President’s Letter – March 11, 2014: Next on the Agenda

Providence smiled on TIA this year with increased Toy Fair and membership numbers!  Now we are making plans to reinvest that good fortune in serving our members and the toy industry through a number of exciting new initiatives:  
  • “Got Toys?”
    We have long wanted to launch something like the famous “Got Milk” campaign to remind consumers about the value of play and toys in children’s development. The milk industry campaign is supported with tens of millions raised annually through a “Marketing Order” tax on milk production administered by the federal government. The toy industry has no such support mechanism, but we have a message as wholesome as milk to share with families. With creative thinking and collective communications through TIA and its members, we could reach a sizable consumer audience.  
  • Expanded Export Assistance
    While trying to boost the relatively stagnant toy market in the U.S., TIA also wants to help our smaller members grow their businesses in markets overseas. Our first efforts focused on providing support for SMEs interested in understanding the basics of selling into the growing China and Brazil toy markets. Though the audiences have been fairly small so far, the information has been well received, so this year we will enlarge the effort to include Australia and Mexico.  More information about these reports is available in the Resources section of the TIA website or from TIA’s director of research, Anne McConnell.
  • New Mission for the Toy Industry Foundation
    Our charitable Foundation has been putting the welfare of kids above all other concerns. Over the years, we’ve brought the magical joy of play to millions of kids in need. Recently, the Foundation has become so successful that the Board of Directors is looking at options for a new, more ambitious way to help children in an ongoing program that will prominently carry the toy industry brand and help portray the toy industry in a favorable light.
  • Celebrating 100 Years
    Few anniversaries are as momentous as a Centenary!  In 2015 TIA will be in its 100th year. Established by toy companies in 1916, TIA has a history of service and achievement that deserves to be celebrated. This year we will lay the groundwork for commemorative activities that will tell the story of this wonderfully creative and joyful industry to the larger world.  
Of course our ongoing webinars, advocacy, member services and industry research programs will continue, but it is always fun to have new projects and objectives to pursue. I hope you will take advantage of all that your TIA membership offers your company.

Warm regards to all,

ckeithley@toyassociation.org