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October 16, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Toy giant Mattel Inc. reported strong third-quarter profit but saw disappointing sales results for some of its core brands, sending its shares down Friday. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, sales at the world's largest toy maker were $1.83 billion, up 2% from $1.79 billion in the year-earlier period. Analysts had expected $1.94 billion. Mattel said its revenue was negatively affected by unfavorable currency exchange rates. Profit totaled $283.3 million, or 77 cents a share, a 23% increase from $229.
September 18, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
The outfits are less sexy, the makeup and hair a bit more demure and the heels not as sky-high, but the saucy Bratz dolls are strutting their way back onto toy shelves. During the last few years, a legal tug of war between Bratz maker MGA Entertainment Inc. and rival toy company Mattel Inc. over the ownership rights to the dolls left the brand crippled. After a trial jury ruled in Mattel's favor, the wildly successful dolls all but disappeared from stores as MGA pulled back on manufacturing and retailers kept their distance.
July 17, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Mattel Inc. reported robust second-quarter sales fueled by strong demand for its Barbie, Hot Wheels and Toy Story 3 lines, but earnings just missed Wall Street estimates. For the quarter ended June 30, the nation's largest toymaker reported profit of $51.6 million, or 14 cents a share, more than double its year-earlier profit of $21.5 million, or 6 cents. Worldwide sales increased 13% year over year, helped by a 6% increase for Barbie dolls and accessories and an 11% gain for Hot Wheels toys.
May 6, 2010 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
For years, Jack Friedman's New York license plate read, "Thanx ET," a public wink at the movie-related merchandise that marked his first big success in the toy industry. He went on to establish THQ Inc., a Calabasas video game maker, and in 1995, co-founded Jakks Pacific, a Malibu-based toy company that scored its first hit producing action figures for the World Wrestling Federation. Friedman died Monday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center of complications from a rare blood disorder, said Genna Rosenberg, a Jakks spokeswoman.
April 17, 2010 | By Andrea Chang
Fueled by robust sales of its core brands and new product lines, Mattel Inc. reported a surprisingly strong first-quarter performance Friday. The world's largest toy maker posted profit of $24.8 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with a loss of $51 million, or 14 cents, for the year-earlier period. Sales totaled $880.1 million, up 12% compared with $785.6 million a year earlier. In the U.S., first-quarter sales increased 12%. "I was looking for a really big number and they delivered it, so that was impressive," said Sean McGowan, a toy analyst at Needham & Co. "I don't think I've ever seen a positive surprise at such a high quality as this.
February 15, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
When Pixar Animation Studios guru John Lasseter was working on the original "Toy Story" movie, he approached the maker of Barbie to include the fashion doll in the film -- and was rebuffed. What a difference 15 years, and $8 billion in global merchandise sales, make. As Disney's Pixar prepares to release "Toy Story 3" this summer, virtually every major toy maker -- including Barbie's Mattel Inc. -- has lined up to make dolls, action figures, construction sets, vehicles and board games based on the film.
January 30, 2010 | By Andrea Chang
Strong Christmas sales of Barbie and other toys helped push Mattel Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit up 86% compared with the same period a year earlier, the nation's largest toy maker said. The El Segundo company has been working to rebuild its performance after months of frugal consumer spending. Its image also took a hit after a spate of high-profile recalls in 2007 related to excessive levels of lead and harmful magnets. A year ago, Mattel said it would aggressively cut costs and improve its supply chain; on Friday, Chief Executive Robert A. Eckert said those moves bolstered the company's fourth-quarter and full-year results.
December 14, 2009 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Disney Pixar Animation guru John Lasseter found himself tangled in a miniature fashion kerfuffle. Toy maker Mattel Inc. had made a prototype doll of "The Princess and the Frog's" newly minted princess, Tiana, wearing her bayou wedding dress. But one animator worried that the gown failed to reflect the one in the film, whose multiple layers resemble the petals of an unfolding waterlily. Lasseter suggested a way to create the illusion of volume without driving up the doll's $10 price tag -- namely, printing a swirling pattern of glitter atop the diaphanous outer layer of fabric.
December 10, 2009
MGA Entertainment Inc. has won a stay of the court-ordered recall of its Bratz dolls that were found to infringe the copyrights of rival toy maker Mattel Inc. "The equitable relief granted by the District Court is stayed pending further order of this court," a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals said in an order Thursday following oral arguments in Pasadena on MGA's appeal of the trial verdict. "The parties are ordered to attempt to settle the dispute through expedited participation in this court's mediation program," the court added.
November 25, 2009 | David Lazarus
As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear this week, it's a good time to ask: Are the toys we're buying any safer than they were a couple of years ago, when millions of playthings were recalled because of high lead levels and other hazards? The world's largest toy manufacturer, El Segundo's Mattel Inc., says yes, as do federal regulators. But after spending a few hours roaming the Toy District in downtown Los Angeles, I'm not so sure. In one shop, I found a package of brightly colored rattles and pacifiers manufactured in China.
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