Print this page ASTRA Fact Sheet

Mission:  The mission of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is to “lead the way through play” by providing quality products that help children have fun, achieve success and lead happy, healthy lives.  We do this by providing leadership and resources to manufacturers, retailers, sales representatives, and others who are committed to producing and selling quality play materials with high play value.

Founded:  1992



  • Kathleen McHugh, President 
  • Linda Hays, Chair of the Board 
  • Michael Levins,  Chair-Elect of the Board

Members:   ASTRA currently has over 1600 members. 

  • Locally-owned independent toy and children’s products retailers
  • Specialty toy manufacturers
  • Manufacturer’s representatives
  • Industry affiliates
  • Suppliers and service providers

Key Consumer Programs

  • Neighborhood Toy Store Day:  Second Saturday of November each year.   Promotes the advantages of buying specialty toys, and provides a free step-by-step guide to members. 
  • Best Toys for Kids:  Leading toy list that represents the year’s top picks by independent toy store owners nationwide
  • ASTRA’s online Store Finder: Gives consumers a quick and easy way to find a neighborhood toy store.

Key Industry Programs

  • ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy: The year’s largest gathering of the specialty toy industry
  • Resources for retailers: Iincluding product locater and group discounts
  • ASTRA at Toy Fair: including social events and Share the Fair guide
  • Educational programs and publications: for independent toy retailers and specialty manufacturers

Click here to contact ASTRA