The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is made up of a community of retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives that believe in the importance of high quality toy and games in the development of healthy happy children. In this day and age in which the emphasis is on profits and consumerism, what exactly does community mean and how does it fit into the making and selling of toys?

astra_tag_PMBy definition, a community is “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”   Working together, members of ASTRA share a mission to offer the best possible toys that will help children grow and develop into great future citizens and leaders.  ASTRA retailers are there to provide their customers with so much more than just products on a shelf.  They provide

*           play day events

*           game and toy demos

*           story times

*           gift wrapping

*           a knowledgeable staff that can find just the right toys for children of all ages and interests

In addition, they also have a select amount of items that you just won’t  find anywhere else.  Really.  This may be hard to believe where you enter an item into google and find it all over –both online and at stores.  However, because of our ASTRA community, ASTRA manufacturers have worked to offer a select grouping of products that only ASTRA retailers can sell –  all in the effort to direct consumers to the stores that truly do provide a further sense of community to the neighborhoods they serve. Toys that offer open-ended play, engage children in playing together, and are built to last are what you will find at an ASTRA specialty toy store.

Check out a local ASTRA retailer on Neighborhood Toy Store Day, Saturday, November 14 and  see for yourself what makes them so special. Click here to learn more about this year’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day celebrations.

WarfieldBIO1 Sue Warfield is the Director of Member Relations at ASTRA. With more than 30 years of experience in the retail and toy business, Sue offers insight into industry trends and tips and works to connect the retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliates in the specialty toy retailing arena. Contact Sue at