October 16, 2013 |
Mattel Inc., the nation's largest toy company, and Barbie, likely its best-known product, are heading into Christmas looking up. The El Segundo-based company reported net income of $422.8 million, or $1.21 a share, for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That's a 16% increase from the year-earlier period, when profit was $365.9 million, or $1.04 a share. Mattel's revenue also surged 6% to $2.2 billion, from $2.1 billion. Both the sales and profit measures beat Wall Street expectations.
October 14, 2013 |
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.
October 10, 2013 |
"Toy Story of Terror" (ABC, Wednesday). And so the three-headed holiday season begins, with a Halloween special wrought from the "Toy Story" franchise -- a franchise, it hurts my brain to realize, that is nearly 20 years old. No expense, horses or gigabytes have been spared for its being merely a TV show. (I do assume all the relevant codes reside on a supercomputer somewhere, waiting to bring these characters economically back to life.) Tom and Tim and Joan and Don and Wally and Timothy and Kristen (Hanks, Allen, Cusack, Rickles, Shawn, Dalton and Schaal, that is)
September 27, 2013
Re "Give students A+ in hacking," Sept. 25 It amazes me that the L.A. Unified School District officials in charge of purchasing Apple iPads for students apparently did not foresee the security problems they would have in letting students take the tablets home. Perhaps the people at Apple, who will sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of iPads to L.A. Unified, should have been more upfront about the hacking possibilities that would allow students to use the tablets in ways the district didn't intend.
September 15, 2013 |
For the last 18 years, Jakks Pacific Inc. has been a player in the ultra-competitive Southern California toy-making business, up against the likes of giant Mattel Inc. in El Segundo and others. But Jakks' roster of toys - including the Smurfs, Monsuno action figures and Winx Club fairy dolls - have not been pulling in the fun for investors. Sales have declined five straight years. In the most recent quarter, revenue fell 27% and the Malibu company lost $46.9 million compared with net income of $214,000 a year earlier.
September 12, 2013 |
Consider the holiday retail race to be in full swing, as both Wal-Mart and Toys R Us moved early Thursday to stake a claim in the competitive toy market. Discount behemoth Wal-Mart, which says it's the largest toy seller in the nation, unveiled its list of top holiday toys. The Bentonville, Ark. company said it compiled the list after inviting 1,000 children between the ages of 18 months and 10 years to test out contenders. Familiar names include Barbie with the Dreamhouse set, the interactive Furby Boom!