Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 26, 2010 04:30 PM
It doesn't seem like 2010 will be tough for the world's largest toymaker. Mattel should hit $6 billion in sales, and profits should increase over 40%. The company's stock price is currently more than twice what it was 12 to 18 months ago.
But Mattel CEO Robert Eckert takes nothing for granted. He sees 2010 as a challenging year because of rising costs, a falling euro (Mattel sells 46% of its toys outside the U.S.), and strong competition from its chief rival, Hasbro.
One of the big challenges that will determine Mattel's success, Eckert tells SmartMoney, is whether the toy company can "create new intellectual property that goes quickly beyond toys." He says Toy Story 3 is "a movie that toys are based on. Here, we'll start with toys and turn it into entertainment if all goes well."
Mattel's next big bet, Monster High (above) is unusual — it's not based on a TV, book, movie or other entertainment property, but it's an entirely original, standalone line.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 22, 2010 05:00 PM
Mad Men's stylish cast (and their Barbie versions: Roger, Joan, Don and Betty) are ready for Sunday's season 4 premiere. Check out Barbie circa season 1 after the jump.
Betty White is putting her face on a limited collection of hipster hoodies.
Booty Pop spearheads fashion's rear view.
Diane Von Furstenberg and other fashion designers are in love with Twitter.
Katy Perry will launch her first perfume exclusively at Neiman Marcus.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 6, 2010 02:30 PM
Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video has sparked a craze for contact lenses that mimic her doe-eyed look — and the FDA is not a fan.
Known as circle lenses and marketed by Asian websites such as the Malaysia-based Pinky Paradise, they come in colors such as lime green and purple and extend the iris to simulate larger-than-life anime- or doll-style eyes.
The only problem: they're considered dangerous in the U.S., which doesn't seem to bother e-tailers racking up sales of the contraband contacts.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 17, 2010 08:00 AM
BP CEO Tony Hayward will face a tough audience and aim to strike an emotional chord (and avert criminal charges) in his testimony in Washington today, as company's shares rise on news of $20 billion compensation fund. Obama's speech on the oil spill Tuesday night? Too "professorial" says linguist.
Two Dutch women appeared in court in South Africa, facing jail time over Bavaria Beer's ambush marketing stunt at the World Cup.
AOL confirms Bebo sale to turnaround firm.
Bank of America and other banks hope to phase out free checking without alienating customers.
Boots becomes first major UK retailer to adopt contactless Mastercard payments.
Facebook valuation debate: $3.60 or $136.38 per fan?Continue reading...
close of business
Posted by Sara Zucker on April 9, 2010 05:25 PM
Barbie was not destined to become a computer engineer. [WSJ]
'Undercover Boss' moves on to 1-800-Flowers.com. [Daily Finance]
Degree Natureffects covers major cities in perennials. [BrandFreak]
MasterCard has a new online-based marketing project. [NY Times]
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 15, 2010 11:29 AM
Two prominent toy manufacturers are planning to expand successful brand franchises this year.
Zhu Zhu pets – which became the breakout toy success of 2009 – will grow from a line of 4 to more than 40 by the summer. The electronic hamsters, which retail for $10 each, noisily scurry around like the real thing and play in their own hamster tubes (available separately, of course). Zhu Zhu pets have produced about $70 million in worldwide sales for manufacturer Cepia Inc., according to CNNMoney. They're already in over 7 million US homes.
Get ready for a whole new gang of Zhu Zhus, including four "Rockstars" and a "Kung Zhu" fighters line. Cepia will also launch a new "Wild Bunch" collection that goes beyond hamsters and includes a skunk and raccoon.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on February 15, 2010 07:09 AM
Verizon increases competition by adding Skype to its phones. [Businessweek]
Line Nation concert and event tickets will soon be available at Wal-Mart. [WSJ]
Privacy concerns and complaints cause Google to revamp Buzz. [Boston Herald]
General Motors turns to social media tools to reach consumers. [Brandweek]
New standards are implemented by the USDA for organic milk. [LA Times]
The designer of Chatroulette is a 17-year-old boy from Russia. [NY Times]Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 12, 2010 10:46 AM
Toy Fair, kicking off in New York this weekend, is the big show for new toy introductions. When toy manufacturers display their wares this year, analysts expect them to be conservative as the recession subsides, pitching value more than price.
"You will see the manufacturers emphasize how much play time or value the kid gets out of the toy and then talk about the amazing price associated with that play value," says Anita Frazier, an analyst with market research firm NPD Group.
Toy makers will focus primarily on two areas – going green and leveraging technology – to boost sales in 2010. For the first time, Toy Fair will include a "green pavilion" to highlight environmentally friendly toys. It's a response to retail buyers who said last year they wanted more "eco-friendly" products to market to consumers.Continue reading...