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Kickstart: COVID serves up another cancellation

COVID serves up another cancellation

It’s a confusing time to make plans for international events. While some regional trade shows and gatherings are taking place, others are being postponed or canceled for another year due to worries COVID-19 cases will surge again. (Just follow the Tokyo Olympic games coverage for further evidence.)

Materials company Toray Industries Inc., sponsor of the Women’s Tennis Association’s Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis 2021 tournament, announced July 2 that it would cancel the event set for September in Japan.

“[Organizers] looked at every possible way to make this international tournament happen, by implementing various measures to prevent the spread of … COVID-19 including the idea of restricting admissions, in order to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved including players, officials, ball boys and girls, stewards, sponsors and partners, suppliers and contractors, media, guests and all other staff,” the company said in a news release.

Naomi Osaka won the tournament in 2019, the last time it was held.

The announcement came as officials in Japan declared a state of emergency restricting travel in Tokyo and also announced there would be no spectators at the Olympic Games, set to begin July 23.


Diving in

First a transparent pool spanning two buildings in London made viral waves. Now Adidas is using a massive plastic pool for a promotion of its inclusive swimwear, a full-body swimsuit.

Adidas calls the project in Dubai the first “liquid billboard.” The miniature swimming pool is 5 meters high, 3 meters deep, made of acrylic and holds 11,500 gallons of water, writes Alexandra Jardine of our sister paper Advertising Age.

Women were invited to swim in a billboard last month at one of Dubai’s most popular beaches.

“Created by Havas Middle East, it took three weeks and a team of 32 people to build,” Jardine wrote. “It went live June 24 for three days on a public beach. Swimmers, including amputee triathlete Dareen Barbar and Saudi Arabian climber Raha Moharrak, took a dip, and at the same time, live footage from inside the billboard was streamed on a digital screen at the Dubai Mall ice rink, next to the Adidas flagship store.”


A world of toys to honor

Nominations are open for the Toy Hall of Fame, and there are plenty of classic plastic options out there to submit.

So far, 74 toys have made it into the Hall, housed at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., including Legos, Barbie dolls, the Magic 8 Ball, green army men and Wiffle Balls. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the hall.

Nominated toys must have icon status, longevity, promote discovery and show innovation. You can go here to find the list of the toys already in the hall and a link for nominations.

Judges will winnow down the list of submissions to finalists that will be unveiled later this year, with the winners named in November.

Nominating a toy is easy, with a simple form to fill out. Last year, I even submitted the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, and since it still isn’t in the hall, I nominated it again for 2021.

A quick poll of Plastics News staffers came up with the following suggestions: pool floats; plastic dinosaurs; bubble wrap; slides; a sandbox; Polly Pockets; and Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Got a better idea? It’ll take you less than five minutes to nominate it.


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