"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 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

"Everyone knows it's Slinky": 75 years of a classic toy

Nov 27, 2020
There are more than 350 million Slinkys out there.
Slinky is gender neutral, is sold everywhere and has heavy brand nostalgia.
Pixabay

How toy drives are staying on track during the pandemic

Nov 25, 2020
With fewer big donations boxes at offices and retail stores, the logistics have become tricky.
Hilary Duff and Toys for Tots Marines kick off last year's campaign at a Disney store in Los Angeles.
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Disney

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Parents are buying a lot of toys for kids during the pandemic

Oct 26, 2020
People stuck at home bought toys, games, puzzles and more. Analysts expect that trend will continue through the holidays.
People walk past an open toy store in June in New York City.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Mattel banks on keeping kids busy during the pandemic

Jul 23, 2020
Mattel has pivoted, playing to the moment at hand with marketing like "play is never canceled" and an emphasis on family activities.
Hot Wheels cars, a Mattel product, weren't flying off the shelves during the pandemic like other games. So Mattel has pivoted.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Puzzle sales are peaking during COVID-19 quarantine

Apr 10, 2020
"We're pretty much experiencing Christmastime at Easter," one manufacturer said.
Ravensburger, the global market leader in puzzle making, says sales are up 370%.
Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images