TOYLAND: The High-Stakes Game of the Toy Industry by Sydney Ladensohn & Ted Schoenhaus Stern

TOYLAND: The High-Stakes Game of the Toy Industry

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A kaleidoscopic overview--both instructive and entertaining--of the ultracompetitive toy business. In large measure, journalist (Fortune, Money) Stern and Schoenhaus (publisher of Toy & Hobby World, a trade magazine) view Toyland as a field of dreams, which (like Wall Street) transcends geography. At the checkout counter, however, it's a decidedly commercial enterprise. Annual sales of toys exceed $11 billion, exclusive of video games that can add as much as $3 billion more to the yearly pot, depending on marketplace fads and fashions. To illustrate the volatile industry's frequently antic aspects, the authors provide a running account of how Tyco's Dino-Riders were conceived, designed, produced, and merchandised. While tracking the three-year development cycle of this successful line, they offer short-take profiles of the often manic adults who bring youngsters their playthings, background on best-selling favorites (Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kids, G.I. Joe, Monopoly, Play-Doh, Slinky, et al.) and rundowns on how suppliers like Hasbro, Mattell, and lesser lights survive (or fail to) in a boom-and-bust business where today's hit is tomorrow's wasting asset. Covered as well in unflinching fashion are deceptive TV advertising, safety, knockoffs, foreign manufacture, and the industry's typically vocal critics. Behind-the-scenes fun and games for children of all ages.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Publisher: Contemporary