February 24, 1997 |
Add 101 Dalmatians to 17,000 different products and multiply by every pre-teen in the multiplexed world. How much doggone money can you make? It's the Licensing Game and it is the biggest thing in the toy business these days. The rules are simple: Pick a movie, TV show or some other cultural icon, make toys in their image and - voila! - the bottom line turns magically black. No messy assembly time - or creative research and development - necessary. The Toy Manufacturers of America estimate that half of the 2.99 billion toys sold in the United States in 1996, accounting for more than $7 billion in sales, were licensed products.
June 29, 1997 |
In these lean economic times for municipalities, there's still one thing that's free: Entertainment. Several Burlington County towns are offering easy times this summer, despite cutbacks in other parts of municipal budgets. "Municipalities have had to cut back on so many services, but not on summer entertainment," said Suzanne Veitengruber, Tabernacle's township administrator. "Municipally sponsored movies and concerts are big summertime traditions in Burlington County. " To help pay for movie and concert series, many municipalities are following the lead of Tabernacle and Burlington City and asking civic groups or businesses to help them defray the costs.
June 21, 2010 |
Andy may have outgrown his toys, but movie audiences haven't. Toy Story 3 , the latest entry in Pixar's pioneering cinema series about toys that come to life, took the top spot in the box-office derby on its debut weekend with a gate of $109 million. It was the best debut ever for a Disney Pixar Animation picture, soaring past the $70.5 million that The Incredibles earned its first weekend. All 11 of Pixar's films have opened at No. 1. Toy Story 3 also continued Hollywood's streak of 3-D hits.
June 18, 2010
WE KNOW from 1 Corinthians that while as children we speak and think as children, there is a time to put away childish things. And we know from Pixar that the time to put these things away is, like, never. The "Toy Story" franchise is built around the idea that in our modern culture, we find it very difficult to surrender the part of ourselves that spent languid afternoons with G.I. Joe or Barbie. (Or G.I. Joe and Barbie. You know who you are.) Actually, it's not just an idea.
September 8, 2014 |
The news is bad. Bad for the weary, end-of-day Chestnut Hill West commuters who get off the train at Evergreen Avenue and stop by this fanciful place - not necessarily to buy something, but to be someplace fun. Bad for the legions of frazzled parents of birthday-party invitees who have counted on it for a last-minute present and free gift wrap on a Saturday morning. And bad for the guy who drove the hour-and-a-half to it from Jim Thorpe just to buy six pimple balls. O'Doodles toy store, a fixture on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill since 1997, is the bearer of the bad news: It is closing.
August 6, 2010 |
Toy Story 3 . Publisher: Disney Interactive System: Sony PlayStation 3, also for Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Sony PlayStation Portable Price: $49.99 ($29.99 to $49.99 for other versions) Age rating: 10 and older Toy Story 3 does a smart thing: It rolls two games into one. First, it has the expected adventure roughly following the events of this summer's Pixar movie, with Sheriff Woody, Jessie the cowgirl, and Buzz Lightyear the space ranger heading out on a number of levels, starting with their owner's home and moving on to Sunnyside Daycare and points beyond.
May 1, 1996 |
Jim Wiley has been going through his second childhood for 25 years. That is how long ago Wiley, a retired high school math teacher, started the mechanical toy collection that has made his one-story ranch house one of the borough's more unusual sights. Wiley's living room, like the rest of his house, is a jumble of books and toys. With classical music playing in the background, Wiley explained, in a teacher's lecture tone, how he got "hooked" on collecting. "I used to collect coins, but that wasn't very exciting," said Wiley, 66. Then a fellow teacher at Neshaminy High School gave him a small copper elephant and a few other trinkets.
March 28, 1996 |
In the 1930s, cutting-edge virtual-reality technology was a new attraction called planetariums, where the stars and planets were projected onto a domed ceiling using a fancy light box. In the 1990s, that technology stacks up about a notch above Lite Brite in a market increasingly filled with real-time, explosion-laden, you-are-there video adventures. But Spitz Inc., a Chadds Ford planetarium company that helped spur the boom in planetariums in the late 1940s, hopes that a new virtual-reality video projection system will bring people back into planetariums.
November 26, 2010 |
Ho, ho, whoa - what's that? Another toy store? And actual toy displays among the Black Friday standbys at department stores? Don't worry, Santa shopper, you're not losing it. It is beginning to look a lot like old-school Christmas, as once-vanquished purveyors of playthings get back in the holiday game in big numbers, after years of being thumped by the low-priced likes of Wal-Mart and Target. This year, several big players have opened hundreds of stores or reintroduced full-fledged toy departments.
February 17, 2000 |
Urrrrp. Glorrppp. Pbbbbbbffft. It's 9:30 Monday morning, and three women are squeezing this thing consisting of two sacs linked by a tube filled with neon-colored fluid. It's called a Burple, and you can hear why. It sounds like a 12-year-old boy with a belly full of Mountain Dew, and proud of it. Basic Fun, the Bucks County toymaker, has a lot riding on its new Burple. In fact, Basic Fun has a lot riding on this entire week at the International Toy Fair, the annual schmooze-fest between toy companies and buyers.