Commissioner Buerkle with the founders of Fan Hands, LLC.

On the Road: Toy Fair

A life size lego action figure with a blue hat, gray jacket, and tan cargo pants.Toy Fair is always a remarkable experience for me, and this year was no different. I was able to walk the floor with Toy Industry Association (TIA) representative Autumn Moore, to meet some of the vendors who were attending the event for the first time.

One of my favorite parts of Toy Fair is to meet new entrepreneurs and small business owners to hear stories about their product. A venue like Toy Fair, allows them to get their product in front of the thousands of buyers who are there, possibly taking their company to a new level in the marketplace.

A new event at Toy Fair was Play Fair.  This was a paid event for the consumer to interact with some of the newer and more popular toy merchandise of the year.  This event alone attracted more than 20,000 adults and children from outside the industry.

Commissioner Buerkle and a life size Curious George mascotLater in the day, I walked the floor of the show with Maryanne McGerty-Sieber, a CPSC Field Investigator from the New Jersey area.  Maryanne spent time introducing me to more established vendors.

I had the pleasure of once again addressing the TIA Safety Summit, alongside my colleague, Commissioner Bob Adler.  The TIA audience members represented the toy industry job creators. These are the industry manufacturers, business owners, sales and marketing teams and importers.  The toy industry supports approximately 500,000 full time jobs.

A pink PomPom Wow! Car with purple, yellow, and teal siding.In addition to the thanking TIA and its members for all their hard work and commitment to product safety, I encouraged them to reach out to my office and the CPSC staff. We work for them, the American people. They pay our salaries and we are accountable to them. The toy industry is made up of the same people for whom they craft, sell and distribute their product: families.  As a government regulatory agency we should proceed with caution. While regulations are a necessary part of government, we must take a reasonable and balanced approach. A one-size-fits-all-approach does not work lest we stifle what makes us great: hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, free enterprise and the creative energy of the American people.

Thank you, TIA, for another interesting, dynamic and fun Toy Fair!

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