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Toy Industry

August 22, 2007 | From Reuters
hong kong -- A U.S.-based workers' rights group said it found "brutal conditions" and labor violations at eight Chinese plants that make toys for multinational corporations, and it called on the companies to take steps for better standards. China Labor Watch said in a report issued Tuesday after several months of investigation that the manufacturers -- which served a few global players, including Walt Disney Co. and Hasbro Inc. -- paid "little heed to the most basic standards of the country."
June 22, 2007 | From Reuters
Hasbro Inc. is banking on its "Transformers" product license being golden enough to sell a $495 transforming jacket, and Mattel Inc. disclosed plans for girls to tee it up with Barbie golf clubs this week at the 2007 Licensing International show in New York. Meanwhile, video game maker Nintendo Co. hopes the Super Mario Brothers franchise still carries enough cachet from its 1980s heyday to sell sneakers and candy. And NASCAR looks to have its fans buzzing with bottled wine bearing its name.
June 12, 2007 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
As movie studios battle one another at the box office with their summer blockbusters, toy manufacturers that have hooked their fortunes to these films are facing a similar fight as they vie for the attention of young boys. Yet, with nine movies having toy-related items for sale during the three-month summer window, consumers could suffer from a form of attention deficit disorder.
April 17, 2007 | Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer
Amid much fanfare, 48-year-old Barbie this month will get a new attitude. For nearly a decade, the pressure has been on Mattel Inc. to revise, redesign and re-engineer the ol' girl and the rest of the company built around those tiny, made-for-high-heels feet. Over the years, the company has tried dozens of small changes and a few big ones.
February 7, 2007 | From the Associated Press
The nation's toy industry -- which has struggled as children grow out of toys faster and prefer gadgets such as iPods -- is showing some signs of revival. Traditional toy sales, which exclude video game consoles and related items, eked out a 0.3% rise to $22.3 billion last year compared with a revised $22.2 billion in 2005 and $22.7 billion in 2004, according to market researcher NPD Group Inc.
October 20, 2006 | Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer
Jakks Pacific Inc., the Malibu-based toy maker behind this year's flying car, saw its stock take off Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected sales and earnings. Jakks said third-quarter net income rose 24% to $40.5 million, or $1.26 a share, from $32.7 million, or $1.05, a year earlier. Sales grew for the first time in four quarters, up 27% to $295.8 million from $233.5 million a year earlier.
October 8, 2006 | Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
Although chemical bans overseas have prompted some manufacturers to reformulate all their products worldwide, many toys and cosmetics are exceptions. Europe banned or restricted six phthalate compounds in toys. In beauty products, Europe has eliminated 900 compounds, including two phthalates, suspected of causing reproductive disorders, cancer or genetic mutations. The U.S.
July 26, 2006 | Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer
In its first major acquisition since the late 1990s, Mattel Inc. has agreed to acquire a toy company best known for making electronic playthings that appeal to older children. Radica Games Ltd., a maker of games and other products such as 20Q, Play TV and Girl Tech products, agreed Tuesday to Mattel's offer of about $230 million, or $11.55 a share, the companies said. That's a premium of $1.24 a share over Radica's closing price Tuesday. The deal is expected to be announced today.
April 25, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Toy maker Hasbro Inc. reported a wider loss for the first quarter and said the second quarter would be challenging as the company braces for a falloff in "Star Wars" merchandise sales. The first-quarter loss of $4.9 million, or 3 cents a share, for the three months ended April 2, was blamed largely on foreign currency fluctuation and new accounting rules for stock options. In the same quarter last year, Hasbro lost $3.7 million, or 2 cents a share.
April 19, 2006 | Tanya Caldwell, Times Staff Writer
U.S. children gave Barbie a little love and the tax man handed over a big gain in the first quarter, helping toy maker Mattel Inc. post a hefty increase in net income Tuesday. But Mattel said its iconic doll remained stuck in a two-year sales slump internationally, and the El Segundo company reported a $32-million operating loss, which included $13 million in severance charges because of recent layoffs. Mattel's net income rose to $30.2 million, or 8 cents a share, from $6.
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