The Toy Association™ Champions Small Businesses Year-Round

by The Toy Association | 07 May 2024

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed

May 1, 2024


Dear toy industry colleagues,


Small Business Week (April 28 to May 4) is a time to celebrate the backbone of our economy. Innovation and creativity drive our industry, yet small businesses often face daunting challenges. This is where The Toy Association’s global government and regulatory affairs team plays a vital role, working 365 days a year to provide crucial advocacy and assistance to support and unify the industry.


From protecting businesses on local, federal, and international levels against harmful legislation to helping navigate obstacles threatening the toy and play community’s ability to get toys effectively and safely into consumers’ hands, our work helps to ensure that toy businesses of all sizes can thrive amidst regulatory complexities and logistical hurdles.


When tackling regulatory matters, one of our key objectives is to establish consistent regulations nationwide and globally. This uniformity is particularly beneficial for small business owners who often lack extensive staff to navigate regulatory compliance. By pushing for streamlined regulations across states — and even between countries worldwide — we aim to simplify the cost of doing business, making it more efficient and more cost-effective for all involved. Most recently, Jos Huxley, senior vice president of technical affairs at The Toy Association, returned from Denmark to participate in European Committee for Standardization meetings regarding updates and new developments for the European EN71 series of Toy Safety Standards and to discuss the benefits of aligning global standards.


Last month, we relaunched the Congressional Toy Caucus with U.S. Representatives Seth Magaziner and Rob Wittman. By uniting policymakers from both sides of the aisle, the caucus elevates awareness on pressing issues affecting the industry, including the passage of the SHOP Safe Act, one of our top legislative priorities. The bill demands action on the critical issue of unsafe counterfeit toys sold online and is awaiting a vote out of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. In addition to our direct engagement with policymakers, we have been actively participating in forums across the country and shedding light on the urgent need for legislative action on this critical issue. We are also collaborating with other industry associations to leverage collective expertise and resources to amplify our efforts.


Beyond federal legislative work, we also are diligently involved in state issues. One of The Toy Association’s current priorities is to influence the development of and help members comply with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws for paper and packaging throughout the U.S. With this involvement, The Toy Association can ensure that the interests of the toy industry are effectively represented throughout rulemaking processes. Another main focus of ours is The Toy Association-sponsored legislation to revise Pennsylvania’s outdated “Stuffed Toy” law, which currently does not permit the use of recycled materials in stuffed toys. The Toy Association is committed to updating outdated laws to incorporate modern technology, in addition to harmonizing laws across the country so toy manufacturers have predictability and consistency.


And, of course, we offer resources for the industry at large through The Toy Association, including through our regular webinars to help detangle the complex web of regulations so that companies without dedicated staff can learn to navigate proper product compliance and stay on top of the latest policies. If you’re interested in accessing recent webinars, such as navigating changes made to the ASTM F963-23 toy safety standard, click here. We also offer a Toy Safety Education course that provides participants with key state, federal, and international safety regulations and requirements impacting the toy industry.


As we reflect on Small Business Week, let us celebrate the invaluable role of small companies in bringing new ideas into our play community. We are honored to be a part of helping to ensure that innovation and creativity continue to flourish. Feel free to reach out to me at any time regarding issues that may be impacting your business.



ed desmond signature
Ed Desmond
Executive Vice President, Global Government & Regulatory Affairs

the toy association

Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!