Major toy industry trade group the Toy Industry Association, which ended 2016 with 1,098 member companies that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages, has changed its name to The Toy Association as part of a broad rebranding plan and new member-focused mission statement.
“The Toy Association’s members are the ‘North Star’ of our new strategic direction, assuring that everything we do is about them and their business success,” said Toy Association president/chief executive Steve Pasierb in announcing the changes. “Refining our strategic blueprint demanded a refreshed mission, which led to a change in name, an emphasis on branding, a new approach to digital communications, and new office headquarters to serve staff and members alike. We challenged ourselves to question every aspect of our reason for being, and found ways to be more agile, more relevant, and more successful at bringing our members best-in-class services and support.”
The association's new mission statement calls for it to be “a unifying force for members’ creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play.” It has therefore expanded its core services and embarked on new ventures: These include Play Fair, a large-scale kid and family business-to-consumer event; ShopToys365.com, a business-to-business digital marketplace for toy retailers and suppliers; and The Genius of Play, a consumer-focused initiative encouraging families to make time for play by educating them about play’s critical role in healthy childhood development.
Toy Association board of directors chairman and Hasbro, Inc. strategic adviser David Hargreaves emphasized the organization's need for change.
“This is not your father’s Toy Association, because this is not your father’s toy industry nor marketplace," said Hargreaves. "The global toy and play landscape has transformed dramatically over the last few years. Our team is effectively overhauling every aspect of the association with an eye to the future to make certain we continue to provide members with best-in-class resources, business insight, and support to help them grow and thrive.”
The Toy Association's new tagline, “Inspiring Generations of Play,” reflects its 100-plus years of service and the many developmental benefits of play in a child’s life. Founded in 1916, the association is the not-for-profit trade group representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products. It produces the North American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview, advocates on behalf of members around the world, sustains the Canadian Toy Association, acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable, and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.
Housed as of today in new Manhattan headquarters designed by HLW International to manifest the energy, creativity, and excitement of the toy and play community, the association will soon relaunch its digital presence with a new mobile-first website. Its advocacy office in Washington, D.C. also relocated last month to a new office space.