NETS Annual General Meeting Breakfast

2016 Annual General Meeting Registration

Registration for AGM Breakfast Meeting
  • Please register and plan to attend the 2016 Annual General Meeting Monday March 1st 8:30 am -during the TaG Central Show-International Plaza Hotel-Toronto. Breakfast rsvp required by February 20 please. List the names of each person planning to attend the AGM Breakfast. Also indicate your company name.
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Inaugural TaG Central Fair Scores with Specialty-market Crowd

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Christine Vinet, Bloco Toys, joined close to 40 specialty vendors at TaG Central’s first show

If the organizers of the first Toys and Games Central Fair were aiming for an exhibition that was exciting but, at the same time, relaxed and welcoming, then they got it just about right.

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Papo’s dinosaurs from D’Artagnan Distribution

While it was obviously a working show with lots of catalogues and order pads handy for writing business, the atmosphere was unpressured and friendly, with retailers finding time to network, as well as shop.

About 145 visitors (approximately 85 stores) representing the gift and juvenile-product sector arrived to check out everything the show had to offer. Not surprisingly, most retailers came from Ontario, but several from Quebec and Atlantic Canada also made the journey.

The fair, which closed on March 10 after a three-day run at the International Plaza Hotel in the Toronto-airport area, hosted almost 40 vendors ranging from mid- to smaller-size.

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Well-known and award-winning suppliers, such as Imports Dragon, Playwell Enterprises, and B.C.s Outset Media, shared floor space with less familiar names like Quebec game supplier Distribution Le Valet. But all came with top-notch product largely targeting the needs and markets of the independent store crowd.

Thousands of SKUs and hundreds of both generic and licensed lines were on display — ranging from collectibles and crafts to kites and ride-ons. And along with tons of tried-and-true brands, retailers could also find new intros, many having just debuted at earlier 2015 fairs in Germany and NYC.

As always, it’s impossible to highlight every worthy product on display. But (below) Toys & Games Magazine lists several that we think deserve a second look.

Activity

TaG CentralDiscoveroo High Tea Set: this charming wooden playset, which doubles as a stacking toy, offers imaginative open-ended play, From 2 Blue Ducks;

Yookidoo Discovery Playhouse: designed to grow with kids, this handy Playhouse is the perfect hideaway for toddlers, plus it offers loads of activities; From Playwell Enterprises;

Building

TaG CentralPlastwood Kliky: designed for toddlers, 12 months and over, this wonderful new building line features chunky magnetic tiles — sets in a variety of piece counts and colours are available. From KSM Toys;

Kiditec Construction: featuring made-in-Switzerland quality, this beautiful new construction line is designed to encourage motor skills and imagination in kids — tiny toddlers to early graders. It offers six kits — 22 pieces to 151 pieces. From K.I.D. Toys;

Galactic Mission: featuring Bloco’s signature, flexi-foam shapes, this new 175-piece space-themed construction set lets kids, five to ten years old, build three projects, including astronaut, shuttle and rocket. From Bloco Toys;

Collectibles

TaG CentralAurora Fancy Pals: these mini plush animals, who come nestled in their own special carriers, are just too cute to resist — little girls will want to collect every model in the collection of 90+ SKUS. From Nearly Famous;

Spaghetti Headz: Girls of all ages will want to glam-it-up with these fun hair twists made from eco-friendly polymer clay and featuring a sweet little charm in a huge variety of themes — one for every day of the month. From KSM Toys;

Games

TaG CentralExplore Canada: a NETS Gold Star award winner, Explore Canada is a bi-lingual trivia game designed for two to six players, seven years and older. Fun and educational, players explore the geography and history of our unique country. From Outset Media;

Zombie 15: designed for two to four players, 14 years and over, this fast-paced, cooperative team-style game tests players determination to survive a horde of flesh-eating zombies. CD included. From Distribution Le Valet;

Wooden

TaG CentralBigJigs Polar Glacier: this uniquely themed, two-tiered wooden playset offers hours of imaginative fun. It features an icy landscape, an igloo, six animals, including an orca and polar bear, and two Inuit figures. From Brands in Balance;

Djeco Petit Home: designed to encourage imaginative play and story telling, kids, five and over, will love the Petit Home wooden dollhouse collection, which now includes two models — Color House (with furniture), and Cubic House. Figures and accessories are sold separately. From Îlot 307;

Autumn Venue Planned
Although reviews are still rolling in, Kate Baldwin, a spokesman for the TaG Central organizing group and president of Brands in Balance, says most visitors and vendors are giving a thumbs-up verdict on the new show. “However, we know there’s room for improvement and the organizers are asking for feedback.” says Baldwin. “With this show, our goal is to build a stronger Canadian toy industry. So, we want to give buyers and exhibitors the best possible experience,” she adds.

Brent Hackett, On the Right Track, with Water Fountains Sound Machine

Brent Hackett, On the Right Track, with Water Fountains Sound Machine

The success of TaG Central‘s spring event has ensured there will be an autumn edition. Although dates have yet to be confirmed, the next TaG Central — featuring an expanded exhibitor list — is scheduled to run at the International Plaza Hotel in early to mid September.

Retailer Diane Mattice, who is also president of Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada, said her organization’s retailer members are already looking forward to the fall show. Describing the March venue as, “an excellent show”, Mattice added, “It’s important that Canadian retailers come out to support these suppliers who have worked so hard. I think the September show will be even more valuable for us as we get ready for the holiday season.”