The Toy Association's Kimberly Carcone: Come One, Come All to LA’s Toy District this Fall!

&nbsp When The Toy Association first announced our plans to have a presence in Los Angeles in September, our goal was to provide more companies with a space to do business in the heart of LA's "toy district" during what's proven to be a critical preview time of year for our industry. We're excited to announce that part one of delivering on this goal has come to fruition: The Toy Association's inaugural LA Fall Preview is officially sold out, with 78 top toy companies securing space at 2250 East Imperial Highway in El Segundo. &nbsp We are grateful for the enthusiastic response we've received thus far, and our team continues to be hard at work on the next step: ensuring 2250 East Imperial Highway is a crucial stop for buyers and decision-makers on their fall preview circuit. &nbsp Open all of September to accommodate vendor meetings, the building will serve as a particularly essential hub of activity during The Toy Association's LA Fall Preview market week from September 9 to 13, supplemented by philanthropic and networking events. &nbsp Here’s a breakdown of the activities and resources available during market week: &nbsp Must-Attend Market Week Activities &nbsp Festivities kick off on Monday, September 9 with The Toy Foundation's Party with a Purpose at TAO Los Angeles, starting at 7 p.m. Serving as a critical fundraiser for the Foundation's Children's Hospital Grants program, the evening will include a special performance from the legendary rock group Blues Traveler, an auction of one-of-a-kind experiences and items, food and drinks, and the chance to network with industry friends. Tickets are on sale now, and 100% of the event's proceeds will help bring play therapy to pediatric patients in disadvantaged communities nationwide. &nbsp On Tuesday, September 10, The Toy Association’s free Networking Party at the Otis College of Art & Design, brought to you in part by Platinum sponsor Circana, will bring the industry together from 6 to 8 p.m. to mix and mingle in a casual outdoor environment. The works of future designers from the college’s toy program — the beginning of the creative pipeline — will also be on display for viewing. Although this event is complimentary and open to all, registration is required. Earlier in the day, Circana will also host a free research presentation in the 6th floor theatre at 2250 East Imperial Highway at 10:30 a.m. &nbsp After the day’s activities on Thursday, September 12, there will be yet another opportunity to network and further strengthen connections during a taco and margarita reception at 1960 Grand in El Segundo from 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted by Newmark Realty and John Ollen, who manages activity for the LA Fall Preview building, the event is located about five minutes away from the marketplace and offers the perfect way to unwind after a busy and productive day. No registration is required. &nbsp Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT)'s Wonder Women Awards will help wrap up the week on Friday, September 13, by celebrating top women executives, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and changemakers throughout the industry. The event will be held at The Beverly Hilton from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are now available. &nbsp Mark Your Calendars for our LA Fall Preview Mobile App’s Launch &nbsp Our LA Fall Preview Mobile App will be available starting August 1 (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play). This app will be your go-to resource for all things related to previews, including a complete list of tenants at 2250 East Imperial Highway and maps to additional company showrooms in LA. The app will also facilitate appointment scheduling, helping buyers and sellers streamline their interactions and maximize productivity this fall. This information will also be available through The Toy Association’s LA Fall Preview webpage. There’s still time to have your showroom included in our directory, whether you are a tenant at the LA Fall Preview or have space elsewhere in LA! &nbsp Shuttle Bus Service &nbsp To make your market week experience seamless, we will provide a shuttle bus service within the Toy District during market week. This service ensures easy and convenient transportation between events and meetings. (Timing and route details are forthcoming and will be available in the App, on the website, and on-site signage.) &nbsp It goes without saying that we are pleased to see such a positive response to The Toy Association’s inaugural LA Fall Preview. Bringing this initiative to life exemplifies our commitment to serving the industry in as many ways as it needs. But moreover, we are particularly excited about all of the supporting events happening as part of our market week. The weekdays will be filled with meetings essential to business, and the evenings will be filled with colleagues, community, culinary delights, and collaborative power. The fabric of our industry is, at its core, the people and we can’t wait to welcome you all to LA this September. &nbsp Byline: Kimberly Carcone, Executive vice president, global market events, The Toy Association

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&nbsp Former Director of Product Development Tom Runtz named Vice President of Product Development after more than ten years of service &nbsp VERNON HILLS, IL (Jul. 16, 2024) - Learning Resources, a trusted and family-owned manufacturer of award-winning educational toys, games and classroom products, proudly announces the promotion of Director of Product Development Tom Runtz to Vice President of Product Development. Runtz succeeds longtime Vice President of Product Development Barb Plain upon her recent retirement. &nbsp “Tom has been instrumental in shaping our product strategy and delivering ideas that resonate with our customers,” stated Rick Woldenberg, CEO of Learning Resources. “We are confident that under Tom’s leadership, we will continue to set new standards in educational toys and inspire a lifelong love of learning in children around the world.” &nbsp Runtz joined Learning Resources in 2013 as a product manager and most recently served as the Director of Product Development, using his data-driven strategic approach to propel new product innovation and expansion into new product categories. In his new role, Runtz will focus on leveraging market insights and fostering creativity within the product development team to ensure Learning Resources’ products continue to meet the evolving needs of children, parents and educators. His team will also spearhead the development of pet toys under the Brightkins and Hunger For Words brands. &nbsp “I’m excited to continue building on the strong foundation Barb established,” Runtz shared. “I look forward to working alongside our talented team to develop products that make learning fun and accessible for all.” &nbsp Throughout her remarkable career spanning over three decades, Plain led the development of numerous best-selling products and spearheaded Learning Resources’ entry into new market segments. Learning Resources looks forward to extending Plain’s legacy of innovation and market leadership under Runtz. &nbsp “It’s been a great privilege to work alongside Barb. Her mentorship and vision have been invaluable in preparing me for success as I transition into this role,” added Runtz. &nbsp For more information about Learning Resources and its family of award-winning brands, visit www.learningresources.com. &nbsp ### &nbsp ABOUT LEARNING RESOURCES: We're Learning Resources®, and learning is where we play. Trusted by parents and teachers since 1984, our award-winning educational toys from the Learning Resources and Educational Insights brands help kids develop a lifelong love of learning. From ABCs and 123s to screen-free coding, brain teasers and STEM toys, we make learning fun at every age, stage, and skill level. Discover countless ways to learn through play with our award-winning, top selling products including Pretend & Play® Calculator Cash Register, Toy of the Year winner Botley® the Coding Robot, viral phenomenon Kanoodle and our best-selling science toy line, GeoSafari. For more information, visit www.learningresources.com, or follow the brand on Facebook @LearningResources, Instagram @learningresources and TikTok @learningresources. &nbsp Gabrielle WrightCarve&nbspCommunications561-281-8732gabby@carvecomms.comwww.carvecomms.com

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President’s Letter: The LA Fall Preview is Officially Sold Out!

As the toy industry gets ready for fall previews in Los Angeles, we’re excited to announce that The Toy Association’s first-ever LA fall marketplace is officially sold out, with 78 toy companies securing space at 2250 East Imperial Highway in El Segundo, the heart of LA’s “toy district.” &nbsp The building will be open all of September to accommodate vendor meetings throughout the month, with our dedicated LA Fall Preview market week taking place September 9th to 13th, which includes Toy Association-hosted philanthropy and networking events designed to bring us all together in LA. &nbsp Here’s a breakdown of market week activities: &nbsp Monday, September 9:&nbspParty with a Purpose, The Toy Foundation’s critical fundraiser for children’s hospitals, will take place at TAO Los Angeles and feature entertainment from the legendary Blues Traveler, an auction of one-of-a-kind experiences and items, and the opportunity to network while enjoying delicious food and drink. Best of all, 100% of the event’s proceeds will go toward bringing play therapy to pediatric patients in disadvantaged communities across the country. Tickets are on sale now – get them before the event is sold out! &nbsp Tuesday, September 10: The Toy Association will be hosting a free, come-one, come-all&nbspNetworking Party at the Otis College of Art & Design, sponsored by Circana (Platinum Sponsor). The event is free, but RSVPs are required. Come meet creative and business leaders in our industry and see all the amazing work of future designers from the Otis toy program.Earlier in the day, Circana will host a research presentation at the 2250 East Imperial Highway building, which is complimentary and open to all. &nbsp Friday, September 13: Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) will close out the week with the&nbspWonder Women Awards&nbspat The Beverly Hilton. &nbsp The Toy Association is committed to serving the entire industry in LA: We are offering free shuttle bus service around the toy district and food trucks outside our building throughout market week, and will be launching a mobile app (available as of August 1) — that will include a complete list of tenants and contact information for other toy companies with showroom space in LA — with the ability for buyers and sellers to book appointments directly through the app. We have designed all aspects of the Fall Preview to meet the needs of exhibitors as well as buyers wishing to see a wide array of manufacturers under one roof, making it a must-attend stop on their fall preview circuit. &nbsp I’m wishing you all a wonderful summer. The Toy Association team will be working hard to guarantee the first-ever LA Fall Preview is ready to go, and we’re looking forward to connecting in person with many of you this September! &nbsp &nbsp With warm regards, Greg AhearnPresident & CEOThe Toy Association

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