The Toy Association Rebranding


‘A WAVE OF CHANGE’ – The Toy Association Responds to Evolving Member Needs with New Strategy, New Name, & Major Rebrand, Driving Change Across the Organization

Largest National Toy Association Expands Core Member Services and Launches New Ventures

April 24, 2017 | New York, NY – The Toy Association – the largest trade association of its kind in the world – today unveiled a new mission statement, new name, and major rebrand driven by an innovative strategic plan. Formerly called the Toy Industry Association, The Toy Association supports a diverse membership whose global reach is revolutionizing the face of toys and play. The organization’s member-focused programs, products, trade shows, and consumer events promote international business growth for all members. Its new tagline, “Inspiring Generations of Play,” underscores the Association’s 100+ years of service and the many developmental benefits of play in a child’s life.  

The Toy Association ended 2016 with 1,098 member companies that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The trade group has a long history of propelling the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual economic impact of $80.25 billion in the United States.

“The Toy Association’s members are the ‘North Star’ of our new strategic direction, assuring that everything we do is about them and their business success,” says Steve Pasierb, president & chief executive of The Toy Association. “Refining our strategic blueprint demanded a refreshed mission, which led to a change in name, an emphasis on branding, a new approach to digital communications, and new office headquarters to serve staff and members alike. We challenged ourselves to question every aspect of our reason for being, and found ways to be more agile, more relevant, and more successful at bringing our members best-in-class services and support.”

Mission Refresh Reflects Member-Focus

As part of its new mission statement to be “a unifying force for members’ creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play,” The Toy Association has elevated its presence on the world stage, effectively and powerfully advocating on behalf of its members’ businesses in North America and in markets spanning every continent.

The Association has also expanded its core services and embarked on new ventures, including Play Fair, a large-scale kid and family business-to-consumer event; ShopToys365.com, a first-of-its-kind business-to-business digital marketplace for toy retailers and suppliers; and The Genius of Play, a consumer-focused initiative which encourages families to make time for play by educating them about play’s critical role in healthy childhood development.

The group’s world-renowned trade shows showcase the brightest innovations in toys and play along with stunning technological advancements. Its North American International Toy Fair continues to shatter records with sold out space and attendees from more than 100 countries, while Fall Toy Preview remains committed to serving the long-lead planning needs of mass and high-volume specialty retailers. With its actionable research, The Toy Association is helping companies tackle business challenges – from rapidly changing global economic and population trends and intellectual property protection, to new chemical regulations and an empowered consumer base of millennial parents with nontraditional shopping habits. The Association’s advocacy work provides insight and support on key legislative and regulatory issues affecting members in global markets, and it maintains education outreach to American consumers and media on all aspects of toy and play safety.  

David Hargreaves, chairman of The Toy Association’s board of directors and strategic advisor at Hasbro, Inc., emphasized the need for change: “This is not your father’s Toy Association, because this is not your father’s toy industry nor marketplace. The global toy and play landscape has transformed dramatically over the last few years. Our team is effectively overhauling every aspect of the Association with an eye to the future to make certain we continue to provide members with best-in-class resources, business insight, and support to help them grow and thrive.”

Strength Through Global Collaboration

As a worldwide leader, the Association collaborates closely with international toy associations, foreign governments, and national standards bodies to advance toy safety and align global standards. The organization sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for both the International Council of Toy Industries and the International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s ASTM F963 toy safety standard – one of the most respected and strictest toy safety standards in the world.

Digital and Workspace Innovation

The Toy Association will soon relaunch its digital presence with a new mobile-first website. It opens for business today in its brand-new Manhattan headquarters designed by renowned architects HLW International to reflect the energy, creativity, and excitement of the toy and play community.  The Association’s advocacy office in Washington, DC relocated last month to a new office space that reflects the organization’s innovative approach to business.

About The Toy Association     www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org  / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $80.25 billion, and its 950+ members drive the annual $26 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.

As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned North American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.

Wrestlemania Monday – The Raw After Mania Review by Chris Vint!

The Raw after Mania had one of the most insane cards of the year. What do you remember from the Raw after Mania? I’m sure one of these moments mentioned will trigger a memory. 

We hear from various superstars about certain moments that mean something to them, but more importantly we see some superstars making their debut on this prestigious Monday Night Raw.

We follow Apollo Crews on his journey from NxT to finally getting a chat with HHH and being told that he’s making his debut on Monday night. This means a lot to Apollo, as you see him break down in tears knowing that he’s made it to the main roster. 

Enzo and Big Cass are a tag team that may not even been there for long! You hear Cass talk about how he was almost fired and that the only reason he was kept there was for his height. Triple H was the reason Enzo was in NxT after seeing him in a YouTube video. Enzo makes no bones about the fact that if it wasn’t for Triple H, he wouldn’t be there. The story of the rise of these two is really something. If you don’t tear up when they hear that they’ve made it to the main roster, well, you can’t teach that! The ovation these guys get on their debut makes their journey all worth it!

I was lucky enough to be there in the Izod Centre when Dolph Ziggler cashed his money in the bank in against Alberto Del Rio. The crowd that night was electric and seeing him win was utterly fantastic. 

It’s a moment I’ll never forget, and, of course, who can forget Fandango-ing! That music was all around the place! These moments are on the set.

Wrestlemania 30 – Daniel Bryan is the new WWE Champion and the crowd chants, “You deserve it!” This is where you can plainly see him get overwhelmed by this and also laughing at us!

Raw also saw the return of The Ultimate Warrior and this would be the last time we would see this man ever. Sadly, the next day he passed away. I was walking on the way to Wrestlemania 30 and bumped into the legend who kindly posed for photos with us. A great man gone too soon and the speech he gives on that RAW is even more poignant now. 

This set has some awesome segments such as Ric Flair’s retirement speech and Shawn Michaels’ one as well. These are heartfelt speeches, again, by two legends who will never be forgotten. Goldberg made his WWE debut on the Raw after Mania and there are many more memorable moments on this set. 

Check out Wrestlemania Monday from WWEDVD.co.uk here and it’s a set I would highly recommend – https://www.wwedvd.co.uk/wrestlemania-monday-p-12348.html?osCsid=e0c47388b8bd36425561d272d775341d

Wonder crew: Superhero James

Wonder Crew is turning the table on the conversation about gender stereotypes and toys, which has largely been focused on presenting more options for girls to play. Wonder Crew brings a great addition to the toy market by offering a buddy that helps boys develop their emotional maturity, including compassion and kindness, to help them grow to be good men, husbands, fathers and more.

Combining the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of a stuffed animal, 15″ Wonder Crew Buddies are available now. The crew includes Will (Caucasian), Marco (Hispanic), James (African American) and Erik (Asian). Each comes dressed in superhero gear, complete with matching mask and cape for kids.

Here is our review.

Universal Studios Toy Showcase event.

We had the privilage of covering this event last week and we taken photos of the merchandise line of The Mummy, The Fate of the Furious, Descipacle Me 3 and Trolls and here are the photos.

Trolls merchandise line 


The Fate and the Furious merchandise line 


Descipacle Me 3


The Mummy 


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The Wrestling Court EP. 130 (link in description)

link to the episode for you to listen
Join Julian and Rob as we talk about Elimination Chamber, The new design of the chamber, Naomi winning the Women’s Championship, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, Enzo’s botch and much more

Sign up for Audible for a free 30 day trial. You can cancel any time you wish within those 30 days but once you sign up, you will get the chance to download a free audiobook. I recommend to check out the Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan, Chris Jericho and Jake Roberts book if you want something wrestling related but if not, you can get something non wrestling related in the massive library of audiobooks. Sign up via this link:
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Subscribe to TWC via these links iTunes, stitcher radio, Tunein radio Player.FM, and podomatic.com and listen live via mixlr 
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The Wrestling Court EP 129 (link in description)


click here to listen to the show!
Join Julian, Brian Wright, Wrectlingpov’s Ric and Jaydee as we all talk about The 2017 Royal Rumble PPV. Topics include:
*35 oranges and 10 people 

*AJ Styles vs cena or Omega vs Okada 

*Mixed Reception of the PPV 

*The surprise entrant was the golf cart 

*Seth Rollins is injured again and WWE has to think fast on what they have to do 

*Nobody cares about Goldberg vs. Lesnar again

*Ruthless Aggression era jobbers that would appear in NXT lol 

*Has NXT peaked
and more
Sign up for Audible for a free 30 day trial. You can cancel any time you wish within those 30 days but once you sign up, you will get the chance to download a free audiobook. I recommend to check out the Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan, Chris Jericho and Jake Roberts book if you want something wrestling related but if not, you can get something non wrestling related in the massive library of audiobooks. 

Sign up via this link:

www.audibletrial.com/thewrestlingcourt

Subscribe to TWC via these links iTunes, stitcher radio, Tunein radio Player.FM, and podomatic.com and listen live via mixlr 

iTunes link

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stitcher radio link

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-wrestling-court-from-podomatic
player.fm link

https://player.fm/series/the-wrestling-court
mixlr link to listen live every wednesday at 8pm

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@julianexcalibur @AltMindz

The Hell In A Cell concept and match has been ruined

There used to be a time where the Hell in a Cell match actually meant something. A Hell in a Cell marked the climax of a big story, a match where big scores needed to be settled once and for all. A match where it was guaranteed something ‘big’ will happen, a lot of blood will be spilled and (in kayfabe) potentially a career would end in front of our very own eyes. Just the mere mention of ‘Hell in a Cell’ brought fear.

We all know the events of King of the Ring 1998, and whenever the match is mentioned, it’s that match that springs to mind, the match which could easily have killed Mick Foley. The match that made Mick Foley famous. Mick Foley now advocates two women to perform in that match, and does so with a smile on his face… Where in the blue hell is the story-telling? Have they completely eradicated his past? It’s simply unacceptable.Another Hell in a Cell that springs to mind is the ‘Armageddon Hell in a Cell’. Now, to most, this match is famous for Rikishi plummeting down from the top of the cell, and although that is famous for a good reason, to me, the match reminds me of the build-up, where Vince McMahon would plead with every competitor not to go through with the match as he was worried sick they wouldn’t be able to return to action after it. This was a brilliant piece of story-telling, and really put over how dangerous this match was.


I’m not going to go through each match and it’s great build-up, most of you know full well how big it was. Lesnar/Taker’s 2002 build-up was great, Triple H’s matches with Nash and Michaels were great, repeated brawls ending with Bischoff’s screaming of “HELLL IN A CELLLL!!” was brilliant. Randy Orton fearing for his life in the build-up to his Cell encounter with Taker. Even a few years ago we had Triple H and Undertaker (as well as HBK) really putting over the effects of HIAC in the build-up to Mania 28. I could go on and on and on.


Lately, the match is build-up like a normal steel cage match, just with a roof on top. It’s awful, and totally unacceptable. It began way back with the likes of Cena and Orton treating it like any other ordinary match and this continued with the likes of Punk, Del Rio, Bryan, Sheamus etc. but lately it’s ten times worse. This year’s build-up has been nothing short of rubbish. Rollins and Owens’ rivalry has had nearly no mention of the Hell in a Cell structure, and more so on Jericho’s trunks – Rollins and Owens should be concentrating on their own careers’ rather than promoting comedy. Sasha Banks takes the biscuit, though, she SMILES and on the verge of tears with HAPPINESS when talking about being inside Hell in a Cell… The likes of Undertaker and Kane had an tad bit of fear about stepping inside there and here we have Sasha Banks doing the complete opposite.


All the fear this match has brought is all gone. It’s a sham, and should be left alone. They should just replace ‘Hell in a Cell’ with ‘Steel Cage’, because that’s how it’s built up as.

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WWE 2K17 Review

After playing the game for about 5 days, I can honestly say I’ve played enough of this game to give some final thoughts on it. I doubt anyone personally cares what I think, but I decided “hey it’s the internet so ill post it because I can”. I’ve divided everything up into a few sections so can individually go over everything with some detail. prepare to read huge walls of text as i begin my review.

MY CAREER MODE

Out of everything that was hyped for 2K17, My Career Mode took the cake. The addition of Promos and the Paul heyman guy challenge shown in the trailers seemed to show us that the game was heading in the right direction. Upon actually playing the mode, however, you find out that its just as bland and grindy as the last two games. The lack of progression feels so awful when your fighting the same people every week, putting on the best matches you can with the likes of Fandango and Bo Dallas, attempting to create 5 star watches with jobbers just so you can move up the ranks. My career mode feels like a crappy version of Universe Mode where you have to grind until the end of time to increase stats, attributes or even to buy a decent finishing move pack. Overall, it’s a huge disappointment.


GAMEPLAY

Throughout all the wrestling games ever made, the last 3 have had the best gameplay by far. The addition of Roll outs, a better ladder setup system, new mini-game for ladder matches and the new OMG moments, have all created a very realistic feel to the game that is much needed. Many glitches do occur here and there and the overall pacing of the matches still seems a little too fast for my taste, none the less it’s the best gameplay we’ve had thus far.


GRAPHICS

This one seems to be a very debatable issue as certain aspects of the game look great, while others seem to fall very flat. I noticed pretty quickly that certain characters had more attention to detail then others, as if they just couldn’t afford a budget for other characters. The likes of Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Finn Balor and some others have amazing lighting, attention to detail and overall great textures/models. Other characters, however, have gotten the “PS2 Graphics” treatment where they look like they were made in the character creation tool but look far worse. I’m not entirely impressed with the graphics nor am i really that disappointed in them as these most sports games have meh visuals.


UNIVERSE MODE

Out of everything that is wrong with 2k17, Universe mode seems to be what saves this game from being put in the bargain bin. Universe mode provides endless customization, playability, and overall player control. Where Career Mode seems to have its faults, Universe seems to provide the fix for them along with providing loads of content.


INTERFACE

Usually, this is something I could really care less about in most games, however, this interface is just awful. Universe mode specifically seems to be harder to navigate through, not to mention that once you start a show, you can’t go back to change any universe settings, check the calendar or reach basic universe functions like who holds the current title.

FINAL THOUGHTS AND VERDICT

WWE 2K17 provides more content then the previous game and delivers gameplay that certainty out matches any of the previous games. However, i don’t think this should be something 2k should be praised for. Many of the “New additions” aren’t even new at all. Backstage brawling and crowd fighting were done long ago with even more content included with it and in much more detail. The creation suite has loads of content to deck your character out with, however, past games have had a pretty fair amount of customization until 2k15 came out with its new gameplay engine. The honest truth is that a wrestling game like SVR 2007 and 2008 had loads more content then the current games do and even delivered massively in the My Career mode with full-voiced characters, customizing locker rooms and the ability to go through a full-blown story with a created character or current WWE Star. WWE 2k17 is playing a long game of catch up with older games and that’s disappointing. The only area 2k17 seems to evolve and capitalize on is its realistic gameplay, even then though it has trouble keeping it afloat. I will give this game an final score of 6/10

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31 days of Halloween: Walker Stalker Con

We got the chance to Cover Walker Stalker Con and it was an great experience. The Show Featured an A 30 minute full-throttle immersive attraction that drops you straight into the chaotic and terrifying world of the Walking Dead. Experienced in small (7 person) audience groups, Chapter 1 sends you on an adventure through the edge of a small town on the night the outbreak hit – the night zombies began their rampage and the social order began to unravel. This is called The Walking Dead Experience. 

Also during the show, there were many attendees that were dressed up as either the Television Show/Comic characters, or Zombies and i even took an picture of me doing the Negan’s Lineup as it was seen on the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead 


The Actors were also there to sign autographs, take pictures, and talk in panels. The Panels we went to had featured Chad Colemam, Iron E. Singleton, and Laurie Holden. I was also lucky to snap an picture of Austin Amellio (Dwight from The Walking Dead). 



Overall, it was an great show and i would gladly cover it again

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