BTHA's Rebecca Deeming gives us the lowdown on the latest issues facing the toy industry.
It’s been a busy last month for the BTHA having held our second BTHA Training Hub seminar for members, taking on the topic of Tackling Modern Slavery.
We welcomed guest speakers from industry experts Stronger Together and ICTI Care who provided tips and advice to a mix of member companies on what they should be doing to meet the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act.
New legislation means that the UK government is a lot more stringent on the steps required by UK toy companies to take in being complicit with the Act and has issued new guidance for companies affected by it. Our seminar proved to be the perfect platform to field any questions until now that were left unanswered.
Meanwhile, Fidget Spinners have been a hot topic of conversation in the past few months, particularly regarding the risk to children’s safety. As ever, when there is a craze like this, companies that have no idea about toy safety import poor quality and unsafe product, and they ruin the market and the reputation of the responsible industry.
We were therefore pleased to see a crackdown by trading standards on unsafe products and the issue highlighted on Watchdog. The BTHA also highlighted an incredibly unsafe product, the toothpick crossbow, to Trading Standards to try to ensure they would not make it onto the UK market.
Toy Fair 2018 looks set to be another great show.
Rebecca Deeming, BTHA
The BTHA met with the Information Commissioner’s Office in July. It was a good meeting and appears the UK will be taking a pragmatic approach to regulations. The ICO were helpful in answering questions about the implementation of the GDPR on behalf of the toy industry. We will be updating members on those discussions.
When it comes to Brexit, the BTHA is continuing to meet with government officials and recently met with the Department for Exiting the EU. We are also planning ahead for an event in Westminster at the end of November.
There was cause for celebration last month as our Make Time 2 Play campaign hit 100,000 Facebook likes. The campaign is a great opportunity to promote toys and play in a positive light and we would love for more members to get involved with the campaign.
We have an exciting month coming up, with Toy Fair registration opening on September 5th, the build-up to Toy Fair 2018 is well and truly on the way.
With the return of regular exhibitors like Flair, Character Options, Playmobil, Spin Master and Orchard Toys, as well as a new extension of the Greenhouse Area making space for new companies, Toy Fair 2018 looks set to be another great show.
Rebecca Deeming is the public relations manager at the BTHA, an association that represents British toy manufacturers to raise standards of practice in the industry.