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Articles by Pennie Hoover


Electronic Games Rule the Travel Set (5/1/2006)
Card and trivia games are moving fast, as far as travel toys are concerned, as well as small, colorful electronic handhelds, sources told TDmonthly.

WTHRA Show Wrap-Up (4/1/2006)
Held March 11-14, the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association Show has become a reliable hands-on search engine for retail and wholesale buyers.

Why Wood? It's Not Cheap and It's Not Modern (3/1/2006)
Wooden toys may not always fit mass market needs, but some shoppers seek out these unique pieces, especially when choosing a gift.

A Growing Needs Niche (1/1/2006)
According to the number of people served by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, approximately 7 million children have special needs, representing more than $3.5 billion each year in toy purchases.

Eagle Magic Stands Test of Time (12/1/2005)
A small business has to build relationships and loyalty with their customers that cannot be copied at a big box outlet. Larry Kahlow’s Eagle Magic and Joke Store has built its business on an impeccable relationship strategy with hobbyists, professionals, children and grandmothers.

Tween Girls Kick Butt (11/1/2005)
Are action toys for girls the future as action toy sales flatten out for boys?

Could Your Small Business Ride Out Katrina? (10/1/2005)
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, followed within a few weeks by Hurricane Rita, all eyes turned to the nightly news coverage of the horrific destruction. When such natural tragedies occur, many people find themselves asking, would I be able to survive such a catastrophe? And many small business owners wonder, would my business?

Tween Girls Take Over Boys’ Action (8/1/2005)
As action toy sales flatten out for boys, are action toys for girls the future? Wild Planet must think so; their boys’ action toys are being repackaged to appeal to a female audience.

Directing Boys’ Impulses (7/1/2005)
When boys pick a toy up on the spur of the moment, it’s because it speaks to their need for energetic play. Boys have a large play space that is not limited to their rooms.

What Girls Buy on Impulse (7/1/2005)
Girls are motivated to pick up things that fit into their environment, specifically their rooms.

Toy Candy Fills Sweet Spot in Stores (5/1/2005)
The novelty candy category is rarely absent from any retail venue since it can boast impressive penetration statistics. Ninety-eight percent of households in the United States purchase candy every year.

Healthy Candy – Is This Oxymoron a Smart Idea? (5/1/2005)
Some retailers have been taking notice of a trend among novelty candy manufacturers to address consumer desires for healthier sweet treats.

Cast of Characters: Children Ages 5 to 8 Find Familiar Playmates (1/1/2005)


Grown Up Fun: New Adult Licensed Products (1/1/2005)


Magic: These Tricks Are For Kids (12/1/2004)


The Tween Spending Scene: What do they Buy? (11/1/2004)
It´s official: Tweens are keen on technology, especially products like Nintendo´s Gameboy SP Advance, which retails for $99.00. Once a Tween owns the SP, games, accessories (such as lights, magnifiers, vibrating buttons, speakers, headphones and carrying cases) and software-related licensed merchandise are ongoing purchase options at a variety of price points. Sometimes, it only take one key product to break open a broad segment of the elusive Tween market.

All that Glitters: Tween Fashion Accessories (11/1/2004)
When it comes to Tween fashion, all that glitters is gold. Girls in this age group are starting to love shoes more than toys, while retailers and manufacturers have devised some sparkling solutions for this increasingly influential market segment.

Licensing, Colors & Functional Style are Popular in Youth Furnishings (10/1/2004)
The children and teen’s categories continue to be the bright spot in retail home furnishings as one of the only growing segments, even in slower retail seasons. For specialty and toy stores, that paints a picture of opportunity

Popular Ride-On Toys for Teens and Tweens (8/1/2004)
Kids are ready for their own wheels long before the law is ready to hand them keys

Getting a Head Start to a Bright Future (7/1/2004)
According to a The NPD Group, the infant/preschool category in the toy industry experienced a 12% decline in sales

Infant Growth: Five Companies and Products that Contribute to Category Growth (7/1/2004)
Despite an industry category decline, International Playthings reports a growing Infant/Preschool category

The Latest Back to School Gadgets for Tweens (6/1/2004)
What students carry to school becomes almost as important to them as what they wear to school

Revving Up for Back to School (6/1/2004)
Parents, students and teachers do their back to school shopping with credit cards and checkbooks open

More Than a Sugar Buzz: Interactive Toy Candy (5/1/2004)
Bud Damberg, marketing vice president at PEZ, claims its product is the original interactive candy/toy combination

That´s A Wrap! (5/1/2004)
Electrical engineer, Steve Allen had a great idea when he saw his wife, Liz, attach candy to a gift bag

Construction Toys Are Magnets for Manufacturers and Retailers (1/1/2004)
The construction toy category is never a stagnant market

Italian Storybook Mouse Immigrates to U.S. (1/1/2004)
In February 2004, Scholastic is rolling out their newest chapter book series, Geronimo Stilton. Each book includes colorful illustrations of Geronimo, a mouse detective and journalist...

Q & A with LEGO’s Michael McNally (1/1/2004)
The name LEGO is synonymous with building toys. In an evolving and expanding category, seventy-year-old LEGO stays strong...

Specialty Retailers Make Room for Children´s Furniture (12/1/2003)
I think you see a lot of high-end designers now doing children’s lines because it’s a growing area. It is one of the fastest growing [furnishing] markets,” said Andrea Edmunds, president of PoshTots

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