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Toy Industry

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.
April 17, 2006 | Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer
American Girl doesn't have to look far for a reminder of how a top-tier toy name can fade. The upscale doll unit of Mattel Inc. will open its third American Girl Place store this weekend at the Grove in Los Angeles. It is hoping to avoid the fate of the previous tenant, FAO Schwarz, whose parent company filed for bankruptcy protection after more than 100 years in business. The challenge facing American Girl: how to maintain its cachet amid double-digit growth.
February 13, 2006 | From Reuters
Last year was not very playful for the U.S. toy industry, with sales falling almost 4%, market research firm NPD Group said Sunday. In 2005, total sales for the beleaguered industry declined to $21.3 billion from $22.1 billion the year before, NPD analyst Anita Frazier said at the American International Toy Fair in New York. That qualified as a "so-so" year for toymakers, who have been grappling with intense price competition, slipping revenue, higher costs and store closings.
January 19, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Jakks Pacific Inc., the Malibu-based maker of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. action figures, said it had agreed to buy Creative Designs International Ltd., a Pennsylvania firm that makes girls' dress-up tiaras and vanity tables, for $116.5 million. Acquiring Creative Designs International would provide Jakks with licenses to make dress-up accessories based on Walt Disney Co. characters, Chief Operating Officer Stephen Berman said. Shares of Jakks Pacific surged 75 cents to $20.98.
December 15, 2005 | Susan Carpenter, Times Staff Writer
MARIA SMITH admits she "went too wild." After a midmorning shopping binge in the toy district downtown, her arms were straining from the bulk of multiple plastic bags stuffed with Marvel coloring books and blinking necklaces, tentacled rubber balls and Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards, confetti, gift bags and streamers -- all of it purchased for a fraction of what she would have paid at the mall. "It's a lot less expensive to come down to L.A.
October 13, 2005 | From Associated Press
Francie Todd's two boys may not notice it, but there will be fewer toys under the tree this Christmas. Amid higher gasoline prices and other effects of Hurricane Katrina, Todd plans to cut her toy spending in half. "You look at the economic climate overall, and this is not a good time to run up the credit cards," said Todd of East Lansing, Mich., who planned to spend about $100 on toys for each child, down from $200 last year.
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