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Click here to see the winners of edplay's first-ever Fabulous Product Awards

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2014's award winners


Throwing Caution
to the Wind



by Alyssa LaFaro

A children’s toy for thousands of years, kites didn’t really “take off” until 1975, when Peter Powell demonstrated a dual-line stunt kite in the U.K. It was voted Toy of the Year by the British Association of Toy Retailers in 1976.

When its popularity began to soar on this side of the pond, brothers Bob and Steve Negen opened a kite store in Michigan. “My brother decided on a whim,” explains Steve. “He said, ‘Hey, do you want to fly kites with me for the summer?’ I had just graduated from high school. I said ‘Sure.’
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Reader Response Illustrates Two Sides of Debate

Kevin –
I feel your publisher’s letter on the Affordable Health Care Act (“Young and Foolish,” edplay January/February 2014) was inappropriate. I don’t see why politics needs or should be a part of a magazine focused on toy retailers.
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From www.smallbiztrends.com

National Neighborhood Toy Store Day
September/October 2010
Independent toy stores around the country are gearing up to celebrate the first-ever national Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 13th. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is launching this annual event to help the specialty toy industry collectively promote the adv ... [click here to read more]



What We Saw at Toy Fair

by Alyssa LaFaro and Tina Manzer

Despite the travel-halting effects of that crazy polar vortex, more than 30,000 play professionals made it to the New York Toy Fair, reports TIA. The annual February event took up 412,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the Javits Center, where some 1,150 companies – 285 for the first time – exhibited their new releases.

The show kicked off Saturday night, February 15, with the annual presentation of the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Not surprisingly, the Rainbow Loom from Choon’s Design was the top winner with four awards – Best Activity Toy, Girl Toy and Specialty Toy of the Year, plus the grand prize for absolute best Toy of the Year.
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For the 19th time, the staff of edplay magazine is heading to Toy Fair at the Javits Center in New York. We think we’re finally getting the hang of it. Like most of you, we are excited about seeing the ways play and innovation, and local storefronts and global commerce, will come together in 2014. Read More
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by Kevin Fahy

kevin fahy

A Room With a View

Several years ago I wrote a column about a disturbing new trend that we were seeing in retail. Shoppers were coming into stores to see merchandise in person and check prices, then going home (so 2008) and ordering online. They were usually finding a better price through one of the comparison sites, and very often avoiding sales tax into the bargain.
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