Have two minutes? Flip to page 5 of the January 2017 edition of ASTRA’s Toy Times Magazine and read Ann Kienzle’s article, “Plan for the Road Trip.” Ann writes:
We’ve all had the discussions about how the industry is suffering from age compression. That kids are growing up too fast. It’s the age of “our kids are too busy to play” and “my child is too advanced for that toy.” While many of these are issues we’re burnt out on after hearing about them for years, they are still out there and they aren’t going away. It’s important that we don’t let ourselves lose sight of these roadblocks to a child’s success. Our industry depends on it.
“What is she going to do with it?” That was the question a customer asked me about the pizza set I was suggesting for a 3-year-old. I was a little taken aback. I gave the normal spiel about the importance of role-play and the *fun* of pretending to be a cook/restaurant owner/grownup. But it took me a minute to realize that she really didn’t get that a pizza set would be engaging to a 3-year-old.
Continue reading “Empowering the Power of Play”
Whether you love or don’t-really-love the Las Vegas sales meetings in December, these meetings provide ASTRA with opportunities to meet one-on-one with manufacturers and sales rep groups and come away with information to help ASTRA better serve the industry. Check out these highlights and a few “aha” moments during our meetings:
Continue reading “Reporting from the Front Line”
The ASTRA community is made up of a vibrant group of retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliate members who all have unique stories of how they got into the toy industry. We believe these stories are worth sharing! To recognize our community, the ASTRA Blog features a regular ASTRA Member Spotlight series.
Today we feature recent Certified Play Expert graduate Rudy Valenta of People Toy Company in New York, NY.
How did you get into the toy industry?
I was raised in the toy industry. My father had a toy company growing up. I did product testing for him from when I was wee-little one and eventually graduated to the warehouse labeling orders in junior high. After college, I was in charge of product design and operations. Fast forward 10 years later, I now work with our long-time business partner, People, to bring the best educational and innovative toys to homes around the world.
Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Rudy Valenta, People Toy Company”
Guest post by Phil Wrzesinski
I know it rocked your world to hear that Toy House is closing. Big, iconic, 67-year old businesses don’t close when the owner is still too young to retire. But sometimes they do, and sometimes it is for reasons so localized that it only makes sense once you see the whole picture. Let’s take a look at some of the factors…
Continue reading “Inside the Closing of Toy House”
There’s no place like home — Dorothy certainly had that right. In this day and age of texting, emails and social media, it is easy to lose some of the face-to-face connections and personal interactions that help give our neighborhoods that feeling of safety and familiarity that we long for.
Continue reading “Neighborhoods Matter”