With four media interviews, one education panel, and more than 50 in-booth meetings, ASTRA shared the message event-wide at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show that independent toy stores carry more than just wooden blocks.


Over the course of four days, CES showcased almost 4,000 exhibits, delivered over 300 conference sessions and hosted more than 170,000 attendees from 150 countries, giving ASTRA opportunities with a wide range of audiences to showcase the products independent retailers carry, including Ozobot Bit, Neat-Oh! Mime Control Dino Drone, Square Panda Phonics Learning System, Learning Resources Botley and Circuit Scribe Maker Kit. These products were featured in the ASTRA booth to represent the future of play.


The NPD Group’s Kids Share of Time and Wallet 2015 report found that kids are not swapping traditional play for technology based activities, but they are making time for both. With technology becoming a part of the every day, and with research showing that new employment opportunities will come in tech-related arenas including big data, nanoscience and advanced robots,  parents and caregivers are looking for direction on how to balance technology-based play and traditional play.

Cue the neighborhood toy store: it’s where caregivers can go to find the expertise on what products and what activities can help strike that balance. Independent retailers curate a collection of products that supports both traditional play and technology based play for kids.

Toys, tech and quality play? It’s possible! Turn to your neighborhood toy store and discover the future of play.

AH Pic_resizeAhren Hoffman, CTRS, CPE is the Director of Education & Training at ASTRA. Ahren has been a member of the toy industry since 2007 developing content for toys and play products, contributing to publications and actively taking part in the lecture circuit presenting to organizations and professionals in the field of child development as well as members of the toy industry. Ahren oversees the development and enhancement of education and training materials for ASTRA members to keep a pulse on topics shaping the toy industry. Contact Ahren at ahoffman@astratoy.org.