President’s Letter – November 12, 2013: Exploring The Global Pulse of the Toy Industry

One of TIA’s strategic goals for 2013-2015 was to introduce industry-specific research to help our members thrive, both within the U.S. and in the fast-growing international toy marketplace. As we begin to wrap-up the first year of our strategic plan, I thought it would be a good time to remind you of some of our research “highlights” from 2013, as well as to provide you with a sneak peek at the exciting global market research tailored specifically to our small and mid-sized members that we will be unveiling in the months leading up to Toy Fair.

First, I encourage you to explore the TIA website, which has undergone some major changes since we launched the new site over a year ago. There you will find new youth population projections; data on the toy industry’s economic impact in the U.S.; as well as details about the Toy Industry Financial & Operating Benchmark Study (which allows toy manufacturers to see how their financials compare to companies of similar size, category or distribution channel), and the TIA-commissioned Toy and Game Decision Making Study (which analyzes the changing ways that families are making decisions about toy and game purchases.) Additionally, please take note of the Knowledge Network section of the website for details about our regularly-held webinars.

Because we are constantly updating and adding to our online resources, I invite you to check ToyAssociation.org often. While some of the information housed on the site is publicly accessible, our major reports and studies are accessible to TIA members only.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to announce that we are on the cusp of unveiling two TIA-commissioned global research reports to help smaller toy companies interested in entering and conducting business in Latin America and Asia. Because both Brazil and China are home to a growing number of children under 14 and an increasingly prosperous middle class, we have partnered with foreign-market consultants to analyze the consumer habits, demographics, industry influences and market entry strategies for these regions.  Key findings will first be presented in a January webinar hosted by the TIA Knowledge Network; and at Toy Fair, toy company executives and their sales teams will be invited to attend learning sessions that will summarize the reports. The detailed analyses themselves will be available to our members only. Please keep your eyes open for additional details – announcements about the webinar and Toy Fair sessions will be made in early December.

Finally, I would like to share some news about an enhanced TIA collaboration with The NPD Group. Because many of our small- and mid-sized members have expressed interest in industry-specific data and analyses from NPD, we are working with them on a data pilot program geared specifically to our member companies with sales under $10 million. We are excited to roll this out and will keep you informed once the initiative is ready to launch.

I hope that you will take the time to explore all that TIA has to offer right now, and join us in the coming months as we continue to explore new markets and innovative research that will open doors for you and your business.

Kind Regards,

ckeithley@toyassociation.org