CHAPTER 6

The Money Game: The Financial Realities of the Toy Industry

By now, it should come as no surprise that the financial structure of the toy industry is unique and uniquely challenging.

The primary—and somewhat obvious—reason for this is that approximately 50 percent of the year’s retail sales are made in the Fourth Quarter, with the bulk of those (as much as 25 percent of the year’s total sales) coming in December. Not to be overly dramatic, but two years of effort, planning and expense face a make-or-break 20 days at the end of the year.

Ranking toy companies is never an easy task. Privately held toy companies like MGA Entertainment do not have to report their sales, and there are many conglomerates like Disney, which generates only ...

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