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A Profile of the United States Toy Industry by Christopher Byrne

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Abstract

The toy industry is one of the most consistently misunderstood sectors of American business. That’s no surprise because on many levels it resists easy definition. It’s a commodity business. No, it’s a fashion business. No, it’s a consumer products business. No, it’s an entertainment business. The fact is it’s all of these businesses, each of which addresses and responds to market forces differently. And often, especially with the larger, publicly traded companies—all of these businesses share a balance sheet.

Toy consumers are equally diverse, ranging from grandparents planning a splurge, to parents hoping to give their kids a leg up in learning to kids parting with their pocket change. They cross every demographic category. As we often ...

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