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BUSINESS
December 31, 2008 | David Colker
The Bratz doll maker had another bad day in federal court Tuesday, but fans of the sassy dolls were given hope that the girls will live to see another Christmas. Bratz manufacturer MGA Entertainment Inc. lost a bid to remain in the Bratz business past Feb. 11, the date of a hearing set earlier in U.S. District Court in Riverside.
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BUSINESS
December 25, 2008 | bloomberg news
Lego may have a record gain in U.S. sales this year as cash-strapped parents seek toys that will last, said the head of the company's Americas unit. Lego's total sales growth will exceed its August projection of 12%, Soren Torp Laursen said. The company has had an "exceptional year" in the United States and Britain, he said. "We braced ourselves for fairly tough conditions because the macro-economic picture was not looking very good," Laursen said Tuesday.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2008 | Alana Semuels
There's no sign of an economic slowdown at Larry Mestyanek's toy factory in Compton. Whirring machines cut letters from the alphabet out of red, blue and yellow slabs of wood, making long rows of the letter E. Across the room, men with air filter masks sand toddler's chairs that are lined up in rows as if expecting a convention of miniature leaders. The machines are so loud it's hard to hear the rows of tiny wooden music boxes playing a disjointed lullaby.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2008 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Hasbro Inc. has dropped its lawsuit against the makers of Scrabulous, a popular online version of board game Scrabble. According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Hasbro dropped the lawsuit Friday. Hasbro, which owns the North American rights to Scrabble, sued Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla, brothers from Calcutta, India, this summer. The brothers developed the unauthorized version, called Scrabulous, after they couldn't find an online version they liked.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
There's big trouble in the dollhouse. One of the jurors in the Barbie vs. Bratz trial -- in which toy giant Mattel Inc. already has scored a major victory over rival MGA Entertainment Inc. -- was removed Friday for making slurs about the ethnicity of Isaac Larian, the Iranian-born chief executive of MGA. A court order said the juror remarks characterized Iranians as "stubborn, rude" and as "thieves" who have "stolen other person's ideas."
NATIONAL
March 4, 2008 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
After a year of toy recalls that shook public confidence in product safety, Senate Democrats and influential industry groups are facing off over how the government regulates everything from baby cribs to all-terrain vehicles. Backed by consumer advocates, lawmakers are pushing to give the public broad access to information about potentially dangerous products and to increase penalties for companies that make or sell harmful products.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2008 | Heather Burke, Bloomberg News
The U.S. Toy Industry Assn., whose members include Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc., said Monday that its board unanimously approved a plan for a new testing system after the recall of tens of millions of Chinese-made toys last year. The proposal includes more-stringent procedures for analyzing safety during the design and manufacturing of toys, as well as the testing of finished products, said Joan Lawrence, a vice president of the group.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2008 | From Reuters
U.S. toy sales fell slightly in 2007 as the industry suffered from negative publicity surrounding the recall of millions of Chinese-made playthings and a weakening economy, according to data released Tuesday by market research firm NPD Group. U.S. toy sales fell about 2% to $22.1 billion from $22.6 billion in 2006. The biggest declines came in dolls at 8%, while sales in the infant and preschool category and the outdoor and sports category each fell 5%.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2007 | DAVID LAZARUS
This should be the time of year when Santa's wholesale elves in the downtown L.A. Toy District are busy moving cheap, Chinese-made playthings to consumers and retailers throughout Southern California and beyond. But area merchants say sales this year are terrible -- down about 40% in many cases from a year earlier -- and they know all too well why that is.
BUSINESS
November 26, 2007 | From the Associated Press
The popular but dangerous toy Aqua Dots was recalled but the fliers advertising it apparently were not. A Toys R Us flier distributed in some Sunday newspapers contains an ad for Aqua Dots, the popular toy beads yanked from U.S. store shelves nearly three weeks ago because they are coated in a chemical that can turn into the "date-rape" drug when swallowed. The circular advertises the Aqua Dots Super Studio for $19.99 -- a $5 savings.
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