Toy industry prays it will be recession-proof

When toy manufacturers unveil the new playthings of 2010 this week at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany, many will be silently praying that the industry will be recession-proof, dpa reported.

"People reduce all sorts of other expenses before they cut spending on their children," observes Otto Umbach, chief buyer for a cooperative of German toyshops, Idee und Spiel, before the event.

The annual fair is the top showcase in an industry which is dominated by Chinese manufacturers and which has gained most of its growth in recent years in emergent markets such as India and Brazil.

A total of 221 Chinese exhibitors will show goods at the fair, along with 116 US toymakers. Germany will have 876 exhibitors, but many of them are tiny companies with no significant world presence.

With world trade in trouble as a slump spreads round the globe, the industry is expected this year to focus on the tried and true, dolls for girls and cars for boys, while trying to gain an edge with new technologies and features.

Among technologies that look set to carve out new space this year is an advanced new sort of remote control for radio-controlled toys.

The controls use 2.4-gigahertz radio links, which are already common to connect computers with keyboards wirelessly and are more reliable that earlier radio links when steering toy trains and cars.

Manufacturers can build more lights and noises and other features into the toys, because the 2.4-gigahertz radio band can transmit more commands from a child's hand-held console to the toys, yet two or more remote controls do not interfere with one another.

Umbach says keeping it simple is a big part of what children expect and adults ask for.

The industry slogan is "ready to run," meaning a toy helicopter, for example, can be unwrapped, switched on and immediately flown without any complicated setting up.

Amid so much advanced technology, Barbie, who turns 50 this year, is re-assuringly old-fashioned without any hint of being frumpy.

The unnaturally skinny, blonde, dress-up doll was launched at a New York toy fair in 1959.

Its US manufacturer, Mattel, will be unveiling details at the February 5-10 Nuremberg Toy Fair of 50th-birthday promotional offers in many countries of the world and hoping to win back market share from MGA Entertainment's Bratz dolls launched in 2001.

The Bratz line is in trouble after a US court in December ordered it removed from sale by this February and awarded Mattel 100 million dollars in damages against MGA Entertainment for copyright infringement and breach of contract.

MGA Entertainment is appealing and says on its website that it has won a stay till the end of this year in the court order, so "that business is back to normal with Bratz for 2009."

Both series of glamour dolls have been assailed by feminists and supporters of family values, but toy retailers say little girls remain addicted to the toys, devoting hours to dressing them and combing their hair.

The most popular Barbie model of all time, according to Mattel, was Totally Hair Barbie, a version introduced in 1992 with hair that stretches almost to the feet of the 30-centimetre doll.

Historic Barbie dolls are now collectors' items: specimens of the 300,000 original "Barbie Millicent Roberts" dolls from 1959 can change hands for 27,000 dollars if still in mint condition.

Mattel says that counted by the number of doll costumes it sells per year or the 100 million metres of fabric made into Barbie fashions in the past half century, it is one of the world's top clothing brands.

Multi-talented Barbie has exercised 108 professions including flight attendant, TV cook and surgeon in her "lifetime."

Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
Uzbekneftegaz launches condensate stabilization unit at Uzbek oil field
Uzbekneftegaz launches condensate stabilization unit at Uzbek oil field
Uzbekistan launches mineral-based engine oil production
Uzbekistan launches mineral-based engine oil production
Loading Bars
Turkey's 9M2020 export of jewelry to Ukraine doubles
Azerbaijani artillerymen continue to make precise strikes at firing points of Armenian armed forces (VIDEO)
Tender: Khazar Consortium to buy materials for smooth operation of oil field facilities
Int'l organizations miscalculate military arsenal of Armenia - MP
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of equipment
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
MagtiCom leads with highest ARPU rate in Georgia
New apartments inagurated in Iran
Azerbaijan's overall exports for 9M2020 unveiled
Kazakhstan to increase electric vehicles manufacturing by 2022
CO2 emissions prevented in Kazakhstan as renewable energy projects launched
Revenues of mobile operators in Georgia down
Uzbekneftegaz launches condensate stabilization unit at Uzbek oil field
Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia clarifying issue on prohibiting Azerbaijani citizens to use Pobeda Airlines' services
Uzbekistan launches mineral-based engine oil production
Trend News Agency's editor-in-chief tells CNN Turk about ongoing tension in Karabakh (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Russia almost halves jewelry imports from Turkey
Azerbaijan’s AzerGold taking measures on legal assessment of illegal mining in occupied territories
Azerbaijan starts reconstructing roads leading to liberated villages of Tartar (PHOTOS)
Georgian Caucasus Auto Import adds new export markets
USAID promotes warehouse digitization of Turkmen logistics company
Uzbekistan eyes to increase cars export by 4Q2020
Uzbekistan’s private business actively involved in agriculture digitalization
Sanctions must be imposed on Armenia, says Lebanese legal expert
Attacking civilians unacceptable, Israeli ambassador says
Armenia opens additional flights to transfer volunteers to Karabakh (PHOTO)
Number of people infected with COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeds 550,000
Azerbaijan's president says Armenia receiving external help, including mercenaries, weaponry
Your statements every evening about how many villages, cities have been liberated from occupation bring joy to people all over Turkey - Turkish Chief Ombudsman
Azerbaijan confirms 171 more COVID-19 recoveries
Turkmenistan's import of Turkish jewelry surges
Value of Azerbaijan's goods export by road edges down
Those unwilling to fight in Armenia buy positive coronavirus test at $1,000-2,000
There is not single surviving building in liberated cities, in these villages, in most of them - Azerbaijani president
Media of many countries unilaterally side with Armenia - President Aliyev
Israel's ambassador to Azerbaijan visits Ganja, witnesses damages following Armenia's attack (PHOTO)
We have never taken and will never take any action against civilians, says Azerbaijani president
By breaking back of Armenian fascism, we save our region from great tragedies - President Aliyev
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
Georgia, Japan sign double taxation avoidance agreement
Volume of investments to be made to Iran's Khuzestan Province growing
Auto sales drop on Georgian market
Gasoline demand to decline from 2030
Volume of cargo freight via Azerbaijani ports continues to grow
Turkmenistan forecasts total revenues, expenditures of country's financial plan for 2021
EBRD supports refurbishment of wastewater facilities in Kazakhstan's Shymkent
COVID-19 may accelerate downward trends in oil consumption of developed economies
Uzbekistan boosts jewelry import from Turkey
Azerbaijani Central Bank unveils amount of foreign currency sold to local banks
Oil demand has yet to peak for two key reasons
Karabakh conflict should be settled on issues of boundary lines, sovereignty issues - US Ambassador to NATO
Armenians fire at Azerbaijan’s Gabala and Kurdamir cities by using Elbrus ballistic missiles (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan-Russia strategic partnership to reach high level
'NATO not part of Karabakh conflict', Stoltenberg tells Armenia
Azerbaijan shows video footage of captured military equipment of Armenian Armed Forces (VIDEO)
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Armenian servicemen refusing to fight, says Azerbaijani MoD
National Bank of Georgia talks about 3 key challenges in financial sector
Armenia must leave occupied Azerbaijani lands, says Turkish president's aide
Uzbekistan to increase electricity supply to Afghanistan
Civilian wounded from Armenian Armed Forces' missile attack on Azerbaijan's Gabala
Turkmenistan to take measures to increase volume of domestic production
Russian businessmen intend to expand their activities in Azerbaijan
Georgia's gov't places funds on term deposits at commercial banks
Turkish export of jewelry to Kyrgyzstan decreases
Gold producing plant to introduce environment preserving technology in Kazakhstan's Zhambyl
Pashinyan's Facebook post on "shortcut to victory" ridiculed by Arab readers (PHOTOS)
Mineral reserves of deoccupied Azerbaijani territories will be recalculated - MENR
Deeper recession averted in Azerbaijan, says CBA chairman
Uzbekistan, India in talks over bilateral co-op in healthcare sphere
Pashinyan's statement on absence of diplomatic settlement for Karabakh conflict reveals Armenia's intentions
Azerbaijan's exports to Russia climbs
Turkmenistan plans to attract investment for lending to industries
Kazakhstan’s oil producing company opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture to buy pumps via tender
Uzbekistan's foreign trade turnover decrease for 9M2020
COVID-19 cases exceed 22,500 in Georgia
Azerbaijani Access Bank's total assets up
SOCAR starts gas supplies to Turkey’s major tourist destination
Azerbaijani MFA comments on Armenian prime minister saying there is no diplomatic solution to Karabakh conflict
Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina appears in popular TV programs to discuss situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
Value of jewelry exports from Turkey to Kazakhstan rise
LUKOIL actively working on production of hard-to-recover reserves
Iran Khodro Automaker Company increases its manufacturing
Citrus harvest begins in Georgian Adjara
Italy hikes import of jewelry from Turkey in September 2020
Missiles fired at Gabala launched from Gafan and Jermuk regions of Armenia, says assistant to Azerbaijani president (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan starts repairing sub-artesian wells in liberated lands
Ministry of Defense Industry continues production of combat UAVs for Azerbaijani army (PHOTO)
LUKOIL to apply integrated management technology in over 80 fields
Volume of exported isogam construction product from Turkmenistan revealed
IMF talks about Georgia's economic growth prospects
Azerbaijani oil prices decline
Update on implementation of gas processing project in Uzbekistan’s Gazli
Amazon announces $100 million logistics investment in Mexico
Azerbaijan's relations with Russia in agro-industrial complex entering new dev't stage
British Airways-owner IAG reports 1.3 billion euro loss in third quarter
Low-cost air company Ryanair not to commence flights in Georgia
Armenian ban on import of Turkish goods not to impact Turkey's economy, says Turkish government
President Ilham Aliyev receives Turkish Chief Ombudsman (PHOTO)
All news