President’s Letter – December 18, 2012: Wrapping Up

TIA President Carter Keithley reflects on the growth and continued success of the toy industry and TIA.

The toy industry continues to thrive despite economic hardships in Europe and "fiscal cliffs" in the U.S.  The fourth quarter shopping season started with a solid increase in average purchases for all consumer goods and more than one-third of those purchases were toys!  I also saw a recent estimate that worldwide toy and game sales are expected to rise 22% over the next few years, bringing the global market to almost $95 billion by 2016.  This projected growth rate is virtually unprecedented. Good things are in store for the toy industry.

Here at TIA, we are wrapping up a very successful and rewarding year. We worked to maintain and strengthen several key areas that bring value to our growing membership base. Here are some of the things we accomplished in 2012 that are noteworthy:

  • At Toy Fair ’12, overall participation grew 2% and international participation rose 5%
  • Our first annual ToyDesignCon was held at The Strong in Rochester, NY to rave reviews
  • ToyAssociation.org and ToyInfo.org were re-branded and re-launched
  • Two of the nation’s top toy retailers – Toys‘R’Us and Walmart – joined our growing membership base
  • A new partnership with Elavon now provides our retailer members with savings on credit card processing fees
  • We worked around the clock to ensure that no negative legislation targeting toys or children’s products was passed

Next year will mark the first year of TIA’s strategic plan for 2013-2015. Approved by our Board of Directors in October, the plan is tightly focused on further enhancing member value and includes strategies that foster continuity and growth. Our aim is to strengthen TIA’s fiscal health; enhance our leadership across all areas; launch new initiatives to support global market access of North American toy companies; provide new industry research and data capabilities; and expand and augment our trade shows and events. We are excited to put our plan into action … and to update you in the coming months on our progress.

Congratulations to all on a terrific 2012. Wishing you a very happy holiday season from your friends at TIA!

Ckeithley@toyassociation.org