About Us


topleft_toy_9The International Toy Research Association (ITRA) is an association, which was created in 1993 for the purpose of promoting, stimulating and encouraging toy and plaything research all over the world in order to broaden and spread knowledge about toys and promote the development of good toys for children. ITRA further aims to support and cooperate with local, national, and international organizations having the same purposes, to organize and arrange meetings and issue publications concerning the purpose of the association.

The International Toy Research Association currently comprises 96 members from 23 countries. ITRA is run by an executive Board, which is elected every three years in ITRA conferences.

Our Story

The initiative to form an association for toy research was taken by Professor Emeritus Brian Sutton- Smith, USA, Professor Jeffrey Goldstein, Holland and Jorn-Martin Steenhold, Denmark. Grants from the Toy Manufacturers of Europe (TME, Brussels) and the Toy Manufacturers of America (TMA, New York) enabled 16 researchers from 12 countries to meet in Utrecht, Holland, on September 10th 1993 to discuss aims and rules for an association for toy research. The meeting decided to form a work group for an International Toy Research Association (ITRA).

The ITRA pioneers were:

Kathleen Alfano, Fisher Price, E. Aurora, NY, USA
Birgitta Almqvist, Uppsala University, Sweden
Gilles Brougère, University Paris-Nord, France
Greta Fein, University of Maryland College Park MD, USA
Jeffrey Goldstein, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
Waltraut Hartman, University of Vienna, Austria
Joop Hellendorn, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Rachel Karniol, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Stephen Kline, Simon Fraser University Vancouver, Canada
Anthony Pellegrini, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
Hein Retter, Technische Universität, Braunschweig, Germany
Jean-Pierre Rossie, University of Ghent, Belgium
Peter K. Smith, University of Sheffield, England
Gisela Wegener- Spöhring, Göttingen University, Germany
Jörn-Martin Steenhold, Bryrup, Denmark
Brian Sutton-Smith, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, USA

Also invited to the pioneer meeting but unable to attend –because of childbirth- were Cleo Gougoulis of Greece and Jacqueline Jukes of the United Kingdom.