18 Dec 2008

Toy company in Hawaii says sector is struggling to survive

9:17 am on 18 December 2008

A toy company in Hawaii says the sector's struggling to survive with this year's economic downturn.

Thinker Toys store manager, Ashley Simoco Crowl, says this year seems worse than last year's difficulties over product recalls of toys made in China due to excess lead in the paint.

Chain store KB Toys has already filed for bankruptcy protection with plans to initiate closeout sales in its 277 remaining stores in Hawaii and the mainland.

Ms Crowl says it's unfortunate, but even at their independent store sales are way down with major price hikes ahead.

"I know next year prices are going to increase a lot because of the production costs and the testing in China. So everything is going to go up next year. They do the testing within the companies, and are going to start charging us more."

This week toy manufacturer Mattel Fisher Price reached a 12-million US dollar court settlement with 40 U.S. states, including Hawaii, over the recalled toys.