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BUSINESS
August 15, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
President Bush has signed consumer safety legislation that bans lead from children's toys, imposing the toughest standard in the world. The new law prohibits lead, beyond minute levels, in products for children 12 or younger. Lead paint was a major factor in the recall of 45 million toys and children's items last year, many from China. The bill also bans a chemical called phthalates that is widely used to make plastic products more flexible.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
March 6, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Cleaners at a vacant home in Tucson found the skeletal remains of a 3-year-old boy in a backyard toy chest, leading to the arrest of the toddler's parents this week. Martin Raymond Barreras, 45, and Raquel Marcela Barreras, 39, were both charged with child abuse and the mother faces a first-degree murder charge. They were being held in Pima County Jail.   The couple recently had been evicted from the house where the remains were found, Tucson police said . The landlords were cleaning up the messy backyard on Tuesday afternoon when they found the remains of a small child in a blue toy chest, police said.
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NEWS
November 16, 2000 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN/abigail.goldman@latimes.com
Last year there were more online toy stores than you could shake a mouse at, meaning tough competition and decent deals. This year, expect less of both as the "dot-com" shakeout has claimed many victims. But a savvy shopper still will be able to find a free shipping promise or a discount coupon. Among the best sites is Rightstart.com (http://www.rightstart.
OPINION
February 28, 2014 | By Charlotte Allen
There's a war against Legos. I know what you're thinking: How could anyone have a beef with those colorful, plastic toy bricks with which you can build cities, stage your own Bible stories or reenact the Trojan War, the Civil War or Star Wars? And hasn't "The Lego Movie" been No. 1 at the box office for three straight weeks? But here's Lego's problem: The main market for the $4 billion company's traditional plastic bricks and mini-figures is boys. Certainly some girls enjoy making castles or skyscrapers out of the bricks, just like their brothers, but in 2011, Lego's market research boys found that 90% of Lego users were boys.
NEWS
November 21, 2013 | By Susan Rohwer, guest blogger, This post has been corrected as noted below.
If you haven't seen it, check out the commercial for GoldieBlox that's sweeping the Internet. It's an ad for a set of interactive toys and books that encourages girls to build their own castles rather than wait for princes to come do it for them. In an age when girls' toys painfully adhere to gender stereotypes, the message in this commercial is clear: Girls want more than princess toys for Christmas. The commercial opens with three girls watching TV and looking unimpressed with what they're seeing: other little girls in precious party dresses dancing around a tea set. They switch on their record player, grab their hard hats and tool belts and get to work on a Rube Goldberg apparatus assembled with household items and typical girls' toys (everything from a tea set to a tiara and a baby doll cradle)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
Mysterious British street artist Banksy, infiltrating New York with "Better Out Than In," on Friday introduced "Sirens of the Lambs. " It's art in motion. A slaughterhouse delivery truck is filled with plush animal toys, squeaking through the slatted boards of the truck.  This display on wheels will be "touring the meatpacking district and then citywide for the next two weeks," according to the Banksy website . The "Sirens" video was pushing toward 3-million views on YouTube as of Monday morning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 1997
I am so grateful to every single person involved with donating toys to the children of Boyle Heights ("Response to Theft Turns Giveaway Into 'Miracle on 1st St.' " Dec. 22) and can't thank them enough for their kindness and generosity to these people. When I came to this country many years ago from Chihuahua, Mexico, I was the youngest of five children with a single parent and we were very poor. We lived in a garage with no electricity, heat or indoor plumbing and when Christmas arrived my mother barely had enough money for us to live on, not to mention anything left over for Christmas items.
BUSINESS
October 15, 2009 | Andrea Chang
Mattel Inc. says it has reached an agreement to settle "virtually all" U.S. claims related to its 2007 toy recalls. The world's largest toy maker recalled millions of toys that year because they contained excessive levels of lead or had design problems, such as hazardous magnets. Mattel said the class-action settlement was subject to court approval. "Safety of our products remains Mattel's top priority," the El Segundo-based company said in a statement Tuesday. According to a statement by plaintiff law firm Whatley Drake & Kallas, the settlement "provides tens of millions of dollars in monetary relief as well as significant injunctive relief."
BUSINESS
January 23, 2012 | By Shan Li
After a bad holiday season, shares of Jakks Pacific Inc. rose on rumors that the toy maker will receive another takeover bid from Oaktree Capital Management after rejecting an earlier offer from the Los Angeles investment company. Oaktree had previously offered to take the Malibu toy company private last October in a $670-million hostile bid that offered shareholders $20 a share in cash. At the time, analysts speculated that the offer was too low. But after a poor fourth quarter, Jakks recently slashed its full-year outlook to earnings of 37 to 40 cents a share on annual sales of about $660 million.
BUSINESS
October 27, 2009 | Associated Press
Toys R Us Inc. will open FAO Schwarz boutiques in 585 of the retailing giant's stores in time for the holidays. The company, which bought FAO Schwarz in May, also is relaunching the high-end brand's website. FAO Schwarz has two stand-alone stores, one each in New York and Las Vegas. The boutiques, which are to open starting Sunday, will offer toys ranging in price from $2.99 to $64.99, including FAO Schwarz's annual holiday ornament and collectible stuffed teddy bear. Privately held Toys R Us also is publishing FAO Schwarz's holiday catalog, featuring such exclusive toys as a Steiff Karl Lagerfeld Teddy Bear, which wears designer clothing, for $1,499.
HOME & GARDEN
February 22, 2014 | Amy Paturel, Amy Paturel is a freelance writer in Temecula
When I met my husband, Brandon, online, we covered most of the essentials over email. I knew he lived in Murrieta, 53 miles from my Seal Beach home. I knew he was a widower. I also knew he had a freezer stocked with microwaveable pocket sandwiches -- meaning he didn't cook. Hardly the perfect catch, I mused. But I was still drawn to him. Then I got this: "There's something else you should know," he wrote. "I have a unique hobby. " I prepped myself for a collection of Civil War guns, a lifetime membership in the official Disney fan club, even a fascination with vampires.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By Steve Zeitchik
Of the many unexpected moments in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's breakout hit "The Lego Movie," perhaps none is as surprising as the film's ending, which is daring even by the standards of this unconventional film. So daring, in fact, that even its filmmakers weren't sure they could get away with it. "We were terrified," said Miller. "We didn't know if you would care about the universe once you understood how the universe worked," alluding to how the movie turns itself inside-out at the end. PHOTOS: Images from 'The Lego Movie' In a season in which the typically tricky art of the movie ending has largely satisfied - witness the well-regarded twist in "American Hustle," the Quaalude-enabled piece de resistance of "The Wolf of Wall Street" and the return-to-Earth redemption of "Gravity" - the finale of "Lego" may top them all. Warner Bros., which financed and released "The Lego Movie," was also unsure about the finale and for a time pushed the filmmakers to consider a more conventional path.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Early in the development of "The Lego Movie," Jill Wilfert, the executive who oversees Lego's licensing efforts in Southern California, had a question for her bosses at company headquarters in Denmark: Can we have a character die? "It wasn't something we ever had to really think about before," Wilfert said. "But we had to think about it now. " Their conclusion was yes, and it became one of a number of freedoms the company allowed Warner Bros., producer Dan Lin and writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller in creating the most freewheeling and reference-packed picture to come out of film's branded-movie era. PHOTOS: Actors who've been turned down for famous roles "Lego"--which as of Thursday had garnered a rare 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and was expected to open upward of $50 million this weekend--is a rare Big Hollywood entertainment with a playful subversiveness, the world's first postmodern toy film.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
If there was a winner among the piles of gifts given to children this Christmas, Barbie certainly wasn't it. The fashion doll - possibly the best-known player in Mattel Inc.'s stable of products - endured a 13% sales slide during the company's fourth quarter. "We just didn't sell enough Barbie dolls," Mattel Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said Friday in a conference call with analysts. Several other brands from the El Segundo toy maker also fared poorly. Fisher-Price, whose lineup focuses on infants and young children, also suffered a 13% revenue plunge.
TRAVEL
January 10, 2014 | By Margo Pfeiff
GULF ISLANDS, Canada - "I'm not ashamed to say it," Colin Griffinson says, as he scans the island-dotted Strait of Georgia, "I have wooden boat disease!" And as he spins the very big wheel of his 1943 Pacific Yellowfin, one of a string of wooden boats the Dublin, Ireland-born captain and master carpenter has bought and restored over the years, he looks like a kid playing with his favorite toy. And so do we, eight passengers cruising British Columbia's Gulf Islands aboard this floating toy box stacked with mountain bikes, mopeds, kayaks, golf clubs, fishing rods, shotguns for skeet shooting and a water slide, with a hot tub on deck and a speed boat with wakeboards and water skis.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 30, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Another Los Angeles bookstore is closing its doors. Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop , a children's book store located in La Verne, has announced it will close in early 2014 -- most likely before January is out. A final sale began on Friday. "It's economic," owner Judy Nelson told The Times. "Retail shopping is changing. " Big-box stores, discounters and online sales provided too much competition, she said. None were a factor when Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop opened in La Verne in 1985.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 6, 2012 | By Sheri Linden
The stop-motion action is nonstop and deliriously bent in "Toys in the Attic," a 2009 Czech feature that has been retrofitted with an English-language voice cast led by Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack and Cary Elwes. Jiri Barta's blend of live action and handmade and computer effects puts a "Toy Story" slant on "The Perils of Pauline" by way of "1984" and any number of dystopian nightmares. But the plot is the least of it in a film whose transporting aesthetic is a tattered brocade of industrial grunge and oldfangled whimsy.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
McDonald's Corp. can keep selling Happy Meals with toys to California children after a San Francisco judge threw out a proposed class-action lawsuit seeking to ban the practice in the state. The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it will discuss with its co-plaintiff - a California mother - whether to appeal. The group did not seek damages for its fellow plaintiff, though it alleged that she “suffered a monetary loss” because of McDonald's toy-marketing ways.
SCIENCE
December 27, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
That Christmas crib toy you got junior? It might be just the thing to give him strep throat, according to a new study. The bacteria that cause strep throat may linger far longer on inanimate objects than previous lab tests suggested, according to University of Buffalo researchers. Streptococcus pneumoniae , the leading cause of ear and respiratory tract infection in children, and Streptococcus pyogenes , the bacterial culprit behind strep throat and skin infections, lingered on surfaces in cribs, toys and books many hours after they had been cleaned, according to a study published Friday in the journal Infection and Immunity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
No one was seriously injured Monday during a brawl that broke out at a fraternity's large toy drive at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport, police said. The brawl, which involved about two dozen people, broke out about 12:45 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel in the 6200 block of West Century Boulevard during the 16th annual Kappa Khristmas Jam & Toy Drive, which was hosted by the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity from Cal State Long Beach, CBS-LA  reported. Police were called to the hotel to help security officers break up the fight.
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