Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Bratz and Bakugan make latest hot toy list


bratzandbarbie.jpgIf the holiday season is around the corner (or even a little farther away), then it is that time of the year again — major toy retailers, childrens’ magazines and guides announce “hot” lists, predicting which toys and games will likely fly off store shelves during the holiday shopping period.

According to Toy Wishes magazine, girls who are 6 years old or older are likely to go after the Bratz “Girls Really Rock” line of dolls this time around.

Top U.S. toy maker Mattel and smaller, privately held MGA Entertainment have been locked in a legal battle over the Bratz dolls. The chic, snazzily dressed dolls started stealing market share from Mattel’s iconic and more clean-cut Barbie since the Bratz were introduced in 2001. While it is still undecided as to who has the right to make the dolls. Mattel most recently said that it has filed a motion to stop MGA from making or selling Bratz. That could spell bad news for MGA, given toy companies make a lion’s share of their revenue during the holiday season.

Also on the Toy Wishes list: Spin Master’s action-figure warriors Bakugan, Playskool’s dinosaur “Kota the Triceratops,” and Crayola’s Glow Station. Interestingly, Crayola spokeswoman Stacy Gabrielle said at a Toy Wishes event in New York that Crayola is trying to attract thrifty parents with lower-priced items this holiday season. The Glow Station can be purchased for $29.99. 

Check Out Line: Gloomy holiday sales forecasts continue


christmas-tree.jpgCheck Out more gloomy forecasts for the holiday sales season.

With mall traffic likely weak for the remainder of the year and uncertainty lingering in the financial markets, analysts at CL King say that even with inventory reductions across the board they don’t yet see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We believe the macro situation has fallen further with worse-than-anticipated negative data points on employment, housing, car sales, investment portfolios, etc.,” CL King wrote in an analyst note.