Author: Casey Holland

Ruling for Drone Registration Requirement Reversed

A U.S. appeals court reversed a ruling that requires owners of recreational drones to register aircrafts that weigh more than 0.5 pounds with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to The Toy Association. With the reversal, users of toy drones no longer have to register their aircrafts with the FAA, and manufacturers of toy drones no longer need to tell purchasers that FAA registration is required with the purchase of their drone. However, in accordance with last year’s FAA Modernization Act, drone manufacturers of all sizes must still include a safety statement in drone packaging that describes rules, regulations, and safety tips for consumers operating unmanned aircraft systems. More information for manufacturers is available on the FAA website. The Toy Association recently participated in a Micro UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee from the FAA to consider recommendations for a performance-based standard that would allow micro unmanned aircraft systems to be operated over people or under a covered structure. The recommendations for the rule are available online, although the rule has not been...

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Panel Finds Parents Need to Improve Play for Children

A panel of parenting experts and educators convened by The Genius of Play at The Children’s Museum of Manhattan found parents don’t truly understand the value that comes with play, according to the Toy Association. The panel’s findings are included in the report “The State of Play in America,” A Special Report by The Genius of Play. The report includes guidance on the issues of concern to today’s parents and educators, including the role of technology in kids’ lives, safety concerns that could limit their independence, and the importance of recess or play breaks in aiding learning. The panel concluded that parents forget to carve out time for play and may wrongly dismiss it as “empty time.” The panel’s findings included six insights: There isn’t any right way to play, so not all play needs to be structured or the same. Play is also considered a strategy for learning, and putting kids in a program to learn a particular skill isn’t the same as just letting them play. The panel found that recess should not be considered empty time, and that kids today are safer than they have ever been, so parents should encourage problem-solving skills to help their children make better decisions. Learning how to use technology should be guided by the parents, the panel found, and limits need to be set with using it. Lastly, parents need...

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Shopkins Pop-Up Café to Open in New York City

Moose Toys will open a limited-time Shopkins Macaron Café. Reservations for the café opened at 8 p.m. on June 1, and were completely booked in one minute. The waiting list includes more than 4,000 families. The café is set to open in Tribeca from June 17 to 19 and is meant to celebrate the launch of Shopkins Season 8: World Vacation. The first wave of Shopkins: World Vacation will introduce Shopkins and Shoppies characters from France, Italy, Germany, and the UK. The café is free for those who have a reservation, and is inspired by Shopkins Season 8 play...

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Odyssey Toys Partners with Petra for Product Distribution

Odyssey Toys signed a deal with Petra this month to distribute its complete line of consumer electronics toys, such as drones and educational augmented reality games. Petra will work to increase distribution at online retailers and independent brick and mortar stores around the U.S. Odyssey Toys has 16 new products planned for the Q4 Holiday Shopping Season. One of those products, called ARIA’s Adventures, is an augmented reality interactive application that combines physical playing cards with a cellphone-compatible virtual reality headset. The product is designed to teach memory skills and facts about different animals. It comes with 60 different animal cards with facts about each animal. The product is recommended for kids ages 4 and older. Another key item coming out is the Bumper Drone, which offers the same functions of a regular drone with airbag coating. Meant to be a first drone for kids, the Bumper Drone’s protective airbag is meant to help it withstand damage. It features auto hover, takeoff, and landing features and is recommended for kids ages 8 and older. A second drone option set to hit the shelves is Build-A-Drone. Users are responsible for building the drone themselves by using toy block pieces to assemble it and insert the motors. It comes with 62 pieces for assembly and an instruction packet with three possible ways to build the drone. The Build-A-Drone is recommended for...

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Brain Miller to Receive ASTRA Top Honor

Brian Miller of the Geppetto’s A Child’s Fantasy toy stores in San Diego, California, will be honored at Marketplace & Academy with ASTRA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Miller is a 25-year veteran in the toy industry and owns nine Geppetto’s locations. He started his toy career about the same time ASTRA was founded, and served as a board member and volunteer leader during the beginning of ASTRA. He also helped shape many ASTRA programs still in place today. Miller will receive the award from ASTRA during its annual Awards Breakfast and Business meeting from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on June 26 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in...

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