In 2016, The Toy Association turned 100 years old! In honor of this milestone anniversary, The Toy Association is embarking on a series of events and initiatives that celebrate the history of the toy industry, the evolution of the Association, and the unwavering dedication of toy companies to bringing the magic and joy of fun, safe play to children of all ages.

The short video below pays tribute to the 100 years of The Toy Association history.

History of The Toy Association

What is known today as The Toy Association was originally established on June 9, 1916 as the Toy Manufacturers of the U.S.A. On that day, an inaugural meeting of 46 toy manufacturers was held at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City to discuss the establishment of a trade association that would support U.S. toymakers, promote American-made products and encourage the sale of toys year-round.

Over the course of 100 years the Association has greatly evolved, undergoing two name changes (renamed Toy Manufacturers of America in 1996 and Toy Industry Association in 2001) and a significant expansion of its membership base. Today, The Toy Association is made up of not just manufacturers but inventors and designers, retailers, licensors, distributors and more, representing companies both large and small, foreign and domestic. What has been constant over the decades is the Association’s commitment to member service, product safety, philanthropy, and educating families about the essential value of play.

Travel through time with The Toy Association to learn more about its many milestones: click here to view The Toy Association’s centenary timeline.


Written by toy expert Christopher Byrne, They Came to Play: 100 Years of the Toy Industry Association commemorates The Toy Association’s 100th birthday and chronicles our history against the backdrop of the industry’s transformation. The 125-page retrospective explores milestones and technological advances, traces the evolution of regulation, consumer culture and globalization. It also spotlights industry leaders and The Toy Association’s ongoing endeavors to promote play.

To request a complimentary copy of They Came to Play, please reply here with your mailing address.


Click here for a .pdf of the book. Contact Jackie Retzer with any additional questions.

Centenary Kick-Off at The Strong

The Toy Association kicked off the festivities surrounding its 100th anniversary with a ribbon cutting of the new, state-of-the-art Toy Halls of Fame exhibit at The Strong museum in Rochester, NY.

This cutting-edge installation serves as the new home of the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and pays tribute to the toy pioneers and luminaries who have helped shape the toy industry and the history of toys and play. It showcases the inductees of the Toy Industry Hall of Fame alongside those of the National Toy Hall of Fame, bringing together the classic toys loved by generations and the industry trailblazers who helped bring those toys to life.

More than 100 toy industry guests gathered at The Strong on September 17, 2015 to toast the unveiling of the Toy Halls of Fame and the inaugural celebration of The Toy Association’s centenary:


Jackie Retzer
Assistant Marketing Manager