President’s Letter – September 15, 2015: A Grand Opening

Fall is always an eventful time of year for TIA and the entire toy industry. With Fall Toy Preview, the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards nominations, Congress needing to pass reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the crucial holiday shopping season just around the corner, we are once again looking forward to a productive fourth quarter before we launch into the New Year and all of the excitement surrounding New York Toy Fair.

Kicking off our fall activities, this Thursday will see the grand opening of the Toy Halls of Fame permanent exhibit at The Strong museum in Rochester, NY. The state-of-the-art, $4 million installation will house both TIA’s Toy Industry Hall of Fame and The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame, showcasing America’s most beloved toys and the outstanding individuals who design, make and sell them.

A true collaboration between TIA and The Strong, the Toy Halls of Fame exhibit blends technology, digital science, history and play to create a dynamic experience for visitors, who will come from far and wide to learn, explore, and re-live their childhood memories – and create new ones! From Jack-in-the-Box to Etch-a-Sketch and Jim Henson to Walt Disney, beloved toys and industry visionaries fill the awe-inspiring, interactive exhibit, which includes a 20-foot virtual bubble machine, a 24-foot virtual playroom using Kinect technology, and a 20-foot mobile featuring toy images, among many other features.  You owe it to your own love of toys and play to plan a visit to The Strong in the coming months. 

The exhibit unveiling will also formally kick off TIA’s centenary celebrations – and I can’t think of a better way or a better place to help commemorate the Association’s 100 years of sharing the joy of play with families, ensuring toy safety, and supporting our members. The Strong is truly a national treasure, containing a rich history of the beloved connection between toys, play, and American society, and its building contains a large measure of the soul of the toy world.  It’s the perfect place for our esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame to live, as we continue to honor the individuals who have shaped the toy industry, the fantastic toys that marked that journey, and the joy and benefits of play brought to children of all ages.

So, if you’ve read this far, you now have some important assignments.  First, take your family to visit The Strong!  Enter the TOTY awards by the deadline of Friday, October 2; attend the Fall Toy Preview in Dallas; encourage your Senator to call for the TSCA reform bill to be brought to the Senate floor; and block out your calendar for travel to Toy Fair 2016.  It’s never dull in the toy world. 

Wishing you all a wonderful fall season!

All good wishes,