July 26, 2008 |
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."
July 11, 2008 |
The tiny, fake fur was flying as the Barbie-Bratz court battle wrapped up Thursday, with toy industry giant Mattel Inc. and upstart MGA Entertainment Inc. both claiming ownership of the hugely successful Bratz line of dolls. MGA, which seven years ago debuted the saucy Bratz doll, has maintained from the May 27 start of the trial that Mattel was trying to unfairly stomp out competition to its faltering Barbie empire.
June 18, 2008 |
Barbie vs. the Bratz sounds like a Saturday-morning cartoon show, but the bitter copyright infringement trial in federal court plays more like an episode of "CSI," complete with body parts. Doll body parts. As the trial over who owns the wildly successful Bratz powered through its third week in U.S.
March 4, 2008 |
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.
February 19, 2008 |
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.
February 13, 2008 |
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%.
December 25, 2007 |
At the Hongqiao toy market, the name "Barack Obama" doesn't roll easily off the tongue and indeed few people know who he is. But when they hear what he said, they have choice words for him, some of them unprintable. The senator suggested a ban on all toy imports from China during an economic roundtable in New Hampshire last week.
December 5, 2007 |
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.
November 26, 2007 |
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.
November 25, 2007 |
The Toy Industry Assn., which represents El Segundo-based Mattel Inc. and other companies, has opened a website and hotline to provide information on recalled toys and the safety of items on store shelves. Millions of children's goods, many made in China, have been recalled this year because of illegal levels of lead, dangerous designs or strong magnets that can be deadly if swallowed. The information is available by going to www.toyinfo.org or calling (888) 884-8697.