February 3, 2020 | Toy Association staff members traveled to Nuremberg, Germany last week to meet with Spielwarenmesse 2020 exhibitors to track toy and play trends, as well as discuss regulatory issues of international importance with global toy associations.

Toy Trends

Spielwarenmesse was the latest stop for The Toy Association’s trends team, which travels to trade and consumer events throughout the year, both within the toy industry and beyond, to track new trends, meet with Toy Association members, and preview innovative products impacting toys and play.

“Nuremberg provided an interesting window into some of the trends we have been seeing and expect to come to fruition at Toy Fair New York in just a few weeks,” said Adrienne Appell, The Toy Association’s senior director of strategic communications. “We look forward to continuing our conversations with toymakers in New York City and are getting ready to unveil the top toy trends of 2020, as predicted by The Toy Association, the official voice of Toy Fair New York!”

Toy Fair New York attendees are encouraged to attend the Toy Trends Briefing, taking place Saturday, February 22 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1E09 (Hall 1E) of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The trends team will unveil the hottest trends of the year using product examples from the show floor. To learn more about this session and other activities taking place during Toy Fair week, visit www.ToyFairNY.com.

International Meetings

Nuremberg also served as a meeting ground for discussions of international toy topics. Toy Association team members met with Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) staff to explore issues and projects of mutual interest. An update was provided on the status of The Toy Association’s next intellectual property protection white paper and possible changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). TIE summarized its new program, “Play for Change,” which recognizes a toy company’s positive impact in children’s lives in areas such as empowerment, sustainability, and future skills.

On January 30, The Toy Association attended the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) mid-year meeting, presided over by ICTI chairman Miguel Angel Martin, representing Asociación Mexicana de la Industria del Juguete (AMIJU). The Toy Association’s Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs, discussed action items for the ASTM toy safety committee this year, including anticipated revisions to the ASTM F963 toy safety standard, balloting changes for the F1313 standard on nitrosamines in pacifiers, and a new ASTM effort to update the standard for tricycle safety. Details on a range of legislative and regulatory issues impacting toys in the U.S. and Europe were shared by Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs at The Toy Association, and Catherine Van Reeth, director general of TIE. Children’s online safety, environmental sustainability, and intellectual property protection were among the issues they addressed.

The meeting included a review of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) toy safety standard by The LEGO Group’s Christian Wetterberg, chair of the ISO technical committee on toy safety, who covered the committee’s 2019 accomplishments and 2020 priorities for the ISO toy standard. Work on the ISO toy standard is supported by combined grants from Hasbro, Mattel, LEGO, the Australian Toy Association, ABRINQ of Brazil, The Toy Association, and directly by the ICTI general fund.

A new three-year business plan to sustain and grow the global industry’s ethical toy program was shared by Carmel Giblin, president & CEO of the ICTI Ethical Toy Program. Giblin shared plans to grow the program’s presence in China as well as in nations where toy production is being established.

In a closing presentation, the China Toy and Juvenile Product Association detailed plans for the upcoming Annual General Meeting of the ICTI member nations to be held June 16 to 19, 2020 in Beijing.

“ICTI represents an invaluable opportunity to bring the world’s toy associations together in common purpose and friendship to advance the industry, protect workers, advocate for sensible legislation that assures product safety in the hands of children, and to eliminate barriers to trade,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association and leader of the association team that manages the secretariat duties of ICTI and administers its financial and legal support needs.

The International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) is the industry association for the worldwide toy industry. Its membership includes national toy associations from 20 countries, each of which has its own membership made up of toy brands operating in its own geography. ICTI and its member associations are committed to the promotion of toy safety standards, to the reduction or elimination of barriers to trade, and to the advancement of social responsibility in the industry with programs to address environmental concerns, fair and lawful employment practices and workplace safety.