Billy Langsworthy reports back from his time at this year's US Toy Fair, praising the TIA for once again putting aside time to champion the US inventor community.
After a brilliant few days at the US Toy Fair, I'm back in the UK where strangely, the weather is a welcome relief.
As the city suffered its coldest Valentine's Day on record, couples would head out hand in hand for a stroll in Central Park and end up resembling Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.
Thankfully, I was over there for work, and am also single, so there was no chance of that (I promise that reads more as an advert than I intended).
As I type this, my ears have started to thaw out and I'm starting to regain feeling in my hands, but can still feel the warm glow of a great show brimming with creativity and inventor talent.
Just as our own London Toy Fair celebrates start ups and inventors with the Greenhouse area, the student seminars and of course, the Inventors Dinner, the TIA has its Creative Factor programme.
This year's expansive programme included Ask a Pro sessions which saw visitors educated on topics including licensing, sourcing and manufacturing, presenting, crowdfunding, pitching, PR and patents.
Elsewhere, debate sessions saw speakers touch on issues of using STEAM toys in education, gender in toy marketing, gender in toy design and 3D printing.
The show floor itself was awash with inventors, and we'll have interview pieces with the creators behind the likes of the 3Doodler and hit Eighties toy line Pound Puppies up on the site over the next few weeks.
"I got a chance to go the Toy Inventors Dinner at the London Toy Fair and the energy in that room was phenomenal," TIA president Steve Pasierb told the press during the show.
"I don’t know if we’ve necessarily captured that here in the United States, connecting people in the best way that we could. That’s where the future is."
It's great to see the US trade body listing the inventor community high on their priorities moving forward and this year's US Toy Fair should be commended for once again offering a brilliant programme for budding creators in this space.