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Barbie's Dreamhouse paints a picture of America's housing history

Jun 29, 2023
From the bachelorette pad of the 1960s to today's pink mansion, the Dreamhouse's evolution shows the politics and trends of American life.
For more than 60 years, Barbie Dreamhouses have reflected style trends and aspirational homeownership.
Bethany Clarke/Getty Images
After a flurry of toy purchases fueled by the pandemic, toy company Hasbro recently reported layoffs and cratering sales.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For this toy store, it's a race to restock the shelves

Jan 18, 2023
The owner of a North Carolina toy shop talks about the state of her business after the holiday retail season.
"Our inventory right now is being replenished from the busy selling season," said Irene Kesselman. "It will take me probably two to four months to fill the store again."
Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

From Legos to Lite-Brite, toymakers win big with adult nostalgia

Dec 21, 2022
The toy industry's sales are up 30% since the pandemic – with "kidults" driving significant growth.
Star Wars themed Lego sets are displayed on a shelf at a Target store in San Rafael, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

From toys to custom bikes, these small businesses are still seeing shipment delays

Aug 22, 2022
Supply chain problems remain an obstacle as demand picks up.
A shopper on a stroll in San Francisco. Retailers have begun preparing for the holidays, but supplies of some items are uncertain.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"Inflation is gut-punching my business," record store owner laments

Aug 12, 2022
Vinyl records are a big part of Phillip Rollins' business at Offbeat in Jackson, Mississippi. But rising costs make them a harder sell.
Phillip "DJ Young Venom" Rollins, of the Offbeat record store and art gallery, would like to see the prices of vinyl records go down. "The demand is up there, just the supply is kind of low."
Courtesy Rollins

What does it take to launch a successful toy?

Feb 17, 2022
Americans are buying lots of toys right now. But launching a new one is still very difficult — a good idea is no guarantee of success
Clixo, a toy that launched during the pandemic, uses magnets to connect pieces. A Duplo Lego set is in the background.
Stephanie Hughes/Marketplace

For public good, not for profit.

For this toy store, back-to-school shopping looks different this year

Sep 10, 2021
Millions of students are returning to in-person classes this school year. What does that mean for businesses that sell school supplies?
While consumers are spending more on technology and COVID-19 related products, spending fell for traditional school supplies, clothing and accessories, according to a report from Deloitte.
Philippe Huguen/AFP via Getty Images

In this North Carolina toy shop, business is up — including back orders

Jul 9, 2021
Irene Kesselman, owner of Ali Cat Toys, describes how back orders are taking up more of her time.
Ali Cat Toys is a much busier place than it was in 2020.
Courtesy Irene Kesselman

At this toy shop, the kids are finally coming back

Apr 7, 2021
Irene Kesselman, owner of Ali Cat Toys in North Carolina, describes what she's seeing this spring.
Ali Cat Toys made over 50 Easter baskets, Irene Kesselman said, with "a lot of stuffed bunnies and rabbits and lambs."
Courtesy of Irene Kesselman

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