melissa Kipp at 646-520-4878 or mkipp@toyindustryfoundation.org.

Reminder: Toy Industry Compensation and Benefits Survey

April 30, 2012 | The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is reminding both TIA member and non-member companies engaged in the manufacture, importing and distribution of toys in the United States and Canada to complete the 2012 Toy Industry Compensation & Benefits Survey issued earlier this month. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, May 11th.

Created by TIA in partnership with Industry Insights, Inc., it is the first toy industry survey of its kind to be issued since 2002-2003. Survey results will allow toy companies to compare the compensation and benefit offerings for more than 70 toy industry position titles.

Toy company executives and/or their HR designees will have the option of completing the survey online or via hard copy. Invitations were sent to TIA member contacts via e-mail and in print form the week of April 10th; those who did not receive a copy of the survey and would like one are encouraged to contact the TIA Communications Department. All responses will be returned directly to the research firm where they will be kept in strict confidence; no individual company responses will be shared with TIA or any other person or organization.

Once the survey results have been analyzed, tabulated and compiled, TIA members, regardless of whether they participated in the survey, will be eligible to receive complimentary access to:

  • Final industry-wide report – comparative compensation and benefits information based on relevant data aggregates;
  • 24/7 access to an online searchable results tool – allows for multi-filtering of data aggregates in the report;
  • Company Compensation Report (CCR) (for survey participants only) – your company’s confidential reported figures featured alongside the appropriate industry comparatives

Non-members who did not partake in the survey may purchase a copy of the results and access to the online searchable results tool for $695; non-member survey participants may purchase the summary document, online searchable results tool and the confidential, individualized report for $495.

A TIA webinar explaining the results of the survey will be held in June. Questions or requests for additional information may be directed to TIA’sStacy Leistner.

U.S. Department of Commerce Course to Provide Businesses, Individuals with Export Tips

June 3, 2011 | Export University, a training program affiliated with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is holding a full-day educational session in New York City on June 14, 2011, ideal for marketing and sales management and staff, import/export operations personnel and anyone with a responsibility for import/export functions.

“Export 101 – Introduction to Exporting,” lead by the New York U.S. Export Assistance Center in collaboration with the New York District Export Council, will help attendees learn the ropes of exporting; understand the rules of export licensing; and experience a day of executive-level pragmatic presentations from experts in the field of international business. The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Varick Street Incubator, NYU-POLY.

Agenda topics include:

  • Organizing for Export & Export Procedures
  • Export Regulations Overview
  • Considerations for Managing International Sales Orders
  • International Logistics
  • Assessing Risk & Opportunity
  • Managing Payment Risk and Financing the Sale

Event speakers include (more to be added):

  • Ryan Hollowell, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Services, NYC
  • Bruce Niswander, Director, NYU-POLY Centers for Entrepreneurship
  • Charles Dugan, Vice President, Global Trade Finance, TDBank, New York
  • Joseph Schoonmaker, Altus Multinational Group, LLC, New York
  • Kelly Raia, Senior Consultant and Trainer, American River International
  • Melvin S. Schwechter, Dewey & LeBoeuf

In preparation for the course, attendees are encouraged to conduct an online self-assessment of readiness for exporting. Registration can be completed online; for more information, please contact Ryan Hallowell.

Export University presents courses on exporting designed to help new-to-export U.S. companies begin an export initiative and gain skills and innovation in international sales. Presenters are international trade practitioners that are associated with the New York District Export Council, a group of private-sector individuals appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to provide mentoring on exporting. They will present the course material drawing from their extensive experience in international trade.

Attendees will receive a certificate following completion of this course.

Fall Toy Preview Total Buyer Attendance Grows by 3%; Global Participation Jumps Nearly 10%

October 8, 2012 | The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Fall Toy Preview 2012 opened its doors last week in Dallas, Texas to more than 700 buyers from around the world, welcoming a 3% increase in total buyers who visited the Oct. 2-4 event to get a first look at the hottest new toys and games for Holiday 2013. Foreign buyer attendance grew 9% year-to-year.

Members of the international toy industry visited Fall Toy Preview from 34 countries (+10%); the top five countries represented by buyers were Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia and Hong Kong. More than 340 retail outlets (+4%) were in attendance, including 20 of the Top 25 Toy Sellers in the U.S. and 27 of the Top 250 Global Powers of Retailing, such as Amazon, Big Lots, Costco, Family Dollar Store, Sears Holdings Corp, Toys “R” Us, Target and Walmart Stores, Inc.

A record-breaking 348 companies exhibited their latest product lines in open, closed or combination booths and showrooms, including Alexander Doll Company, American Plastic Toys, Famosa, Hape, Inc., Melissa and Doug, Playmobil, Ohio Art, Blip Toys, Safari Ltd., and Razor USA.

“We are thrilled to report that Fall Toy Preview 2012 was a great success! Many exhibitors on the show floor reported being bookedDEMARCUSWARE with back-to-back buyer appointments and were abuzz with the positive feedback they were receiving,” said Marian Bossard, TIA vice president of meetings and events. “Additionally, increased attendance numbers across nearly all categories made for a dynamic, energetic crowd of people who were there to conduct serious business over the course of the three-day show.”

Sponsored by Techno Source and presented by Carlin West Agency/NFL Rush Zone, the opening night party (Oct. 2) raised funds for the Toy Industry Foundation and gave participants a chance to relax, have fun, and even meet Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who took photographs and mingled with partygoers.

Held annually at the Dallas Market Center, Fall Toy Preview is a by-appointment-only event designed to give toy buyers from long lead and mass market retail outlets a central marketplace in which to meet one-on-one with their vendors 12-15 months in advance of in-store delivery.  To participate, exhibitors must currently sell to mass market accounts; all products shown must be available for fourth quarter sales in the following year.

Information about Fall Toy Preview 2013 (October 1-3, 2013) will be made available in the coming months at FallToyPreview.org.

Contacts:  Andrew Worob / Adrienne Citrin
G.S. Schwartz & Co. / Toy Industry Association
(Cell) (845) 304-6521 / (Cell) (646) 207-3724
aworob@schwartz.com / acitrin@toyassociation.org
                                            

Record First Day Attendance Reported at Toy Fair 2008

NEW YORK, NY (February 18, 2008) -- Opening day attendance at the 105th Toy Fair Sunday, February 17, was up significantly over 2007, an indication of strong confidence in the toy industry. Buyer registration for day one of Toy Fair was up 30% over 2007 and triple the number of reporters registered on Sunday.

“There’s tremendous excitement on the show floor among both exhibitors and buyers,” said TIA president, Carter Keithley. “Exhibitors are enthused about the quality of attendees and there’s a high level of interest in new products.”

In addition to mass market retailers, big names such as QVC, Foot Locker, Hewlett-Packard, Harrods, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Radio Shack and Spencer Gifts were among the retailers from around the globe present on Sunday.  Opening day buyer attendance topped 9,200 this year, compared to 7,100 for the same day last year. 

Javits Center was buzzing with press activity too, on Sunday, with more than 900 members of the media at day one of Toy Fair 2008, as compared to 300 for opening day 2007.

An estimated total of 35,000 members of the toy industry and media are expected to attend before the show closes Wednesday afternoon.

About the American International Toy Fair®
American International Toy Fair is the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere. More than 1,200 manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from over 94 countries showcase their toy and entertainment products. From classic toys to interactive entertainment and everything in between, we have it all! Products include: action figures and dolls, games and puzzles, bicycles, tricycles and ride-ons, radio-controlled vehicles, infant and preschool toys, cars, trucks, and trains, puppets and plush, audio and video cassettes, computer software and video games, playground and sporting equipment, Halloween, Christmas, books, stationery, party supplies, and much more

For free video content of Toy Fair from the Toy Industry Association, please log on to www.thenewsmarket.com/toys to preview and request video. You can receive broadcast-standard video digitally or by tape from this site. Registration and video is free to the media.

 

2012 Summer Toy Drive Brings in Record-Breaking Donations

September 4, 2012 | The Toy Industry Foundation’s  record-breaking 2012 Summer Toy Drive (May 1-August 31) collected nearly 290,000 toys bringing joy, play and learning to children in need.

Thanks to the toy manufacturers, retailers and distributors who participated in this year’s drive, TIF’s Toy Bank received 59% more toys than last year. This year’s gifts also surged in value by a staggering 425% – $6.5 million worth of playthings were donated versus $1.2 million in 2011. 

“With the help of our generous donors, we were able to deliver playthings to 44 children’s charities in The Toy Bank network across the country, as well as to children living on 17 military bases,” said Foundation Coordinator, Melissa Kipp. “The significant increase in donations allowed us to bring play to 107,000 more disadvantaged children than last summer!”

The following is the list of companies who participated in the 2012 Summer Toy Drive, donating toys, games, books, DVDs and arts & crafts:

AbraKIDabra
Adventure Publishing/The Toy Insider
ALEX Toys
American Plastic Toys
aNb Media
Bananagrams
Barnes & Noble Inc.
Blue Orange Games
Buffalo Games
Build-a-Bear Workshop
Cardinal Industries
CRA-Z-ART
Daydream Toys
Demos Toy Company
Dune Craft, Inc.
Every Baby Company
Family Pastimes
Funrise, Inc.
GANZ
Giochi Preziosi USA, Inc.
Green Toys Inc.
GUND
Harrisville Designs
Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro in honor of Reuben Klamer
International Arrivals
JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
Just Play LLC
Kendama USA
Kids in Distressed Situations
Little Kids, Inc.
Lotta Luv
Lovee Doll
Manhattan Toy
Maxim Enterprise, Inc.
MEGA Brands
MEGA Brands America
Moebius Models
Mungi Bands
Peaceable Kingdom
Phil Seltzer
Pillow Pets/ CJ Products
Plan Toys, Inc
Prestige Toy Corp.
Pretty Ugly, LLC
Private Island Party
Radio Flyer
Reeves International
RoomMates a Division of York Wallcoverings
Royal Brush Manufacturing Inc.
Safari Ltd.
Schylling Toys
Small World Toys
Smart Toys and Games
Squishable.com, Inc.
Super Sprowtz
The Bridge Direct
Toy Industry Association
TOYOPS
Whirled Peas the Game
Wikki Stix Co. (Omnicor Inc.)
Wonder Forge
Wyla Inc.

“To all of our Toy Bank friends, thank you for your continued kindness. We appreciate your support of our year-round program to deliver laughs and smiles to children who need our help the most,” added Kipp.

The Toy Bank is a year-round program; it is currently collecting for the final two Play Comforts events for military children in 2012 and is preparing for the next trade show collection at Fall Toy Preview in Dallas (Oct. 2-4, 2012). To donate or learn more, please visit the TIF website or contact Melissa Kipp (646.520.4878).

An Early Peek Under the Tree

Reprinted from the New York Times [Sunday, October 18, 2009]

Halloween isn’t even here yet, yet many retailers have Christmas on the brain. And no wonder: Holiday sales could spell the difference between recession and recovery for them.

According to a new survey by the NPD Group, 30 percent of consumers plan to spend less money on holiday gifts this year than they did a year ago. Eleven percent plan to spend more, while 59 percent expect to spend around the same amount.

Which companies will be the biggest beneficiaries of what looks to be a somewhat restrained giving season? Thirty-four percent of consumers surveyed planned to buy toys, followed by movies, books, electronics, accessories and music.

No. 1 on the giving list? Nearly 50 percent surveyed said they planned to buy apparel. That means that makers of the dreaded Christmas sweater are likely to stay in business for another year.

TIA Requests Member Input for Consolidated Industry Comments on CPSIA Proposed Rules

As previously reported, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has undertaken a number of actions to progress various aspects of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).   Two public comment periods are currently underway for Proposed Rules on Component Part Testing and Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification:

  • Proposed Rule on Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification
    This proposed rule establishes requirements for a reasonable testing program and for various testing requirements for children's products (e.g., testing random samples, verifying compliance, and safeguarding against undue influence on third party testing facilities). It allows manufacturers to label products as compliant with CPSC safety requirements and – in line with a request for flexibility suggested by TIA – provides for reasonable quality assurance programs as a means of assuring compliance to CPSIA requirements. 

    Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register notice (Reference Docket No. CPSC-2010-0038).

  • Proposed Rule on Component Part Testing
    This proposed rule sets forth conditions and requirements for testing component parts of consumer products.  While similar to the current Interim Enforcement Policy on Component Testing and Certification, this version clarifies that a manufacturer or importer may rely on supplier tests and certifications provided that the components can be traced throughout the entire supply chain and that manufacturers are responsible for assuring that supplied components are not substituted or contaminated during production.

    Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register notice (Reference Docket No. CPSC-2010-0037).

Comments on both Proposed Rules are due to CPSC by August 3, 2010.   TIA will be developing written comments on behalf of the toy industry. Members are requested to provide input to TIA as soon as possible for inclusion in the compilation of toy industry input that will be prepared and submitted by the comment deadline. 

TIA will also be developing written comments on behalf of the toy industry on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the development of a publicly accessible, searchable database on the safety of consumer products and other products or substances regulated by the CPSC.   The draft proposed rule contains the interpretation of statutory requirements concerning the information to be included in the database. Also included are interpretations regarding submitting reports of harm, providing the notices of reports of harm to the manufacturers of the products in question, publishing the reports of harm - as well as manufacturer comments - in the database, and procedures for dealing with confidential or materially inaccurate information. The CPSIA requires that the public database be established by March 2011.

Members are requested to provide input to TIA as soon as possible, but no later than July 9th, for inclusion in the compilation of input that will be prepared and submitted to the CPSC by the July 23rd deadline.

Comments can be sent to TIA at safety@toyassociation.org.

CPSC to Vote on Extending the Stay of Enforcement on Testing and Certification of Lead Content in Children’s Products

This article is an excerpt from the Product Safety Letter. The full article can be read online.

January 25, 2011 | Members of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are set to vote by Monday, January 31 on extending the stay of enforcement until September 14, 2011 on testing and certification rules for lead content in certain children’s products.

The expiration date for the current stay is February 10, 2011 – an extension of the stay, originally created in February 2009. The CPSC staff briefing package recommending the September 14, 2011 extension is available online.

According to the CPSC, this extension would not affect the non-lead stays that are in effect because the Commission has not yet issued relevant accreditation rules for third-party labs. Those stays – including those for phthalates in children's toys and child care items or for compliance with ASTM’s F963 toy standard – will remain in place or lapse depending on when the CPSC issues each set of accreditation rules.

TIA will keep members apprised of any developments.

TIA to Host Delegation from Gulf Countries during Commerce Department-Sponsored “Standards in Trade” Workshop; TIA Members Invited to Participate in March 24th Conference

March 1, 2011 | A “Standards in Trade” Workshop organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will bring a delegation from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Standardization Organization (GSO) – which represents many of the countries in the Arab States – to the U.S. during the period of March 21-24, 2011 for a discussion of regulations and certification initiatives that will affect companies doing business in the region. 

 TIA Members Invited to Participate in March 24th Event

Participation (in person or via teleconference / webinar) by interested TIA members is encouraged.  Contact TIA’s Lorca Hjortsberg for additional information.

“The purpose of the GSO visit is to educate interested parties on the new Regulatory System and the new Regional Conformity Assessment Scheme (RCAS) for the GCC single market,” said NIST event organizers. Toys, as an area subject to developing regulations in the region, have been selected as a priority area for these meetings.

The collaboration between NIST and GCC/GSO began in June 2010, when NIST and other U.S. government personnel visited GCC/GSO headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and when the GCC conformity assessment outreach program in the U.S. was born.

Three high-level GSO representatives will be present at the March workshop, including the Director of Conformity Assessment, Eng. Saud Al Askar.

On Monday, March 21, “Standards, Conformity Assessment and Regulation in the GCC” will be the topic of the day, with overviews and talks given by GSO representatives; on Tuesday, March 22, representatives from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), will be speaking, among others. Both day-long workshops will be held at the NIST office in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

On Thursday, March 24, delegates will meet at the TIA offices in New York City to spend the day discussing “Standards, Conformity Assessment and Regulation in the GCC,” which will include afternoon workshops on Product Safety Regulation and Toy Regulation, involve the participation of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) via webinar, and include discussions with TIA members and staff.

This “Standards in Trade” Workshop is organized by NIST with support provided by AHRI, the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL), AHAM, the Association of Electrical Medical Imaging Equipment of Manufacturers (NEMA) and TIA.

Obama to Nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as New Ambassador to China

March 8, 2011 | In a formal announcement expected today, President Obama will nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as the next U.S. ambassador to China.  The Beijing vacancy was created when Ambassador Jon Huntsman resigned the post; Huntsman plans to depart Beijing in April.

Locke1During TIA’s annual Washington, DC, Fly-In on May 5th, 2010, toy industry representatives met with Secretary Locke, Manufacturing and Services Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale, Acting Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Stephen Jacobs, and Julia Doherty, Senior Director for Non-Tariff Measures in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  During his remarks, Secretary Locke thanked the toy industry for “encouraging innovation and the intellectual stimulation of children.”

In response to a suggestion from TIA Chair Bryan Stockton that the identification of tariffs, protectionist measures, technical barriers to trade and standards alignment were the four key challenges facing the industry, the Secretary identified a number of resources that are available to assist U.S. toy companies with expansion into the global marketplace.  In addition to Foreign Commercial Service officers stationed around the globe, the website www.export.gov and President Obama’s National Export Initiative were cited as programs that can help businesses grow their international reach.   The APEC Toy Safety Initiative launched in 2009 was also referenced as a “model of good government” and a success in moving forward the concept of standards alignment and minimizing the prospect that the CPSIA could have been seen as a technical barrier to trade.

Locke, a former two-term governor of Washington State, is Chinese American and well-regarded in the Chinese business community. He is the first Chinese-American to be Secretary of Commerce and the first Asian-American to be elected governor of any state.  If confirmed by the Senate, Locke would become the first Cabinet secretary to leave his post. No potential successors for Locke at Commerce were yet being considered.

Locke2“The president asked him to take this job because Locke had the experience and relationships necessary to take on this key post,” a senior administration official told ABC News on Monday. “As Commerce Secretary, Locke has delivered on the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years (up 17 percent in 2010), led the push for patent and export control reforms and presided over a Census count that came in 25 percent under budget – returning more than $2 billion to the Treasury.”

Earlier this year the Obama administration announced plans to streamline the Commerce Department and sharpen its focus on making U.S. businesses more competitive and reorganize how the government handles international trade issues. The Department’s 38,000 employees oversee a diverse portfolio, from helping businesses and conducting the census to providing accurate weather forecasts and granting patents and trademark protection.

TIA Exhibit Puts Spotlight on Global Harmonization of Toy Standards at 2011 World Standards Day

October 14, 2011 | Toy Industry Association (TIA) joined with nearly a dozen other trade associations, professional societies and government agencies that gathered in Washington, DC today (Oct. 14) for an exhibition on Capitol Hill to commemorate “World Standards Day 2011: Advancing Safety and Sustainability Standards Worldwide.”

WSDThe annual celebration highlights the crucial role of standards, codes and conformity assessments that cross national borders and promote health, safety and environmental protection. According to event organizers, the theme this year shone a spotlight on standards as “an adaptive framework for developing the most effective solutions to critical global challenges.”

TIA’s exhibit on Capitol Hill – along with a similar exhibit during a dinner last night attended by leaders of business, industry, academia and government – introduced attendees to the United States’ long history in toy safety initiatives while also showcasing the federally-mandated ASTM F963 toy safety standard and its more than 100 separate tests and design specifications that are intended to reduce or eliminate hazards with the potential to cause injury under conditions of normal use or reasonably foreseeable misuse.

“Our presence at World Standards Day allowed us the opportunity to underscore the importance of sound science and risk analysis when creating standards, as well as the need for global harmonization of toy safety standards to enhance the safety of toys for children all around the world,” said Joan Lawrence, VP of safety and government affairs at TIA. Visitors to TIA’s booth received a hand-out delineating the significance of standards alignment and the leadership role the U.S. has played in toy standards development over time. 

Today’s exhibition on Capitol Hill capped off a series of World Standards Week events held in Washington, DC. TIA wishes to extend a special thank-you to Sue DeRagon of testing laboratory UL STR, who assisted with TIA’s exhibit by answering attendee questions regarding toy safety standards and testing requirements.

World Standards Day was implemented in 1970 and is now recognized worldwide. In the United States, the annual event is co-chaired by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

For more information about U.S. toy safety standards, visit the “Safety Standards” section of TIA’s website; for more information about U.S. World Standards Day visit www.wsd-us.org.

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