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From the News Archive
Hasbro July 2009 Transformers movies propels spin-off toy sales


With the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen enjoying record ticket sales in China this month, spin-offs of Transformer toys and other products are booming, too. The action movie's ticket sales totaled more than 400 million yuan in China in its first three weeks in theaters. Like earlier hit movies such as the Star Wars and Batman series of films, spin-off toys became top sellers, too.
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'Transformer toy sales increased by 70 percent to 80 percent after the movie came out,' Liu Yang, marketing manager of UME Huaxing International Cineplex, told China Business Weekly. 'Sales were even higher on weekends. They almost doubled, compared to weekdays,' Liu said. Spin-offs included Transformer toys, key rings and other gadgets. A special stamp album featuring likenesses of Transformer characters, although priced at 500 yuan each, also were popular, Liu said.
'For people in their 20s and 30s, watching a Transformer movie is like reuniting with a lost friend,' said Wei Wei, owner of a Beijing toy shop. Although Wei's shop is only about 60 sq m in size, daily sales usually hit 6,000 yuan in the wake of the new Transformer movie's release, he said.
'The first Transformer movie attracted mainly the 70s and 80s generations,' Wei said about the movie based on a popular children's television show of that era.

'Now small children also come and buy models to play with,' Wei said.
Like Transformer toys, the movie features colorful robots that 'transform' into cars and other objects.
It's not just toys. Other products featuring a Transformer tie-in are becoming popular, too.
'Without any advertisement and in just about a month, the sales of our Transformer USB flash drives were up to almost 10,000,' Zeng Ni, marketing manager of Tsinghua Tongfang Co Ltd, said about his company's new product.
'We knew that Transformers would be the talk of the town, so last year we began to develop a series of Transformer IT products,' Zeng said.
His company's efforts paid off. In addition to USB flash drives, the company introduced Transformer laptops and desktops.
Both items posted sales increases of 20 percent to 30 percent since the end of June, following the movie's release, Zeng said.
'We focused on the large number of Transformer fans, and we were right,' Zeng said.
The Meters/bonwe Group formed a partnership with US-based Hasbro Inc to become the only Chinese fashion and accessories company licensed to use Transformers images, typefaces and logos.
Among the hot summer sellers on the company's online store at Taobao.com is a Bumblee T-shirt.
More than 800 T-shirts featuring the yellow robot character from the movie have sold recently, the company reported.
'It's delightful that we still have a double-digit year-on-year increase in sales amid a sluggish economy and the off-season,' Xu Weidong, deputy general manager of Meters/bonwe, was cited by The Economic Observer as saying.
Meters/bonwe also landed a deal for 'product placement' in the new movie.
Xu labeled the appearance of Meters/bonwe products in the movie as a 'win-win situation' for advertising his company's products, although he declined to disclose the cost of the deal.
While US moviemakers have long promoted the appeal of spin-off toys and other products, the Chinese movie industry has yet to fully capitalize on spin-offs, some Chinese industry experts said.
Posted 7/26/2009
Mattel 2Q Profit Up; Cost Cuts Offset Weak Sales - Wall Street Journal
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BBC News

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Mattel 2Q Profit Up; Cost Cuts Offset Weak Sales
Wall Street Journal
... toys tied to Batman, Kung Fu Panda and High School Musical. That was worse than the 13% drop Barclays Capital had forecast. Hasbro is producing toys ...
Mattel Sales Fall 19% as Consumers Cut Back

Posted 7/26/2009
'Transformers' and 'GI Joe' movie tie-ins pay off in sales for Hasbro - New York Daily News
Posted 7/26/2009
Mattel 2Q Profit Soars Despite Weak Sales Amid Cost Cuts - Wall Street Journal
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BBC News

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Mattel 2Q Profit Soars Despite Weak Sales Amid Cost Cuts
Wall Street Journal
In other segments, Barbie sales declined 15%, mostly on international weakness while its car business saw a 10% drop and Fisher-Price fell 13%. ...
Mattel Q2 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
Profits jump for American Girl owner Mattel
Mattel Q2 Profit Surges, Tops Consensus
 -
Posted 7/26/2009
Saling The World: Wii Sports Resort Leads US Sales/Preorders - Gamasutra
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Gamasutra

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Saling The World: Wii Sports Resort Leads US Sales/Preorders
Gamasutra
Super Robot Taisen K (Banpresto). UK: 1. Professor Layton and the Curious Village (Nintendo), 2. Pokemon Platinum (Nintendo), 3. Club Penguin: Elite Penguin ...

Posted 7/26/2009
Hasbro 2nd-quarter profit rises 5 percent, boosted by sales of Transformers, G.I. Joe toys

Toy maker Hasbro Inc. said Monday its second-quarter profit rose 5 percent, beating expectations, as robust sales of Transformers and G.I. Joe toys - both tied to summer movies - helped offset international sales hurt by the stronger dollar.
Posted 7/26/2009 by  CW33 Dallas KDAF-TV 
Hasbro's toy sales don't play around

Transformers aren't just titans at the box office, they're flying off toy shelves, too.
Posted 7/26/2009 by  Myrtle Beach Online 
Hasbro June 2009 Online sales NOT a successful business model

Rebelscum: If collector-oriented obscure movie-only background figures are going to be less common in the basic line, is there any other place where they could be offered like a HasbroToyShop similar to MattyCollector.com? Their online-exclusive lines have been pretty successful and they are limited runs. You know, like the Lucas Family box set that was offered on StarWarsShop.com?

Hasbro: We have actually been in business with this model before with the GI Joe line, and it has *not* been a successful business model. The reality is that online sales are only a small fraction of the total releases that brick and mortar will support. Despite the ease of getting figures online, many fans simply don't bother, or they enjoy the thrill of the hunt that is part of their collecting experience. As such, we have no plans to move back to this space and we prefer to devote our resources to delivering figures within our mainline assortments along with great exclusives and occasional Convention items.

Posted 6/20/2009
Hasbro Sales corp 2008 Star Wars Millenium Falcon
Mississauga-based Hasbro Sales Corp. is launching the largest Millenium Falcon to to ever travel the retail galaxy.
The legendary starship from the futuristic movie series Star Wars is being updated for the first time since its introduction in 1979.
The new Millenium Falcon is part of Hasbro's Star Wars Legacy Collection. The ship includes electronic lights and sounds, and is about 30 per cent larger than the original version of the toy.
Over the last 30 years, since it was introduced on the screen in 1977 and to toy enthusiasts two years later, Han Solo's signature starshiphas become one of the most recognizable vehicles in movie history.
The Falcon soars onto retail shelves tomorrow with an appropriate retail price of $199.99.
Posted 7/26/2008
Hasbro 2008 July Profit Climbs on Higher Action-Figure Sales (Bloomberg.com)

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hasbro Inc., the maker of Monopoly and Transformers, fell 1.7 percent in New York trading after the toymaker said it will raise prices for a second time this year to counter higher costs to make action figures.
Second-quarter profit jumped almost eightfold following costs a year earlier to end part of a contract with ``Star Wars'' director George Lucas, Hasbro said today. The world's second-largest toymaker said a ``mid-single-digit'' price increase on a percentage basis will go into effect Sept. 1.
Sales exceeded analysts' estimates as consumers bought toys tied to May's ``Indiana Jones'' movie and next month's animated ``Star Wars'' film. Both Hasbro and Mattel Inc., which makes Batman products, may need a superhero-driven surge at the box office and price increases to help combat higher plastic and shipping costs in the midst of a consumer-spending slowdown.
``Some investors are a little spooked by the acknowledgement that cost pressures are affecting them,'' Chris White, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview. ``It may get worse before it gets better.'' He recommends holding the shares and doesn't own any.
Hasbro, which rose 49 percent this year before today, dropped 64 cents to $37.35 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
Second-quarter net income soared to $37.5 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with $4.8 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier. Sales climbed 13 percent to $784.3 million, Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Hasbro said today in a statement.
Posted 7/26/2008
Garage sales poor places to sell collectibles - MLive.com

Garage sales are recycling sales. Contemporary, utilitarian objects that you no longer use but someone else might are garage sale fodder.
If an object is collectible, it should not be sold at a garage sale, but in a venue that attracts competing collectors. What is collectible? The best approach is to assume all pre-1963 objects are collectible.
As a generation ages, its toys are among the first group of objects it collects. Nostalgia for one's youth often strikes in one's late 30s or early 40s. Hence, if you are over 45, your childhood toys are collectible. Toys are just the starting point.
Today's young buyers are brand name conscious. They will pay a premium for brand name goods, far more than the garage sale's 10 cents on the dollar. The brand has to be a big one - Baccarat, Lalique and Waterford in glass; Copeland Spode, Lenox and Wedgwood in ceramics; high-fashion designers in clothing and accessories. Specialized auctions for 1970s to 1990s designer items are a hot trend within the auction community.
Never sell any precious metal or precious or semi-precious stone jewelry at a garage sale.
Do not assume all costume jewelry is nickel and dime garage sale offerings. Quality costume jewelry, especially pieces with a manufacturer's mark or great design, is highly collectible.
The old adage that local material sells best locally applies. Does that mean the best sales venue for local material is a garage sale? No. Think of people who grew up in the town but have moved away. I no longer live in Hellertown, Pa., where I spent my childhood. Yet I do weekly searches for 'Hellertown' on eBay. As a result, my Hellertown collection continues to grow.
Posted 7/26/2008
Japan Dec 2007 Fukubukuro (a Sales Gimicks?)

Fukubukuro
 
A 'Fukubukuro' [福袋[ふくぶくろ>> is a bag full of goodies that goes on sale all over Japan from the 1st of January. 'Fuku' means 'fortune' and 'Bukuro' (pronounced 'Fukuro' on its own) means 'bag.'
15000 people queued up outside a department store in Ikebukuro to get their hands on one.

The tradition of the Fukubukuro goes back to the late Meiji period where it was invented by the Matsuzakaya department store in Ginza (source.)

The bag is sealed and the person buying one doesn't know whats inside. Its usually filled with stuff that the shop couldn't get rid of the previous year - but nobody would buy them if they were called 'Shite-we-couldnt-get-rid-of-bag.' So what store owners do is put a highly valued item inside some of the bags - brand name items which make some of the bags worth buying.

There have been spinoff bags called Fukoubukuro [不幸袋[ふこうぶくろ>> meaning 'bag of misfortune' where the contents are literlly full of shite - example here ^^;

Are you a new years sale junkie? Did you buy anything nice or end up with a load of crap?
Fukubukuro
 
Fukubukuro
 
Fukubukuro
 
Fukubukuro
 
Fukubukuro
 


Posted 1/6/2008
Auction Nov 2007 Salesman Samples Get High Marks At Julia’s Toy & Doll Auction
Fairfield, Maine:James D. Julia's November 13 toy and doll auction realized more than $630,000. Of the many fresh-to-the-market rarities, it was the collection of salesman sample furniture from the Beverly Darling estate — 20 lots never before offered at auction — that was among the more fascinating. Created by H. Sacks and Sons of Brookline, Mass., the furniture was intricately crafted to the exact specifications of their full-sized counterparts.

Highlights included a two-part, inlaid mahogany and tiger maple Federal butler's secretary. Topped with a shelved section behind a geometric pattern of glass paned doors with numerous cubbies, a molded crest and turned finials, it saw active bidding until reaching $3,450. A triple pedestal inlaid dining room table with six miniature Chippendale chairs changed hands at $6,612. An elegant inlaid bow front Federal mahogany sideboard with doors and drawers aplenty finished at $3,450.
A salesman sample of a different variety was a road grader by Stockland Road Machinery. The grader featured intricate gear mechanisms in which one could smoothly adjust the height, angle and pitch of the blade on the go. Finely crafted of wood, cast iron and brass, it flattened its presale estimate of $7/11,000 to end up at $23,000.
French dolls, German characters and unusual dollhouses were well received. Topping the list of dolls was a stunning and rare large 28-inch Eighteenth Century English wooden doll with great facial features. Pictured in The Heart of the Tree , it finished at $37,950.

Collectors were thrilled with a number of dollhouses in the auction. Fine craftsmanship was evident in a large, fresh-from-the-attic, three-story Gottschalk red roof dollhouse. With a split-hinged façade featuring fenced balconies on every floor, beautifully carved and turned architectural elements, it went to doll dealer Lucy Morgan for $8,050 after a close battle with a phone bidder.

A variety of antique toys hit the block. A rare Hans Erbel German tin windup delivery truck advertising Strawbridge & Clothier department stores with its original box sold for $7,475. A German 9-pins container in the form of a reclining German Shepherd rounded up $12,650. Trains made a strong showing. A rare 7¼-inch gauge Bassett-Lowke George the Fifth live steam engine measuring more than 7 feet long and most likely made for a garden railway rolled off to a phone bidder for $17,250.

In antique advertising, a die-cut tin sign for Iver Johnson firearms, titled 'Hammer the Hammer' and demonstrating the strength of their firearms, sold for $5,750. An embossed tin sign for Campbell's Soup, predating Warhol's Pop Art by half a century, had rarity and graphic appeal on its side. The example went to a buyer who plans some moderate restoration and prominent placement in his home. It sold for $18,400.
Prices reported include the buyer's premium. For information, 207-453-7125 or www.juliaauctions.com .
 
 
Posted 1/6/2008
Nov 2007 Black Friday toy sales not devoid of recall fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Toy shoppers largely ignored more than 70 recalls of products made by Mattel, RC2 and other manufacturers this year and swept into stores looking for bargains on Friday.
Angel Padilla, from Orlando, Florida, a self-confessed 4 a.m. Black Friday shopper was at the Toys 'R' Us store in Manhattan's Times Square with his 5-year-old son, Zahid. He said the 'Made in China' label worried him, but not enough to refuse buying the products.
'There are very few toys that are not made there,' he said, shrugging off concerns while shopping for toy robots.
Like Padilla, most U.S. consumers will shop for toys this holiday season despite the recalls that have challenged sales, according to analysts that follow the industry.
Nearly 50 percent of all toy sales are rung up during the fourth quarter, which includes the holidays, according to market research firm NPD Group.
Black Friday is considered a harbinger for the rest of the holiday shopping season in the United States.
Consumers line up hours in advance at malls and electronics stores, Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Sears, to snag deals.
At the Toys 'R' Us, the line that snaked around the block was probably twice as long as last year's on Black Friday, Chief Executive Jerry Storch said.
'The only longer line I have ever seen was when we launched the Nintendo Wii here,' he said of the November 19, 2006 introduction of the video game.
Sales so far looked good, and online sales on Thanksgiving Thursday exceeded expectations, he said.
'MADE IN CHINA' WORRIES
Recalls of millions of toys, mostly Chinese-made, from Curious George Plush dolls to Thomas & Friends wooden rail cars due to concerns over lead paint, alarmed consumers and worried retailers.
It may have, however, done some good for upscale toy stores like FAO Schwarz, which has stores in New York, Las Vegas and Chicago.
'I think with the recalls that have gone on, this helps ... parents are starting to ask a lot more questions about toys and looking for higher quality and that's been a benefit to us,' Chief Executive Ed Schmults said in an interview on Friday.
Shoppers, however, were not worry-free.
The consumers fretting about toys made in China, were typically those with younger children.
'That's one of the reasons we have not bought much stuff for Shane this year,' said Stephanie Ripps of New York, referring to her 7-month-old son over the din at the Toys 'R' Us.
'It's not going to stop me,' said Carolyn Diggs, found at a Macy's store in Washington D.C. 'My son's five (years old) and does not put stuff in his mouth anymore.'
 
Posted 11/24/2007
Hasbro Nov 2007 Predicts Strong Sales Of Toys For Holidays

Pawtucket-based Hasbro, the world’s second-largest toymaker, said yesterday that it was optimistic about holiday sales that account for almost half of its annual profit.
Chief executive officer Alfred Verrecchia made the comments during a meeting with analysts and investors at its headquarters. He also said Hasbro hasn’t recalled any products for lead content that exceeds U.S. standards.
Recalls of tens of millions of products from China, which manufactures 80 percent of toys sold in the United States, have hurt the industry as consumer spending slows. Wal-Mart Stores and other retailers have stepped up discounts in the current quarter.
“We have not seen any measurable negative impact” on purchases of Hasbro products from recalls, Verrecchia said, since the maker of Monopoly board games and Transformers action figures had increased product testing and stepped up factory inspections. Many procedures that companies have implemented and called “new” have been in place at Hasbro for years, he said.
The National Retail Federation predicts the smallest holiday sales increase in five years. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, introduced markdowns on some popular toys more than two weeks earlier than last year.
“We have begun to see a trickle of moms starting their holiday shopping,” Gerrick Johnson, a toy-industry analyst at BMO Capital Markets in New York, wrote Wednesday in a note. “It still seems that many have been delaying.” He recommends investors buy Hasbro shares.
The toymaker, which trails Mattel in toy sales, is promoting its Squawkers McCaw electronic talking parrot and the Power Tour electric guitar for the holidays.
Next year, Hasbro will focus on expanding lines such as Littlest Pet Shop for girls, rather than relying on movie-based products such as Spider-Man and Star Wars, Verrecchia and other executives said at the meeting.
Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels vehicles, withdrew more than 21 million Chinese-made toys worldwide since August for excessive lead in paint or magnets that may detach and be swallowed. Last week, the toymaker recalled 196,000 Fisher-Price kitchen toys made in Mexico because small pieces could pose a choking hazard to children.
The Chinese-made Aqua Dots, distributed by Toronto-based Spin Master Ltd., was recalled last week because it contained a chemical linked to the so-called date-rape drug. About 26 million toys and other products made in China have been recalled by companies in the United States since August, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site.
The last recall at Hasbro was in July, when the company pulled 1 million Easy-Bake ovens off shelves because children could burn their hands, according to CPSC data.
Hasbro climbed 42 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $26.87 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has dropped 1.4 percent this year, while Mattel shares have fallen 12 percent.
Posted 11/17/2007
Spin Master and Silverlit Toys Oct 2007 Sue KB Toys to stop sales of a competing Mini Helicopter

TORONTO, Oct. 23  /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong-based Silverlit Toys Manufactory Ltd., an acknowledged leader in the development and manufacturing of high-quality electronic toys, and Spin Master Ltd, Silverlit's North American distribution partner and owner of the well known Air Hogs(TM) brand of flying toys, have jointly filed a lawsuit against KB Toys and Westminster Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to stop sales of a competing Mini Helicopter.
The lawsuit, filed in the court known as the 'Rocket Docket' for its speedy resolution of intellectual property disputes, alleges that the Thunder Wolf Mini Indoor MicroLite Helicopter infringes certain U.S. design patents owned by Silverlit, creator of the Havoc Heli (TM) licensed by Spin Master and sold as the Air Hogs(R) Havoc Heli (TM).

Further, the lawsuit contends that KB and Westminster conspired to copy the popular Air Hogs (R) Havoc Heli (TM) and replace those sales with the infringing Thunder Wolf. In addition to an injunction against further sales, the lawsuit also seeks damages for past sales.
'We have spent considerable time effort and money in promoting the Havoc Heli to the point now where it is one of the top toys of the year. We will not stand by idly and let others benefit from all of those efforts. We have a strong history of vigorously protecting intellectual property which we own and license and the Air Hogs(R) Havoc Heli (TM) merits vigorous protection' notes Anton Rabie, Spin Master's CEO.
'The Havoc Heli utilizes a unique and innovative technology and we have gone to great lengths to protect this award winning toy. We will pursue any distributors or manufacturers who try to wrongfully capitalize on those innovations' adds Eddie Wong, director of marketing and sales at Silverlit.
Spin Master and Silverlit successfully obtained an injunction earlier in the year against Hobbytron for selling a knock-off version of the Air Hogs(R) Havoc Heli (TM).
Posted 10/27/2007
Sept 2007 Fantastic Start to the Fall Auction Season as Toy Sales Set Online ... - EcommWire

NEW YORK - The fall auction season has begun, and online bidders visiting Internet auction portal www.LiveAuctioneers.com are finding and buying rare and highly collectible pieces at premier toy auctions at a feverish pace. Early sales indicate strong results, leading to record online sell-through rates at major sales.

Internet bidders came to play at Morphy’s Sept. 5-8 Fall auction, with an online sell-through rate that averaged 32 percent over the four days. An astounding 175,164 visitors viewed Morphy’s electronic catalog through LiveAuctioneers.com, which led to the registration of more than 2,100 online bidders. One of the top Internet lots, a boxed, rare color variation of Lehmann’s tin clown windup toy known as Mixtum surpassed its estimate to bring $7,310 online.

Antico Mondo, the German toy auctioneer, achieved its greatest online auction results to date on Sept. 15 when 419 registered online bidders purchased 22 percent of the cataloged lots. A top Internet lot, Silver Racer, a fantastic Tippco piece with rare paint, sped to a $3,012 finish.
Fantastic Start to the Fall Auction Season as Toy <b>Sales</b> Set Online Records at LiveAuctioneers.com
The online catalog for Vectis Auctions’ Sept. 10–13 Collectable Toy Sale attracted 107,750 toy enthusiasts. An exceptionally rare Yonezawa Diamond Planet Robot, which sold for $14,754. Another of the sale’s 1,249 approved online participants secured a Dinky No.514 “Weetabix” Guy Van for $7,377.

Online opportunities are plentiful for collectors and toy devotees to obtain rare pieces to build or complete their collections this fall. Upcoming auctions featuring world-class mechanical banks, trains, dolls and all other forms of collectible toys will populate the pages of www.LiveAuctioneers.com for the remainder of the year.

About LiveAuctioneers.com
Founded in November 2002, Manhattan-based LiveAuctioneers provides real-time Internet bidding capability, in association with eBay Live Auctions, to more than 600 auction houses in a dozen countries. Through its affiliation with eBay Live Auctions, Live Auctioneers has opened up once-exclusive sales to the cyber community, worldwide. Similar to telephone bidding, buyers at remote locations can participate in real time, bidding on lots from their desktop as the auction is being conducted on site at the auction house. There is no charge to register, and those who do not wish to participate can still watch the action in real time right on their computer monitor. For further information, log on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
Posted 9/29/2007
Xmas 2007 Some Toy Companies Could See Sales Rise - The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Playthings made by brands like Playskool, Brio and GeoMag of Switzerland could get a boost in the fast-approaching holiday sales season because they haven't been caught up in high-profile recalls over lead paint, dangerous magnets or other safety concerns.
Parents, who may snub Fisher-Price toys, Barbie dollhouses and Mega Brands' Magnetix that have been the subject of recent recalls, will want alternatives for their children, experts say.
'Winners who could capture the movement toward safe and friendly toys will see stronger holiday sales,' said Eric Johnson, professor of operations management at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.
Among the most vulnerable brands, Johnson believes, is Mattel's Fisher-Price, the iconic preschool label which had built a reputation among parents for its carefulness but has been swept up in two of Mattel's three high-profile recalls of toys made in China and tainted with lead paint. The latest was announced just Tuesday.
'I think direct competitors will benefit,' added Johnson, citing names like Little Tikes and Playskool.
Consumers already are thinking about changing their holiday buying strategies.
'I would rather pay more for toys that are safe than less for toys that are not safe,' said Yi Chen, a Chicago pathologist who has three daughters, ages 18, 4 and 1 month.
Chen said she doesn't plan to shop less, just more carefully, watching out for toys with paint and toys made of plastic. And she said she doesn't plan on buying anything from Fisher-Price and wishes products coming from overseas were better regulated.
'Especially the plastic toys for the little babies — they put them in their mouth,' she said.
Steve Barnard of Indianapolis, who was shopping on Wednesday at a Toys 'R' Us store, said he won't rule out brands that were subject to recalls but will look closely at labels when he shops for holiday presents for his sons, ages 6 and 9.
He said he'll look for toys made in the United States. He also may look for toys with no paint or consider wooden toys from Europe.
'There seems to be lower quality and higher safety concerns with products made in China,' he said.
Mattel, the world's largest toy maker, is not the only company under scrutiny. RC2 Corp., which in June voluntarily recalled 1.5 million wooden railroad toys and parts from its Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line because of lead paint, could also be hurt as well this holiday season. Mega Brands, whose recall of its Magnetix toys was expanded in April because of dangerous tiny magnets, also has been dealt a blow.
It's a headache for manufacturers and retailers alike with the holidays just months away. More than 80 percent of toys sold in U.S. stores are made in China, which has been blamed for most of the safety problems that triggered the recalls.
Retailers placed the bulk of their orders months ago, and are scrambling now to make adjustments.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest toy seller, has given half its magnetic construction space to GeoMag of Switzerland, a blow for Magnetix, according to Gerrick Johnson, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets Corp.
Posted 9/10/2007
Lego Aug 2007 Posts Higher Sales in Canada

Lego Posts Higher Sales, Upgrades Full-Year Forecast

“Traditionally, however, the bulk of sales occur during the second half-year, which means that success during the peak Christmas season is essential in order to meet the expected new target for 2007”
Lego Group reported 5 percent revenue growth in the first half of the year due to higher sales of classic products like its City, Technic and Star Wars lines. via Canadian Business Magazine
Posted 9/2/2007 by  Canadian Business Magazine 
Maple Landmark Woodcraft Aug 2007 Recall boosts sales for Vt. toymaker
MIDDLEBURY – Maple Landmark Woodcraft co-owner Mike Rainville didn't attend the 2007 American International Toy Fair trade show in lower Manhattan this year, even though he had hosted a booth there in years past, displaying the wooden toys that are the hallmark of the Middlebury-based company.

'We felt we were becoming increasingly irrelevant to the mainline toy store,' he said.

The expense to set up a booth at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to persuade retail toy buyers to purchase Maple Landmark's products was a factor. A bigger problem, though is the competition he faces with well-heeled major toy chains and discount big box stores.

But since June 13, when the first recall of toys manufactured in mainland China made international headlines because the toys contained lead paint or tiny magnets, the company's outlook changed dramatically.

'We think we're going to be really relevant again,' said Rainville, as adults browsed the retail toy shop on Exchange Street.

Traffic to Maple Landmark's Web site has spiked this week, resulting in more page views than in the company's peak holiday season.

The fourth quarter holiday season makes up a significant part of the year's sales. Rainville said the family-owned company is gearing up for a strong October to December selling stretch.

When American toy icon Mattel announced it was recalling nine million Chinese-made toys earlier this week, the interest in lead-free toys soared. Rainville has been as busy fielding phone calls from print and broadcast journalists as he has been tracking production and inventory in Maple Landmark's plant.

People have been coming into the retail shop telling him that they've been throwing out their children's entire toy collections and starting from scratch.

Rainville said he has long been aware of the dangers of toys coated with lead paint or made with lead-containing compounds.

'It's really what's been simmering all along,' said Rainville. 'It's been boiling here the last few days.'

The last eight years have been tough for smaller toy manufacturers.

'The toy business has left our shores long ago,' he said. But with the recall problems, he said American consumers may demand that toys be made in the United States again.

Vacationer Taimi Young and her 29-year-old daughter Taimi Kelley were among the shoppers perusing Maple Landmark's shelves on Saturday. Young is a retired teacher. Kelley is a special education teacher. The family lives year-round in New Jersey.

'I think people should just refuse to buy products made in China,' said Young.

She said parents would have to pay more for American-made goods. But she said it's important to ensure children's safety.
Posted 8/19/2007
Hasbro Aug 2007 Has Profit on Spider-Man, Transformers Sales - Bloomberg

Hasbro Has Profit on Spider-Man, Transformers Sales (Update1)
Bloomberg -

Transformers Toys
More than 3 million Transformers action figures have sold since their introduction last month, helping boys' toys sales more than double in the quarter, Hasbro said. The toys tied in to the July 3 opening of the related film about a battle between robotic beings, the evil Decepticons and noble Autobots.
``Spider-Man 3,'' which opened in theaters on May 4, earned $335.3 million as of July 19, according to Box Office Mojo LLC. Hasbro manufactured the toys as part of a five-year licensing agreement with Marvel Entertainment Inc. to make toys based on its comic-book heroes. Verrecchia, 64, said second-quarter Marvel shipments were ``marginally down'' from the first period.
Posted 8/11/2007
Aug 2007 'Simpsons' Kwik-E-Mart Sales Double - ABC30.com

'Simpsons' Kwik-E-Mart Sales Double
ABC30.com, CA -
For the past three weeks, 7-Eleven has transformed 12 of its convenience stores into caricatures of the Kwik-E-Mart widely recognized as a staple of the cartoon family's fictional town, as part of a promotion for the soon-to-be-released 'The Simpsons Movie.'

The stores have been carrying boxes of KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola, pink doughnuts and special edition 'Radioactive Man' comic books. The convenience store also renamed its Slurpee frozen drinks 'Squishees.'
Though one key Simpsons beverage, Duff Beer, did not make it to the shelves, fans of the hit TV show seem to be jumping at the chance to buy the other once-fictional products. The number of customers to walk through the doors at these special stores has roughly doubled, as have have sales, according to the company.
Since the promotion started July 2, more than 960,000 cans of Buzz Cola have been guzzled up.
Maybe fans were washing down their pink 'Sprinklicious' doughnuts, the type favored by Homer Simpson. The convenience store chain has sold more than 880,400 of the doughnuts nationally in the past three weeks.
The company has also sold 1.1 million Simpsons' Squishee-Slurpee cups.
In total, the convenience store chain has sold more than 3.4 million units of Simpsons merchandise and generated 64.3 million clicks on its Web site, through Sunday. The promotion ends July 31.
'The Simpsons Movie' tie-in has been phenomenal, and so much fun for our franchisees, employees, customers and 'Simpsons' fans,' Rita Bargerhuff, senior director of marketing at 7-Eleven, said in an e-mail.
'While we knew that our customers and 'Simpsons' fans were often the same people, it has been amazing to hear stories of how people would drive across state lines to see the life-size characters, try the Sprinklicious donuts, buy Buzz Cola and KrustyOs and chuckle at the amusing signs throughout the store,' she wrote.
So are the 'Simpsons' products helping 7-Eleven's bottom line?
It's is hard to say. The private company, based in Dallas, doesn't release detailed sales figures, but it did give ABC News a summary of some of its 'Simpsons'-related sales.
And because the company branded only 12 of its 6,000 stores as Kwik-E-Marts, a doubling of sales in those locations really doesn't affect the company's overall sales. But the free publicity sure doesn't hurt.
Posted 8/11/2007
Hasbro Aug 2007 Has Profit on Spider-Man, Transformers Sales - Bloomberg

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Hasbro Inc., the world's second- largest toymaker, said profit slumped 82 percent on costs to end part of a contract with ``Star Wars'' director George Lucas. The company said sales growth may slow, sending the stock to its biggest drop in more than two years.
Second-quarter net income fell to $4.8 million, or 3 cents a share, from $27.1 million, or 7 cents, a year earlier, Hasbro said today. Excluding the $36.5 million charge for Lucas, profit exceeded analysts' estimates by 6 cents a share.
Action figures, games and vehicles tied to the ``Spider-Man 3'' and ``Transformers'' films and Littlest Pet Shop plastic animals buoyed sales, which climbed 31 percent to $691.4 million. Chief Executive Officer Alfred Verrecchia said that growth may slow from the first and second quarters.
``They have everything going their way this year,'' said David Leibowitz, managing director of Burnham Securities Inc. in New York. ``Their big issue is what happens next year.'' He oversees $2 billion for the firm and follows toy stocks.
Shares of Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, fell $1.76, or 5.4 percent, to $30.80 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading for the biggest drop since October 2004. They have climbed 13 percent this year. Other Hasbro products include Monopoly and Play-Doh clay.
Analyst Estimates
Hasbro will be ``more challenged to get the level of growth in '08 that was seen in '07 due to the big `Spider-Man 3' and Transformers contributions,'' said Tim Conder, an analyst at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. in St. Louis. He rates Hasbro shares ``hold'' and doesn't own any.
In the second quarter, Hasbro incurred $10.4 million in costs to recall 1 million Easy-Bake Ovens. The company said it received 249 reports of children getting their hands and fingers stuck in the pink-and-purple plastic oven since a repair program was announced in February. Seventy-seven children were burned.
North American revenue climbed 24 percent to $449.4 million, led by movie toys and Nerf sporting goods. International revenue surged 49 percent to $227.6 million, of which 8 percent came from a decline in the dollar against foreign currencies. The U.S. dollar declined 2.8 percent in the quarter against an index of foreign currencies.
Toys designed for girls such as Littlest Pet Shop and the Baby Alive doll increased 21 percent while Playskool and other preschool brands advanced 19 percent. Board games gained 3 percent.
Transformers Toys
More than 3 million Transformers action figures have sold since their introduction last month, helping boys' toys sales more than double in the quarter, Hasbro said. The toys tied in to the July 3 opening of the related film about a battle between robotic beings, the evil Decepticons and noble Autobots.
``Spider-Man 3,'' which opened in theaters on May 4, earned $335.3 million as of July 19, according to Box Office Mojo LLC. Hasbro manufactured the toys as part of a five-year licensing agreement with Marvel Entertainment Inc. to make toys based on its comic-book heroes. Verrecchia, 64, said second-quarter Marvel shipments were ``marginally down'' from the first period.
Hasbro amended a warrant agreement with Lucas in 2003 as part of a 10-year contract extension that gives the company the right to make toys based on Star Wars movies and animated- television shows. Warrants give the holder the option to buy a certain amount of stock at a specific price before a predetermined date.
Hasbro said it repurchased all the warrants for $200 million in cash on May 24.
Posted 8/5/2007
Aug 2007 'Simpsons' Kwik-E-Mart Sales Double - ABC30.com

'Simpsons' Kwik-E-Mart Sales Double

Jul. 24, 2007 - While the Simpsons might be a fictional family, the very real cereal, soda and doughnuts from their cartoon world are flying off real-world shelves.
For the past three weeks, 7-Eleven has transformed 12 of its convenience stores into caricatures of the Kwik-E-Mart widely recognized as a staple of the cartoon family's fictional town, as part of a promotion for the soon-to-be-released 'The Simpsons Movie.'

The stores have been carrying boxes of KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola, pink doughnuts and special edition 'Radioactive Man' comic books. The convenience store also renamed its Slurpee frozen drinks 'Squishees.'
Though one key Simpsons beverage, Duff Beer, did not make it to the shelves, fans of the hit TV show seem to be jumping at the chance to buy the other once-fictional products. The number of customers to walk through the doors at these special stores has roughly doubled, as have have sales, according to the company.
Since the promotion started July 2, more than 960,000 cans of Buzz Cola have been guzzled up.
Maybe fans were washing down their pink 'Sprinklicious' doughnuts, the type favored by Homer Simpson. The convenience store chain has sold more than 880,400 of the doughnuts nationally in the past three weeks.
The company has also sold 1.1 million Simpsons' Squishee-Slurpee cups.
In total, the convenience store chain has sold more than 3.4 million units of Simpsons merchandise and generated 64.3 million clicks on its Web site, through Sunday. The promotion ends July 31.
'The Simpsons Movie' tie-in has been phenomenal, and so much fun for our franchisees, employees, customers and 'Simpsons' fans,' Rita Bargerhuff, senior director of marketing at 7-Eleven, said in an e-mail.
'While we knew that our customers and 'Simpsons' fans were often the same people, it has been amazing to hear stories of how people would drive across state lines to see the life-size characters, try the Sprinklicious donuts, buy Buzz Cola and KrustyOs and chuckle at the amusing signs throughout the store,' she wrote.
So are the 'Simpsons' products helping 7-Eleven's bottom line?
It's is hard to say. The private company, based in Dallas, doesn't release detailed sales figures, but it did give ABC News a summary of some of its 'Simpsons'-related sales.
And because the company branded only 12 of its 6,000 stores as Kwik-E-Marts, a doubling of sales in those locations really doesn't affect the company's overall sales. But the free publicity sure doesn't hurt.
Posted 8/5/2007
McFarlane July 2007 Toys Shines At Mlb Fanfest Sets Sales Records
MCFARLANE TOYS SHINES AT MLB FANFEST - SETS SALES RECORDS
Plus, Contest Winners Announced!
July 13, 2007
Copyright 2007 TMP International, Inc.
McFarlane Toys rolled into San Francisco with a booth to set up and figures to sell. We were quite sure how this show would do, this being our fifth year selling Exclusive figures at the MLB FanFest and all. As it turned out, we had no idea...

A FanFest official told us that San Francisco bought twice as many advance tickets as they normally expect for the event, and the baseball fans poured into the building at 9am Friday morning. The McFarlane Toys booth had a line for six hours on Friday, selling exclusive Barry Bonds and Reggie Jackson figures. The mass of people created some 'line hypnosis,' where people would get to the cash register and not know what they had been waiting to buy.

We had created 3,000 exclusive figures for both Barry Bonds and Reggie Jackson. The Bonds figure sold out at noon on Saturday, and the Jackson figure sold out the very next day. We'd never experienced a weekend sellout at a FanFest before. On Monday and Tuesday, we didn't even unpack the cash registers - just did a little 'show and tell' with people who walked by the booth.

Our thanks go out to everyone who came by the booth and helped us 'do it up big.' The San Francisco show was a great success, and good practice for next year's FanFest in New York City.

CONTEST WINNERS
We held a special contest for those baseball fans that were unable to make it to FanFest. Congratulations to these five lucky winners, who will receive both the Bonds and the Jackson figures:
  • George Larrabee, Rancho Cordova, Calif.
  • Albert Egnosak, Scenery Hill, Pa.
  • John Gonzalez, Pearland Texas
  • Casey Becher, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Jose Quinones, Dallas, Texas



Posted 7/15/2007
Akihabara May 2007 Special Holiday Sales - Wired Blogs
Saturday, May 05, 2007

Akihabara's Special Holiday Sales


Dsc02340_2Since it's a holiday and the Akiba foot traffic is high, plenty of stores were having special sidewalk sales to draw in traffic. But since this is Japan, they couldn't just put some items out on the street with lower prices on them. No, no. Everything has to be a big event. At right, Asobit City has a 'Time Sale,' in which they bring out a few boxes of product for literally a few minutes and announce a crazy low price -- if you buy them right then and there. In this case, any two of the games in these boxes were 1000 yen (about $8). This is based on the theory that if you make something a 'limited-time offer' you can sell it for far more than it's worth to people who don't want to miss out. Since I saw most people walking away with copies of Unlimited Saga and Genji, this theory turned out to be true.
More after the jump.

Dsc02254Asobit City was running another sale all day -- you could get the coveted Nintendo DS Lite, plus three games of Asobit City's choice, for 25,000 yen ($235 or so). This really isn't a good deal, considering that even if you wanted all three of the games in the bag -- and you likely wouldn't -- you could probably buy all this cheaper elsewhere. But it does speak to the ongoing rarity of the DS Lite that stores are able to bundle them in expensive bags full of junk and still move them out quickly.
Dsc02319Outside Yamagiwa Soft, a store employee hawks boxes full of collectible toys. They don't actually show you what's in the box, but it's a giant case full of junk for 'only' 5,000 yen ($50). I saw somebody buy one, so again it's clear that resisting a bargain isn't easy. I wonder what he ended up with. Japanese stores often do thing during New Year's, offering fukubukuro ('lucky bags') filled with heavily discounted merchandise, only you don't know what it is. One store, eight months after the Xbox launched in Japan, was selling them in fukubukuro for about $100.
Posted 5/6/2007
Character Group May 2007 Sales up 38%

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - British toymaker Character Group Plc (CCT.L: Quote, Profile , Research) said on Tuesday its first-half profit more than doubled, driven by strong sales of a voice-changing helmet, and forecast strong sales of a new robot that burps and farts.
Character said its pretax profit was 6.3 million pounds ($12.6 million) in the six months to Feb. 28, up from 3.0 million in the same period the year before.
Sales were up 38 percent to 56 million pounds, helped by strong demand for Cyberman Voice Changer Helmets, which turn a voice into that of a robot from the British science fiction television series Dr Who.
The firm said that just as big could be the Dalek Sec Hybrid Voice Changer Helmet, another Dr Who toy which it expects to release in the coming months.


'The Doctor Who products continue to be very strong ... Character has a range of Spiderman toys which offers good promise given the excitement around the new Spiderman film, premiered in Europe last night,' said Charles Stanley analyst Paul Bates in a research note.
Character said its biggest toy linked to the new Spiderman 3 film was likely to be Spidersapien, a toy robot dressed up in a Spiderman costume that can recite 40 phrases from the Hollywood blockbuster movie. The robot also burps and farts.
Character shares, which have risen almost 60 percent since the beginning of March, were down 4.1 percent at 200 pence by 0955 GMT.
'I think the shares are down because people were expecting more and another upgrade. They had a very good statement a month ago and the shares have performed phenomenally. They are just pausing for a breath now,' Bates told Reuters. (Additional reporting by Kerstin Neuber)
Posted 5/5/2007
Mattel April 2007 Lower profit, Higher sales

LOS ANGELES - Mattel Inc. reported lower first-quarter profit Monday but beat Wall Street revenue expectations with strong sales, despite a decline in demand for Barbie dolls in the U.S.
The world‘s largest toy maker said earnings fell to $12 million, or 3 cents per share, from $30.2 million, or 8 cents per share, during the same period of 2006.
Revenue, meanwhile, climbed 19 percent to $940.3 million, including a 3 percent benefit from currency exchange rates, compared with $793.3 million in the year-ago period.
Consensus estimates put sales at $847.8 million.
'Our portfolio of brands maintained the momentum from the holiday season, with strong performances from both Fisher-Price core and Fisher-Price Friends,' Eckert said.
That amounted to an overall 2 percent increase in sales of the classic fashion doll.
Sales of the brand‘s My Scene and Magic of The Rainbow lines failed to surpass sales in the year-ago period, the company said.
'I don‘t think that was, in my opinion, the big driver of our decline, but it clearly worked against us,' he said. 'Certainly when we go into this fall, when it really counts, we‘re working hard to make sure that‘s not the case.'
Its Wheels unit posted a 15 percent increase in worldwide gross sales, driven by growth in the Hot Wheels and Matchbox toy lines.
Gross sales of Fisher-Price products, which include the popular T.M.X. Elmo doll, rose 27 percent worldwide, including a 2 percent benefit from currency rates, the company said.
Sales of American Girl-branded toys increased 2 percent.
Shares of Mattel fell 24 cents to close at $28.10 on the New York Stock Exchange New York Stock Exchange.
Posted 4/21/2007
Mattel April 2007 Net falls as sales rise 19%

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Mattel Inc. on Monday posted a 60% decline in first-quarter net income, hurt by a year-ago tax benefit, but strength in its Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels brands as well as its games business helped the world's largest toymaker beat Wall Street expectations.
El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel's net fell to $12 million, or 3 cents a share, from $30.2 million, or 8 cents, in the year-earlier period. The year-ago profit included tax benefits totaling about 15 cents a share, the company said.
Sales improved 19% to $940.3 million from $793.3 million. Currency translations accounted for three percentage points of top-line growth in the latest quarter, Mattel said.
Barbie stumbles in U.S.

Worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand rose 2%, with increases in international markets offsetting declines in the U.S. Worldwide gross sales for other girls brands slipped 8%, with gains in the Disney Princesses and Polly Pocket toy lines offset by declines in the Winx and Pixel Chix lines. U.S. Barbie sales slipped 21%, hurt by weakness in the Fairytopia Magic of the Rainbow line and declines in My Scene.
On the conference call, Eckert said this year's fantasy-based Fairytopia doll segment wasn't as strong as last year's mermaid-focused line. Reality-based doll lines such as Fashion Fever and accessories are 'doing OK,' he said. 'And that's good because overall shelf space is working against us this spring compared to a year ago.'
'While the numbers are what they are, I'm not discouraged about where we are. We've made good progress on the strategy and the product line,' Eckert said. 'As you know, this is the second half of the year business. ... From what I've heard from our retail customers, I believe we have a strong fall lineup.'
The company will be unveiling Barbie Girls, the next generation of its Barbie fashion doll, later this month. Barbie has struggled in recent years to hang on to its market share in the face of many rivals, particularly MGA Entertainment's Bratz dolls.
Last year, the company's Fisher-Price unit orchestrated a public-relations blitz around TMX Elmo, which ended up being one of the most-popular toys for the holiday season and the single biggest pre-holiday shipment launch in Mattel's history.
'While acknowledging that this was a seasonally unimportant quarter, we do not believe that these results are enough to sustain Mattel shares at currents levels,' Lehman Brothers analyst Felicia Hendrix told clients. 'Though giving credit to Mattel for lowering SG&A in the quarter, we believe the street is very focused on domestic Barbie sales.'
Worldwide gross sales for the Wheels category, which includes the Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco R/C brands, revved up 15%, led by double-digit growth in the Hot Wheels and Matchbox lines.
'Across Latin America and Eastern Europe, we have identified opportunities for growth for all of our brands, as we see rise in economies, in emerging middle class, and modernization of the retail environment,' Eckert said. 'With international contributing 44% of Mattel's global gross sales, the opportunity to generate more than half of our business outside the U.S. is clearly in sight.'

 
Posted 4/21/2007
Feb 2007 Dora the Explorer Takes the Lead as Sales Growth Elevates Property ... - PR Newswire

Nick Jr.'s superstar Latina heroine, Dora the Explorer, is hotter than ever! Now in her fifth year of licensed product and with more than $5.3 billion in retail sales under her belt, Dora has made the transition from top seller to global mega brand. Dora product will be making a big splash at this year's Toy Fair. The property led 2006 sales with Fisher-Price's Dora Talking Cash Register and Fairy Wishes Dora seen as two of the most popular toys of the season. This year's line-up is anticipated to be Dora's biggest ever. In 2007, the franchise will hit new heights with added products and play patterns including make-believe dress-up, role play and building sets. New products include:
  Fisher-Price:
  -- Dora Let's Get Ready Vanity:  Sure to charm girls and parents alike,
     it's a vanity with a true Dora difference! Features fiesta adventure
     cards, bilingual interactive phrases and object recognition.
  -- Sparkle And Twirl Mermaid Dora: A new toy that puts a new 'spin' on
     every girl's favorite character. When kids put Dora into her special
     shell base, she magically starts to twirl around, her arms raise, her
     tail magically grows, and sound effects will play as she transforms
     into a magical mermaid.
  -- Talking Friendship Adventures Dora: Every preschool girl can have a
     'same size' friend with the new life-sized 34' tall doll who can speak
     70 bilingual interactive phrases.
  -- Dora Friendship Adventure Game (For Smart Cycle(TM)): A Dora focused
     adventure and environment for Fisher-Price's new Smart Cycle, which
     encourages an active, healthy lifestyle for kids. Smart Cycle is an
     innovative plug-and-play toy that combines physical play with learning
     for preschoolers. The Dora Friendship Adventure Game lets kids pedal
     and steer their 'on-screen vehicle' through both active and learning-
     focused Dora play modes.

  CDI/Jakks:
  -- Dora the Explorer Fairytale Adventure Dress; Mermaid Adventure Dress;
     and Dance to the Rescue Dress: Three great new dress up sets sure to
     capture preschooler's love of make-believe adventures.

  Spinmaster:
  -- Dora the Explorer Dance-Along Musical Adventure: A dress up toy with an
     instructional DVD that allows girls to actually go on an adventure with
     Dora.

  Moose Mountain:
  -- Dora & Diego Bouncing Pony Ride:  Dora teams up with her popular cousin
     Diego. Children can play with their two favorite bilingual Nick Jr.
     characters as they embark on a Wild West bouncing pony ride which
     sports an extra wide base for enhanced stability and a newly designed
     safer patent-pending internal spring system that eliminates exposed
     springs.


  Go, Diego, Go!

Like his cousin Dora, eight-year-old Diego is a favorite of preschoolers everywhere and one of the top three shows on all of commercial television among kids 2-5. With nearly 20 million monthly viewers*, Go, Diego, Go! toys launched in 2006 with great success. Nickelodeon will expand the merchandising program greatly in 2007 to include new die-cast vehicles, wood toys, building sets and water toys. In 2006 Diego's Talking Rescue Center became one of the most sought after holiday toys and earned 'Best Toy' accolades from Parents Magazine, Family Fun Magazine and the New York Daily News. Sure to drive Diego's popularity in 2007 is the recently launched Go, Diego, Go! Live tour, which will visit 50 markets nationwide. The live show opened this month to rave reviews and enthusiastic crowds.3
Posted 2/11/2007
NY Toy Fair Feb 2007 Dora the Explorer Takes the Lead as Sales Growth Elevates Property ... - PR Newswire
 
NEW YORK, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Nickelodeon, the number one entertainment brand for kids and home to today's most popular characters, comes to Toy Fair with its lead licensed property and preschool phenomenon, Dora the Explorer, continuing to make toy and licensing history. According to industry experts, The NPD Group, holiday 2006 sales propelled Dora into the number one slot as the year's top toy license. At Toy Fair, a number of key licensees including master toy partner Fisher-Price will showcase an expanded range of Dora the Explorer products that encompasses new play patterns and broader price points.
Nickelodeon welcomes to Toy Fair four new additions to its prestigious toy partner line-up with the introduction of new licensees CDI/Jakks, Mega Bloks, RC2 and Imperial Toy. From construction toys to role play and novelty toys, these companies will introduce a wide range of toys entering more channels of distribution than ever before with some of the world's most popular brands like Go, Diego, Go!, SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Backyardigans leading the way. These industry leaders join Nickelodeon's growing network of licensees committed to supporting the imagination and creativity of children worldwide.
'Nickelodeon, with top-selling mega brands like Dora the Explorer, is the dominant force in pre-school licensed toys,' said Leigh Anne Brodsky, President, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products. 'With the highest ranked preschool shows on commercial television, we're expanding our properties in new directions and bringing kids more of the characters they love. Last year's launches of Go, Diego Go!, The Backyardigans and Avatar had great success and this year's Toy Fair will continue their momentum.' Brodsky added, 'The popularity for everyone's favorite, SpongeBob, is at an all-time high and we're excited about the launch of Hasbro's Operation SpongeBob SquarePants. It's a marriage of two classics that go together like peanut butter and jelly.'
Posted 2/10/2007
NPD Group Reports Feb 2007 U.S. Toy Industry Sales Showed Increases in 2006

'In 2006 we identified a number of indicators which pointed to future growth for the toy industry. I'm pleased we're seeing these growth indicators beginning to reflect in the retail sales figures and we look forward to watching this progress in 2007,' said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.
Action Figures, which performed strongly in 2005 due to the huge success of Star Wars products, experienced the largest decline in dollar sales in 2006, dropping by 9 percent and generating close to $1.25 billion.
According to Frazier, the Action Figure super-category can expect to see increases in 2007 because of the release of major action movie properties that generally benefit toy sales.
'As a rule of thumb, licensed product will comprise approximately 25 percent of total toy sales in any given year,' she said. 'With movie releases such as Transformers, Spider-Man 3, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the action figure super-category should realize gains in 2007.'
Retail channel performance revealed continued share growth at Mass Merchant/Discount in 2006, representing 55 percent of total sales, with Toy Stores representing 18 percent, the second largest channel in terms of traditional toy sales. Online, Food/Drug and Department/Major Chains represented 6 percent, 5 percent and 4 percent of 2006 channel sales, respectively. Online toy sales were up 12% versus 2005.
Average Retail Prices were also up 5 percent which reflect consumers willingness to spend on higher priced toys, while sales in the 0-7 year-old age group increased close to 5 percent from $12.7 billion in 2005 to over $13.2 billion in 2006.
* The NPD Group has enhanced its consumer panel information to provide a more accurate read on market shares and trends. This new release was developed in conjunction with the toy industry and reports on an increased number of transactions to allow for increased accuracy of item descriptions and more accurate visibility into alternative channels.
Posted 2/6/2007
Feb 2007 Upgrading, updating board games boosting sales - Providence Journal

Toymakers have turned around flagging sales of board games by updating classics such as Monopoly, some with built-in electronics, to appeal to enthusiasts such as Lewis and attract new buyers. After a sluggish 2005, Mattel Inc. and Hasbro, the world’s top two toy sellers, last year bolstered profits and sales. They’ve added DVDs and other technology to compete with video games played on consoles such as Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360.
“Hasbro and other toymakers have done a good job of keeping board games fresh,” said Thomas Russo, who oversees $3 billion in investments, including Hasbro and Mattel shares, at Gardner Russo & Gardner in Lancaster, Pa. “They’re focusing on making sure the traditional game keeps its role while adding electronic versions to appeal to new consumers.”
Board-game industry sales gained 7 percent last year through October, to $495 million, after declining 11 percent in 2005, according to NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm. New formats such as DVDs helped reinvigorate sales, NPD analyst Anita Frazier said.
Hasbro, the world’s largest board-game company and overall number-two toymaker, combined its U.S. toy and game units last year after game sales fell 8.2 percent in 2005 and dropped 1.1 percent in 2004.
Hasbro’s traditional board-game sales jumped 12 percent in the third quarter last year as profit climbed 8.2 percent. In the same period a year earlier, the company’s earnings rose 3.8 percent. Its shares gained 35 percent in 2006, the biggest annual increase in three years.
The company overhauled Monopoly in September 2006 with its Here & Now edition. It replaced Boardwalk and other game-board spaces named after sites in Atlantic City, N.J., with landmarks from other U.S. cities such as New York’s Times Square.
Hasbro last year added DVD versions of Clue, introduced in the United States in 1949, and Twister. Clue players can place the disk into a computer, set up their game board and receive on-screen clues from animated characters such as the butler and the inspector to help solve the crime.
“It’s a game that’s been around a while that everyone in my family likes,” said Lewis, 35, who lives in Columbia, S.C.
Mattel, the world’s number-one toymaker, also uses multimedia formats to jazz up games. The company’s Scene It? franchise, a line of DVD-based games, includes some in which players answer questions about pop culture.
Mattel’s acquisition of Hong Kong-based Radica Games Ltd. in October 2006 added handheld poker and blackjack games to its lineup. Gerrick Johnson, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets in New York, says he expects Mattel’s U.S. electronic-games sales to rise to $95 million in 2008 from $30 million last year due to the purchase. He rates Mattel shares “outperform” and doesn’t own them.
Posted 2/4/2007
Hasbro Jan 2007 looks to blockbusters to spur toy sales - Tformers.com
Hasbro looks to blockbusters to spur toy sales
25 Jan 2007, 10:40 AM ET
By Nicole Maest
NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Hasbro Inc. hopes this summer's blockbuster movies will prompt consumers to go from the box office to the toy aisle.
An early peek at the No. 2 U.S. toy maker's line of products for 2007 features toys based on the upcoming summer releases of 'Spider-Man 3' and 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.'
Hasbro is introducing a Spider-Man deluxe spinning web blaster that can blast spiral webs or water and it has developed a Fantastic-car that separates into three different vehicles.
Hasbro is also eagerly awaiting the July 4 release of 'Transformers,' the live-action movie based on its own line of action figures.
To go along with the movie, Hasbro has developed the Optimus Prime Voice changer helmet that can make a child's voice sound like a robot.
U.S. toy companies typically start previewing parts of their new product lines in January, ahead of the American International Toy Fair that takes place in New York in February.
They keep their new products secret for as long as possible to keep copycats from mimicking their ideas. But analysts watch the new products closely to see how strong a toy company's product line looks for the year.
For its part, Hasbro is working to reduce its reliance on Star Wars toy sales. In 2005, Star Wars merchandise accounted for 16 percent of its revenue, helped by release of the movie 'Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith.'
Its Spider-Man and Fantastic Four toys are part a licensing deal with Marvel Entertainment Inc. that allows it to develop toys based on Marvel's characters and expand its own line of licensed-based toys.
Hasbro is also looking at ways to update existing products, like its board games, to suit today's fast-paced, tech-heavy world.
It is rolling out 'express' versions of its Monopoly, Scrabble and Sorry games that can be played in 20 minutes or less.
'We want to have our games played in every format possible,' said Brian Goldner, Hasbro's chief operating officer.
'We believe there is ample opportunity to reformat our games for different times of day, single player/multi-player as well as online play.'
To build on the success of Butterscotch, a life-sized miniature pony that responded to touch and sound and was a popular holiday seller, Hasbro is coming out with Squawkers McCaw -- a parrot that can repeat words, respond to touch and dance.
Hasbro's Tiger division is introducing the Power Tour electric guitar. It teaches users how to play 12 pre-loaded songs, or they can plug in an MP3 player and play along to their favorite songs.
It is also coming out with Net Jet, an online gaming system for children ages 6 and older. Children can insert a 'game key' into the controller, plug the controller into their computer and launch an online game.
But the system only provides access to the Net Jet site, so parents do not have to worry about children surfing the Web or getting bombarded by pop-up ads.
Posted 1/30/2007
American Girl Jan 2007 Sales edge up - The Capital Times
American Girl sales edge up
Staff/news services

American Girl sales rose slightly last year, parent company Mattel reported in announcing its earnings today.

The Middleton-based American Girl Brands business unit posted fourth quarter gross sale of $245.2 million, up 2 percent over a year earlier, and 2006 gross sales of $440 million, up 1 percent over 2005, primarily due to the opening in Los Angeles of the third American Girl Place retail store, Mattel reported.
Mattel said its overall fourth-quarter profit rose 3 percent, boosted by better margins and improved sales of its Barbie and Fisher-Price toys, to $286.4 million, or 75 cents per share, on revenues of $2.11 billion, from $279.2 million, or 69 per share, on revenues of $1.84 billion a year earlier.
For all of 2006, Mattel reported net income of $592.9 million, or $1.53 per share, on revenues of $5.65 billion, compared with a profit of $417 million, or $1.01 per share, on revenues of $5.18 billion in 2005.

Published: January 29, 2007
Posted 1/30/2007
Largest toy retailers see higher holiday sales - Playthings


Largest toy retailers see higher holiday sales
Playthings, NY -
NEW YORK—Holiday sales levels for many of the nation’s top toy and game retailers, including Wal-Mart, GameStop and Target, rose significantly in 2006 compared with the same shopping period in 2005, in line with or exceeding expectations. Consumer electronics, video games and online business were key drivers, retailers said, although some admitted that deep discounting also played a role in boosting sales.
Wal-Mart
Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.—the top U.S. toy and game retailer according to Playthings' annual ranking of major toy sellers—reported net sales for its U.S. Wal-Mart division for the five-week period ending Dec. 29, 2006, of $28.795 billion, up 3.1 percent from $27.920 billion in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, the company’s Sam’s Club division—which is ranked No. 18 on Playthings’ industry list—posted sales during the same period of $4.861 billion, a rise of 5.6 percent from $4.605 billion a year ago.
Same-store sales for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club during the same period rose 1.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, from 2005. Wal-Mart’s growth in particular was led in part by strong electronics sales, according to the company.
“We believe Wal-Mart is becoming more of a destination for electronics as consumers recognize that we have a leadership position on low prices,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. “Customers liked the values they found in digital TVs, digital audio products, computers and gaming systems.” Also, the DVD release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman's Chest was a “huge hit,” Castro-Wright said, crediting the flick with leading strong DVD sales, while price rollbacks on board games from mid-October through Dec. 24 “generated strong sales” for toys.
Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corp.—the No. 3 retailer on Playthings’ industry leaders list—reported sales for the five weeks ended December 30, 2006 of $9.254 billion, up 9.9 percent from $8.420 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable store sales increased 4.1 percent from 2005.
“Our December comparable store sales growth was in line with our expectations,” said Bob Ulrich, chairman and CEO.
Amazon.com
The Seattle-based major national e-tailer said 2006 was its 'best year ever,' with over 4 million items ordered and shipped to 200 countries this holiday season.

The company's top toy sellers included the 20 Questions game from Radica, the Laugh & Learn Cuddly Learning Puppy from Fisher-Price and the Princess Genevieve Doll (Barbie In the 12 Dancing Princesses)from Mattel. Top video game systsems were the Nintendo DS Lite, Play Station 2 and the Xbox 360. Top video games the New Super Mario Bros., Brain Age and Madden Football.


 
Posted 1/9/2007
Amazon.com Dec 30 2006 Amazon posts highest sales this holiday season - DM News

Amazon.com posts highest sales this holiday season

By Dianna Dilworth
December 29th, 2006


Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. claimed sales during the 2006 holiday season to be its best ever, with its busiest day being Dec. 11 when customer orders exceeded 4 million items.
Amazon spokesman Craig Berman said extended shipping deadlines and good deals helped increase sales.
“We were able to extend our Super Saver deadline by two days until Dec. 17,” he said from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. “This extended the shopping season for customers who wanted free shipping.”
Though Amazon would not disclose any numbers, the firm did create a 'Best Of 2006 List' which includes the bestselling, most positively reviewed, most wished-for and favorite gift products as determined by Amazon customers in 2006.
Bestselling products by total units sold included flagship media products like the book, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't” by Jim Collins; the CD, “Taking The Long Way,” by Dixie Chicks; and the DVD for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.”
Software and electronics top sellers were the World of Warcraft video game and Apple iPods. Amazon's electronics store also sold its most expensive MP3 player to date in 2006 – the $19,999 Trekstor i.Beat Organix Gold 1GB MP3 player.
The products that were reviewed most positively included the book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” by J.K. Rowling; the CD, “Josh Groban,” by Josh Groban; and the “Mean Girls” DVD.
In the apparel and accessories category, Lee Jeans Women's Missy One True Fit Basic Flare were well liked and when it came to toys, the Fisher Price Learning Home was a hit.
This year Amazon extended Free Super Saver Shipping two extra days through Dec. 17.
Interestingly, Amazon sold enough orange-flavored Airborne health supplements to supply every passenger on 192 Boeing 747s. And enough coffee pots were sold to make coffee for everyone in Austin, TX.
The Internet retailer launched its first Amazon Customers Vote promotion, where 1,000 Xbox 360s were sold in 29 seconds, and 1,000 Axion portable DVD players were sold in 34 seconds.
“The customers vote promotion was very well received,” Mr. Berman said. “Additionally, I think that customers were able to take advantage of many deals offered on the site.”
Posted 12/29/2006
Dec 2006 YACKLE BALL: Toy inventor gets break with demo, NYC sales

For eight hours, Patricia Littwin of Mooresville stood in one of the world's most famous toy stores showing holiday shoppers her invention, an X-shaped ball.
She sold more than 100 that December day at New York's FAO Schwarz.
The former Army nurse, day-care operator and Web designer from Iredell County has spent more than $200,000 and the better part of nine years hoping her Yackle Ball beats the odds in the $22 billion toy industry.
Every year, inventors and toy makers debut more than 5,000 toys, but fewer than 500 are still selling strong after two years, the Toy Industry Association estimates. An industry veteran put the chances of success for a new toy at 1 in 20,000.
Getting into FAO, which attracts 2.3 million customers a year, is a good start for Littwin, 44. But to earn a living, she needs to get Yackles into 1,000 specialty stores -- about a third of the nationwide total.
'Half the people in America think they have the next great idea for a toy,' said Mark McFarland of New York toy maker Dolphin River. 'The question is whether you have the drive to build a track record.'
The Yackle Ball's path from a Troutman plant to Fifth Avenue toy store started with a doodle Littwin scribbled while chatting on the phone in 1997.
Littwin, then a single mom of three running a Rochester, N.Y., day care, was frustrated watching one of her sons struggle with traditional sports. 'He wasn't very coordinated and ended up playing a lot of video games.'
After sketching the X-shaped ball, Littwin cut apart a pair of jeans, stuffed it with socks and closed it with safety pins.
She made the balls black and white after her favorite colors. She chose the name by putting different letters in front of sports words -- from tackle came yackle.
Littwin used $3,000 to travel to Pittsburgh for an inventors show. She got offers, including one from a major manufacturer. 'They wanted to changed the name, the colors. We got into an argument. They walked away. I didn't care. It was my baby.'
She pitched the handmade balls on the Web, but sold fewer than 100 in eight months. Littwin put away the Yackles and opened a Web design firm. She moved to Mooresville in 2002.
The balls came back into play with the funeral of a relative, who was an entrepreneur. Littwin said she was inspired by the mourners who praised the relative for his motivation to start nationwide gem shows.
She got much of the needed cash by selling more than 2,000 Yackles at last year's Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte. She filled orders using four seamstresses and a dozen students from the NASCAR Technical Institute to stuff balls.
Littwin leased machines and an old mattress plant in Troutman, 35 miles north of Charlotte. She spent months visiting independent gift/toy stores in six states. About 30 shops sell the balls for $20 each.
'But mom-and-pops were not going to help us pay the bills,' said Littwin, who needs to sell 400 Yackle Balls a month.
Littwin applied over the summer for FAO Schwarz's toy auditions held a few times a year. After culling thousands of requests, FAO has tried out about 275 toys over the past two years. The store has chosen to sell just 10.
The Littwins got an invitation to New York for a 15-minute audition in September. 'It was interactive, an original design and well-made,' FAO's President David Niggli said. 'We had a great time throwing it around.'
Posted 12/23/2006
Toy industry could face 2006 sales decline - Washington Post

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. toy makers may have trotted out a laughing Elmo, a life-sized miniature pony and a digital camera for 3-year-olds this year, but the new products may not be enough to pull the industry out of a slump.
The U.S. toy industry rang up $12.7 billion in sales this year through October -- down 2.4 percent from a year ago, according to market research firm NPD Group.
That puts November and December on the hot seat to pull in $9.1 billion in sales if the industry hopes to at least match last year's total of $21.8 billion.
That could be a stretch since NPD said November and December usually account for 33 to 37 percent of total year sales -- not the 42 percent needed to match last year's numbers.
'It definitely looks like the industry might be down again this year,' said NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier said on Wednesday.
LOOKING FOR A TURN AROUND
Toy makers entered the holiday season hoping 2006 would mark the year the industry started to turn around.
After being hit by years of pricing competition, slipping sales, higher costs and a struggle to evolve as electronics lured away once loyal customers, there were signs business could start to turn around.
Specialty toy retailers are on firmer footing this year, with KB Toys no longer under bankruptcy protection and Toys 'R' Us operating under a new management team.
The industry also entered the holiday season with early buzz after Mattel Inc. <MAT.N> released in September T.M.X. Elmo, which laughs when tickled. The doll is so popular it has been in short supply since the launch.
But challenges continue to hound the industry.
According to NPD, discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target Corp. <TGT.N> are grabbing a larger share of toy sales, pressuring toy companies' ability to raise prices.
Two new video game consoles also were launched the week before Thanksgiving, taking away dollars that could have been spent on traditional toys.
'Children are losing interest in toys at younger ages and turning to video games, DVDs, iPods, Web surfing, MySpace and instant messaging for entertainment,' ratings agency Standard & Poor's said in a report on Wednesday.
The traditional toy industry has suffered sales declines each year since 2002, and video games will be a permanent competitive pressure, S&P said.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS?
NPD's latest sales numbers do not include November or the Thanksgiving weekend that kicks off the holiday shopping season.
On Monday toy executives were optimistic about how the weekend sales rang up.
'Through the weekend, I thought it was much more active than it had been in the last couple of years,' said Neil Friedman, president of Mattel Brands, of the activity he saw in stores over the holiday weekend.
KB Toys said its sales were higher than a year ago, with strong sales over the weekend in board games, toys related to movies, and Speed Stacks -- which involves stacking up and down Speed Stack cups as fast as possible.
'We are cautiously optimistic regarding holiday toy sales for 2006,' wrote Citigroup analyst Elizabeth Osur in a research note November 26.
Posted 12/2/2006
500,000 PS3 Game Sales Needed for Profit - nForcersHQ.com - Dec 2006

Games for the PlayStation 3 would have to sell more than half a million copies to make a profit, a leading game developer has said. Takeo Takasu, president of Namco Bandai, said the average PS3 game now costs 1bn yen ($8.6m) to develop.
He told Bloomberg creating high-definition graphics was responsible for the extra cost. He added that worldwide shortages of the console would also have an impact on game manufacturer's profits.
Posted 12/2/2006
Tradition, sales get shoppers moving early on Black Friday - Eagle Tribune

Tradition, sales get shoppers moving early on Black Friday
Eagle Tribune, MA -
... with toys. Into the bags went dancing Elmo dolls, two-for-one Fisher Price toys, board games, Bratz dolls and, of course, Barbie. ...
Published 11/25/2006
Konami Nov 2006 Sales Up, Profits Down - Next Generation
Updated: Tuesday, 07 November 2006
Konami Sales Up, Profits Down
src=http://www.next-gen.biz/images/dothr.gif
By Kris Graft  
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Konami has posted higher sales and operating profit for the first half of its fiscal year, although net income is down.
ImageThe home of Solid Snake and Dance Dance Revolution reported sales of 119.6 billion yen ($1 billion) for the six months ended September 30, compared to 111.9 billion yen ($950.5 million) for the same period a year ago. The increase represents nearly a 7 percent rise in net revenue.

Operating income for the period showed a sizable 36 percent increase, climbing from 7.5 billion yen ($63.7 million) in 2005 to 10.1 billion yen ($85.8 million) for this year.

Net income, however, dropped year-over-year to 5.1 billion yen ($43.3 million) from 7 billion yen ($59.4 million). Konami said that the decline was due to the sale of shares of Takara Co., which boosted the company’s bottom line for the same period a year ago, resulting in a tough comparison.

For the period, Konami said that World Soccer Winning Eleven 10 continues to sell well, as does its European counterpart, Pro Evolution Soccer 5. The company added that its coin-op, mobile, online and e-commerce businesses are “doing well.”

Konami reaffirmed its outlook for the full year ending in March, expecting operating profits of 29 billion yen ($246.4 million), a significant increase over the previous year’s 2.5 billion yen ($21.2 million).
Posted 11/7/2006
Expect strong holiday sales - Portsmouth Herald News

Expect strong holiday sales
Portsmouth Herald News, NH -
... that the retailer is already increasing its orders of the Eloise doll from Madame Alexander and Zizzle LLC's 18-inch Jack Sparrow action figures related to the ...
Published 10/3/2006
Holiday sales look merry - The State

Holiday sales are expected to rise 5 percent this year, less than the 6.1 percent in the year-ago period — as consumers face still high energy costs, rising interest rates and a cooling housing market, the National Retail Federation said Tuesday.
The world’s largest retail trade association estimates total retail sales for the combined November and December period should reach $457.4 billion, compared with $435.6 billion in the year-ago period.
The figures include business from grocery stores, health and personal care stores, home improvement stores, office supply stores and florists. Total sales, however, exclude business from auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants.
Shoppers have remained resilient throughout the year even amid rising gasoline costs, though the nation’s merchants are experiencing a slight slowdown starting this summer.
In the toy world, sellers are counting on a number of electronic toys such as Webcams and new versions of digital music players to excite children. Tuesday, Fisher-Price unveiled its Elmo T.M.X., which until now has only been seen by a small group of toy executives. Such stealth marketing could help create some much-needed buzz, helping to jump start the holiday season.
Posted 9/20/2006
Power brands seek 'combo' sales - Business Standard

Power brands seek `combo` sales
Business Standard, India -
... The novelty on offer was, “Perk up your Happy Meal,” where a pack of Cadbury’s Perk was offered as a part of McDonald’s Happy Meal. ...
Published 8/31/2006
LeapFrog facing identity crisis as sales slump - Reuters

LeapFrog facing identity crisis as sales slump
Reuters -
... The wild popularity of LeapPad, a series of interactive electronic books, made LeapFrog the top preschool company, besting even Fisher-Price, a division of ...
Published 8/24/2006
Zapf Creation signs long-term joint sales deal with MGA ... - Forbes

Zapf Creation signs long-term joint sales deal with MGA ...
Forbes -
... Earlier this month a takeover bid for Zapf Creation from the German unit of Japan's Namco Bandai Holdings Inc failed after it received approval from just 5 pct ...
Published 8/13/2006
Zapf Creation and MGA Entertainment Agree on Long-Term Sales Cooperation
RODENTAL, Germany & LOS ANGELES----Aug. 11, 2006--Zapf Creation AG, Europe's leading manufacturer of play and functional dolls, and US American toy manufacturer MGA Entertainment Inc. reached a general agreement on a long-term joint sales venture.
Posted 8/13/2006
Zapf Creation and MGA Entertainment Agree on Long-Term Sales ... - Business Wire

Zapf Creation and MGA Entertainment Agree on Long-Term Sales ...
Business Wire (press release), CA -
... headquartered in Van Nuys, California manufactures innovative lines of proprietary and licensed products, including toys and games, dolls, consumer electronics ...
Published 8/13/2006
Big sales jump powers Mega Brands to US$4.1-million-US second-quarter profit
Sales of its stationery and activity products moved toy maker Mega Brands Inc. up to a $4.1-million-US second-quarter profit from a year-ago loss, as it recorded a big increase in sales to $105.4 million from ...
Published 8/13/2006 by  Cfrb.com 
Hasbro Profit Declines 8% On Weak 'Star Wars' Sales - Wall Street Journal Published 8/9/2006
LeapFrog reports steeper loss after drop in sales Published 8/3/2006 by  East Bay Business Times 
McDonald's Second-Quarter Sales up 5.5% - AdAge.com Published 7/26/2006
McDonald's same-store sales up 5.9% for June - MarketWatch Published 7/17/2006
Analysts Say The Barbie Craze Is Over As Sales Decline - All Headline News Published 6/26/2006
Hot Wheels Drive Goodwill's Online Sales - Market Wire Published 6/19/2006
Mattel's President Seeks to Boost Barbie Sales - Chicago Tribune Published 6/19/2006
NEW McFARLANE TOYS SALES SCHEDULE Posted 6/16/2006
Retailers hoping movies fuel sales - Arizona Republic Posted 5/22/2006
Mega Bloks swings to quarterly profit, sales skyrocket Published 5/13/2006 by  MarketWatch 
Toy makers bet on blockbuster films for sales - Reuters Published 5/6/2006
Nation's retailers report robust sales results in April - Eagle Tribune Published 5/5/2006
LeapFrog shares fall on wider loss, light sales Published 5/5/2006 by  MarketWatch 
Shin-chan sweet sales turn bitter as Bandai takes a mouthful of ... - Mainichi Daily News Published 4/27/2006
As Pop Music Seeks New Sales, the Pussycat Dolls Head to Toyland - Tuscaloosa News Published 4/25/2006
Mattel's Profit, Barbie's US Sales Up - Los Angeles Times Published 4/22/2006
Mattel shares slip on slow Barbie sales - International Herald Tribune Published 4/20/2006
As Pop Music Seeks New Sales, the Pussycat Dolls Head to Toyland - New York Times Published 4/19/2006
As Pop Music Seeks New Sales, the Pussycat Dolls Head to Toyland - Wilmington Morning Star Published 4/18/2006
Action Products Selects Distributor to Expand Sales Downunder (Market Wire via Yahoo! Finance) Posted 4/12/2006
Action Products Selects Distributor to Expand Sales Downunder Published 4/12/2006 by  Market Wire 
Garage sales are often a mix of sad nostalgia and profit - Orlando Sentinel Published 4/9/2006
Japan: Weekly software sales for 3/27 - 4/02 - GamesAreFun.com Published 4/6/2006
Action Products reports record sales, smaller loss Published 4/5/2006 by  Orlando Business Journal 
RIAA Releases 2005 Sales Numbers, Shakes Fist at P2Ps; Sues Ranch ... - Tiny Mix Tapes Published 4/4/2006
Action Products Opens Sales and Sourcing Office in China Posted 3/31/2006
Digital-Toys.com NEW SALES/PROMOS FREE BINALTECH BLASTER GX-03 AND MUCH MORE!! Posted 3/31/2006
Hasbro Looks to Drive Sales with Catalog - Multichannel Merchant Published 3/30/2006
Burger King eyes 20% rise in sales - The Edge Daily Published 3/25/2006
Japan: Weekly software sales for 3/13 - 3/19 - GamesAreFun.com Published 3/25/2006
Action Products Expands Sales Staff With the Addition of Toy ... - Market Wire Published 3/24/2006
GameStop Reports Record Sales and Earnings for 2005; Fourth ... - Finanzen.net Published 3/21/2006
GameStop Reports Record Sales and Earnings for 2005; Fourth ... - Houston Chronicle Posted 3/21/2006
Both IDW Transformers Books Top 60 On Sales Charts Posted 3/21/2006
Action Products Expands Sales Staff With the Addition of Toy ... - Market Wire (press release) Published 3/19/2006
Outside Sales Gund, Inc. Published 3/13/2006 by  The Spokesman-Review 
Action Products Expands Sales Staff With the Addition of Toy Industry Veteran (Market Wire via Yahoo! Finance) Posted 3/8/2006
Action Products Expands Sales Staff With the Addition of Toy Industry Veteran Published 3/8/2006 by  Market Wire 
Conway mother’s sales big business - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (subscription) Published 2/28/2006
The NPD Group Reports on 2005 US Toy Industry Sales - Tekrati Industry Analyst Reporter Published 2/14/2006
Toy Industry Experiences 4% Decline in Sales for the Year (Los Angeles Times) Posted 2/13/2006
Toy sales slowed in 2005: NPD (Reuters via Yahoo! News) Posted 2/13/2006
Toy sales slowed in 2005: NPD - Reuters Published 2/13/2006
Toy Industry Experiences 4% Decline in Sales for the Year - Los Angeles Times Published 2/13/2006
Ken's back and looking good. Same can't be said for Barbie's sales - NorthJersey.com Posted 2/10/2006
AUDIO-CENTRIC SALESMAN (The Monterey County Herald) Posted 2/8/2006
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