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August 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 8


Weekly Toy Newscast: 8-17-08

August 17, 2008 – The much-anticipated toy safety bill lowering acceptable lead limits in children's products and overhauling the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has been signed into law. Find out the major provisions of the legislation, see if Mattel's case against MGA Entertainment over the Bratz dolls is nearing conclusion, and find out why TDmonthly's 2008 Specialty Toys Report can guide you in placing those final holiday orders.


Hi, I'm Julie Jones and this is's Weekly Toy Newscast for the week of August 17, 2008.

We're back after a brief hiatus, as we've been laser-focused on TDmonthly's 2008 Specialty Toys Report, called "Positive Toys for a Promising Future."™ To simplify your ordering decisions, we've compiled detailed information on more than 200 new and top-selling products for the specialty market, including TDmonthly's 44 award winners for 2008. To give you an idea of what kind of information you'll find in the Report, 69% of the 200+ products are not available in any mass-market store, 14% are completely made in the USA, and at least 88% are phthalate free.

The Full Report includes safety and testing data, product display ideas, wholesale terms, reviews, and retailer quotes on best sellers. If you sign up now for premium access to all of those features through July 2009, you also get more: a bonus eBook, "In the BLACK: TDmonthly's Essential Retailing Tips" with invaluable advice from experts and your fellow specialty retailers, plus monthly updates on new toys, top-10 best sellers, and sales tracking of some of specialty's most popular toys.

Learn more about the Report and e-Book by clicking on the "Specialty Toys Report" icon at

Toy safety is in the spotlight once again, since President Bush on Thursday, Aug. 14, signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 — roughly a year after last year's barrage of toy recalls. The bill has gone through several changes since its introduction in November 2007, but here's a quick rundown of the final provisions:

- There's a reduction in the allowable amounts of certain phthalates and lead in children's products — taking the lead limit down to 100 parts per million within three years.

- It calls for the development of a public database to house consumer complaints.

- It requires third-party testing for certain children's products.

- And, it establishes a five-year plan for increased funding for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which will also be responsible for making new toy safety rules.

You may be wondering if the infamous Bratz trial spotlighting Mattel against MGA Entertainment will ever end. MGA was hoping it would, after a now-dismissed juror made an inappropriate ethnic comment directed at the company's Iranian-born CEO, Isaac Larian. MGA Entertainment has twice been denied its request for a mistrial, and the damages phase of the trial, in which Mattel is seeking a hefty $1 billion, will go on.

Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next week here at Be sure to take a look at TDmonthly's Toy Videos in the center section on our homepage to see quick product demonstrations, and then scroll on down toward the bottom of the page to find some of the latest toys, games, baby products and more in our Notable and New Toys articles.


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