Toy Industry Association Celebrates 100 Years of Service

Industry Association
(TIA), the not-for-profit trade association
representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and
youth entertainment products for kids of all ages, celebrates 100 years
of serving the North American toy industry as it looks back on a
continuously thriving market. A critical and resilient component to the
toy industry’s success, the TIA has worked with American toy companies
to leverage emerging platforms and technology to balance the playing
field, recognizing the importance of traditional play while embracing
how kids play today.

“Over the last century our members have continually touched children’s
lives, bringing them both happiness and the developmental benefits of
play while we at TIA are proud to have supported our members every step
of the way,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Toy Industry
Association. “Today in America, toy sales are showing robust growth, toy
companies are creating innovative products, and a new generation of
parents is embracing the essential role of play for their children. What
an extraordinary gift it is to work each day in the toy world.”

From the classic Mickey Mouse in the 1920s, the accidental invention of
the slinky in the ’40s, the now iconic Barbie of the ’50s, the Star Wars
figures that started a massive toy craze in the ’70s and Beanie Babies’
unforgettable domination of the last decade of the century, there have
been many influential toys and beloved characters from the past 100
years. TIA has been committed to the prosperity of the industry as it
has evolved in changing times, from a surge in technology-focused toys
to build STEAM skills or the resurrection of old classics for a new
generation to experience. By recognizing and leveraging key platforms,
like licensed products, app-based play, and content development, the
industry has overcome its predicted decline and has instead thrived. The
annual U.S. domestic toy market is currently worth $25 billion,
approximately 90% of which TIA’s 987 members currently account for.

TIA kicked off its 100th anniversary celebration on September
17, 2015 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Toy Halls of Fame
Exhibit at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. To
continue the celebration, TIA has taken a look back at its past 100
years, highlighting key toy industry moments from 1916-2016 in a
striking timeline
that will continue to be displayed during TIA events throughout its
anniversary year. In addition, industry expert Chris Byrne, The Toy
Guy®, authored a commemorative book, They
Came to Play: 100 Years of the Toy Industry
, highlighting the
association’s milestones and its members’ accomplishments.

Since its founding, TIA has worked closely with government, consumers,
and its members to ensure safe and fun play and to raise awareness of
the important developmental benefits of toys and play. Part of the
continued celebration includes the Genius
of Play
initiative, a movement to provide families with the
information and inspiration they need to make the developmental benefits
of playtime an important part of each day, including building
confidence, critical thinking, and other valuable skills into children’s

“TIA has had a momentous impact on the industry, providing invaluable
leadership, resources and support to toymakers, retailers, distributors,
inventors, and other play professionals,” said Neil Friedman, chairman
of TIA’s Centenary Committee and president and CEO of Alex Brands. “With
more than 40 years of experience in the industry, I have witnessed TIA
stand by its members, adapt rapidly to change, educate the public on toy
safety and the benefits of play, and steadily advance industry safety
standards, innovation and philanthropy.”

To find out more about the Toy Industry Association, visit
For more information on the Genius of Play, visit

About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)

Founded in 1916, the Toy Industry Association™, Inc. (TIA) 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. Over the past 100 years, TIA has led the health and growth
of the toy industry, and today its 900+ members account for an estimated
90% of the annual $25 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Association
serves as the industry’s voice on the cognitive, social, emotional and
creative benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on
childhood development to consumers and media. TIA 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.


Litzky Public Relations
Melissa Fogarty Winston / Kevin Sweeney