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Toy Industry

November 11, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Parents should have no qualms about buying Chinese-made toys for children in the run-up to Christmas despite a surge in recalls of unsafe toys, the head of Europe's toy industry said. More than 20 million Chinese-made toys were recalled worldwide in the last four months because of excessive levels of lead paint and other unsafe components, stoking fears of reduced consumer confidence ahead of the Christmas retail period.
November 8, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Millions of Chinese-made toys have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful "date rape" drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads. The recall is yet another blow to the toy industry -- already bruised by a slew of recalls during the summer.
September 16, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
The majority of U.S. toy recalls since 1988 were caused by design flaws, not manufacturing problems, a study by two Canada-based researchers has concluded. The study of 550 recalls found that 76% stemmed from design problems such as using small parts. About 10% were caused by manufacturing defects such as lead paint or poor craftsmanship, the researchers reported.
August 24, 2007 | Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer
Amid a fresh spate of toy recalls, members of Congress said Thursday that they would hold hearings about product safety and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vowed to increase testing and oversight of the playthings it sold. But neither of those actions will guarantee a trouble-free toy aisle any time soon, according to activists who contend that legislation is needed to mandate stricter standards.
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.
November 16, 2006 | From the Associated Press
High-tech manufacturing and services conglomerate Tyco International Ltd. on Wednesday posted a 38% jump in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit. But the company said it had found problems with stock option grants under prior management that would cost $171 million in after-tax expenses. Tyco will restate results -- for 1999 through early 2002, the era of disgraced former Chief Executive L.
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