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The Handmade Toy Alliance to Hold Press Conference at Toy Fair - NYC

Members of the Handmade Toy Alliance will be attending the upcoming Toy Fair held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from February 15 – 18, 2009. An HTA press conference has been scheduled for Sunday, February 15th at 1:30 pm - Booth #1249.

Stamford, CT, February 13, 2009 --( Members of the Handmade Toy Alliance will be attending the upcoming Toy Fair held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from February 15 – 18, 2009. Rob Wilson, owner of Challenge & Fun, has devoted a section of his booth (#1249) at the show for the HTA and a Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) discussion forum. Members of the HTA will be present to answer and discuss issues related to the CPSIA with industry colleagues and members of the press. An HTA press conference has been scheduled for Sunday, February 15th at 1:30. Expected in attendance are Dan Marshall, founder of the HTA, Cecilia Leibovitz, who spearheaded the HTA’s initiative, Rob Wilson, creator of CPSIA-central (social network on ning) and many other vocal HTA members from throughout the country. Also in attendance will be Matthias Menzel, Managing Director of Selecta, a German manufacturer that discontinued shipping to the USA last month, due to the CPSIA.

The Handmade Toy Alliance is a grassroots alliance of 304 toy stores, toymakers and children's product manufacturers from across the country, who want to preserve consumer access to unique handmade toys, clothes and children's goods in the USA. They are parents, grandparents and consumers who are passionate about their businesses as well as the safety of the children in their lives. While in support of the spirit of the law, the unintended consequences of the CPSIA has empowered them to work to enact change at a federal level.

In the months since its creation, the HTA has gained national recognition for their effective mobilization of artisans, children’s product manufacturers and toy store owners throughout the country. They have worked as common citizens, to encourage the CPSC and lawmakers to clarify and amend the CPSIA which threatens to close many of their businesses. Although Sen. DeMint (SC) introduced on the Senate floor last Thursday a technical amendment to the CPSIA that would, among other things, include allowances for component based certification processes and prevents retro-active enforcement of the CPSIA, the bill was sent to committee and it is unclear as to if it will be recommended back to the Senate floor for a vote. The HTA hopes to gain bi-partisan support for this bill and/or present new legislation to the Congress to amend the CPSIA.

“We continue to remain hopeful that Congressional members will adapt legislation to effectively amend the CPSIA.” Jill Chuckas, HTA member and owner of shared. “In the meantime, we will do our part to educate and support our members, industry colleagues and everyone who will listen, to help them understand that although we support the intentions of the law, there must be a more common sense approach to comply.”

“And it remains that many in the industry still aren't aware of CPSIA,” Cecilia Leibovitz of states. “It is our hope that our presence at Toy Fair will help to inform these people as well.”

Rob Wilson goes on to say “The question is, at a time when the country is concerned about product safety, doesn't it make sense to have an understandable, yet targeted law that focuses on the real risks, and strictly controls those risks? Our country needs a law that understands and supports businesses that offer quality unique products, rather than making low production volume at a critical disadvantage.”

Dan Marshall, Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care (St. Paul, MN)
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Tel. 651-695-5559

Jill Chuckas, Crafty Baby, Owner, Designer (Stamford, CT)
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Tel. 888-788-5168

Cecilia Leibovitz, President
Craftsbury Kids (Montpelier,VT)
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Tel. 802-223-7143

Rob Wilson, Vice President, Challenge & Fun
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Tel. 888-384-6200

Contact Information
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Jill Chuckas

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