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Articles by Andrew Robinton


One-of-a-Kind Merchandise Creates “Urgency to Buy” (7/1/2005)
Most independent toy retailers create a merchandise niche by selecting products not sold by mass merchants. Some go further, and stock only toys that cannot be found elsewhere.

Expanded Lines Narrow the Competition (7/1/2005)
A toy store can create a merchandise niche by carrying the complete lines of just a few brands, a strategy that has worked wonders for The Essence of Nonsense.

Making Your Niche “Unbeatable” (7/1/2005)
Creating a niche focused on collectibles is a time-honored way to keep customers coming back. However, it is a difficult niche in which to succeed, requiring great knowledge of what collectors desire.

You Can Learn a Lot From a Puppet (6/1/2005)
Several toy companies have caught wise to the fact that puppets can be used as fun educational tools.

Educational DVDs to the Rescue (6/1/2005)
Sales of educational DVDs accounted for 13.1 percent of total DVD sales in 2004, reports The NPD Group, with fourth quarter sales as high as 16.7 percent of the total market.

New Video Game Consoles to be Released in Late 2005, Early 2006 (5/1/2005)
A new generation of video game consoles are waiting to be born, as both Sony and Microsoft are expected to introduce their new game consoles at the 2005 E3 Expo in Los Angeles, which begins on May 17 (Microsoft is expected to air an MTV special showcasing its product on May 12).

Before the Films, There Were Figures (5/1/2005)
As the summer is the season of the blockbuster, and action figures precede blockbusters like thunder before rain, toy stores will be literally packed this spring with licensed figures from soon-to-be released feature films.

Video Games Extend Reach to Different Places, Different People (5/1/2005)
It used to be that there was a time and place for video games: in the TV room, once homework was finished. Certainly those days are over, and a school recess where kids are playing football – on their handheld video game systems – is not uncommon.

Lights, Camera, Action Figures Hit Market (5/1/2005)
As summer nears, action figures are hitting store shelves.

Travel Games for the Experienced Traveler (5/1/2005)
Travel games turn boring journeys into fun adventures.

Travel Toys: Leave the Fun to Us (5/1/2005)
The following travel toys occupy kids so the driving can be left up to the parents, without causing too severe of a distraction.

Fall Toy Show 2005 to Stay in New York City (4/1/2005)
The Toy Industry Association’s board of directors voted to keep the American International Fall Toy Show in New York, its present location, for 2005 and 2006.

b. dazzle, inc. and its 21st Century Business Model (4/1/2005)
Kathie and Marshall Gavin started their company, b. dazzle, inc., maker of the hit puzzle Scramble Squares®, from the ground up, starting like all entrepreneurs with ambition and an idea.

A Gamut of Games to Please the Entire Family (4/1/2005)
You and your family are on a weekend retreat to your very own little cottage in the woods. It’s evening, and pouring rain – and the television’s broken. Sounds like a board game is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Videos: The Latest Teaching Tools for Tots (4/1/2005)
First there was “Sesame Street,” then “Barney & Friends” and “Teletubbies.” Today, the newest generation of educational media intended for children ages zero to five comes in the form of DVDs, with many nascent companies attempting to find a niche in the market.

Toy Rockets: Beyond Sight (4/1/2005)
Model rocketry was developed during the “space race” era of the mid-20th century, an alternative and safer option to amateur rocket activity.

A Mystical Approach to Toys and Play (4/1/2005)
In 1993, Stephen Poreda was just a guy on a beach, playing with a toy he had made in his bedroom.

Game On: Traditional Escapes for 2005 (4/1/2005)
The 2005 American International Toy Fair displayed many of the newest toys of 2005. A majority of the products highlighted by the national media were electronic in nature. Yet, traditional toys are as strong as ever. Below, TDmonthly staff has spotlighted a number of our favorite puzzles and games of 2005.

MGA Introduces Five New BRATZ Lines This Spring (3/1/2005)
The BRATZ spring 2005 line is sure to be a must-hit among girls ages 6 and up. Five hot lines have already hit the market.

RFID Technology Creeps Into the Toy Box (3/1/2005)
Radio Frequency Identification, otherwise known as RFID, is a nearly 30-year old technology beginning to pop its head into practical use. Toy retailers have begun to use the technology’s similarity to the bar code to track products, while manufacturers are utilizing the technology to create a new generation of interactive toys.

Toy Fair 2005 Coverage (3/1/2005)
Top-bidding at this year’s Toy Fair, held annually in New York City, was given to high-tech toys, highlighting the blurring line between toys and electronics.

UPDATE: Doll Wars: Mattel’s Flavas Take on Bratz in a Battle for Tween Girls’ Dollars (2/1/2005)
The pop-culture savvy, ultra-stylish Bratz dolls were first produced by MGA Entertainment in 2001. MGA introduced its line of eight dolls and has followed suit with a host of accessories.

Advanced Schedule of Articles (2/1/2005)
Die-Cast, Pretend Play, Halloween 2005

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