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Great Toys Packaging and Review of the Toy Industry Giants

Updated on April 20, 2015

Tis the season for toys. And yes, I know wrap rage is an old topic but yet I hand out criticism and ask for help all the time, it is only fair that I shout for joy for a CEO to take a leadership role and announce change is needed. That is exactly what Jeff Bezo, CEO of Amazon did. Kudos to Mr. Bezo for his leadership.

Imagine one store with over 100,000 different toys. The market competition is stiff. The profits are all centered around one season - the holiday season - estimates are 70% in this short window of opportunity.

Review of Three Toy Industry Giants:

  • FAO Swarz
  • Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher Price: Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kids, Matchbox Cars, Hot Wheels, etc...
  • Hasbro: Star Wars, Furby, Teletubbies, Pokeman, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, and Playschool
  • Other Nintendo of Japan and LEGO of Denmark

"Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to the process of design, evaluation, and production of packages. Packaging can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use. Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells.[1] In many countries it is fully integrated into government, business, institutional, industrial, and personal use."

Amazon Working Toward Better Packaging

November 2008 In a letter to customers, the company"s CEO Jeff Bezos talked about the "wrap rage".

Jeff Bezo's Complete Statement about toy packaging on Amazon

Toy Industry History

Interestingly, the toy industry was not significant until after WWII. Toys have long existed in every culture of the world. Prior to WWII, typically the toy was home made. The fabled sock monkey, the wooden toys, the game of horseshoes and list goes on.

Today the industry is much more than just homemade toys, in fact it is also much more than just children toys. Barbie, Bratz, GI Joes have keen competition with other forms of enjoyment, recreation - hand-held devices, video and the much loved Wii.

Similar to the Wii, the toy industry has matured to a point that it is now big business. We must recall that Barbie was not expected to succeed - or so the "industry" analysts had predicted. Wii started out as a simple home video game release by an obscure company that has become a household name - Nintendo. Barbie launched in the late 1950, Wii in 2006. in .....

ASHVILLE, TN....11/20/08.... In a recent letter to customers...You can read Bezos' full letter at Amazon Full Letter from Jeff Bezos

Review of Three Toy Industry Giants:

  • FAO Swarz
  • Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher Price: Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kids, Matchbox Cars, Hot Wheels, etc...
  • Hasbro: Star Wars, Furby, Teletubbies, Pokeman, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, and Playschool
  • Other Nintendo of Japan and LEGO of Denmark

D. E. Shaw & Co. Corporate Profile Summary

Ownership: Private Industry Hedge Fund, Private Equity

Founded: 1988 by David E. Shaw

Headquarters: New York City, New York



NYC Locations of FAO Schwarz

show route and directions
A marker42 e 14th nyc, ny -
42 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
get directions

B marker767 5th avenue, ny -
767 5th Ave, New York, NY, USA
get directions

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz was founded in 1862! Their original name was "Toy Bazaar". FASO Schwarz was founded by a German immigrant named Frederick August Otto Schwarz. He started with his brothers in retail in Baltimore, Maryland. Back then it was considered a "fancy-goods store".

The famous New York City location at 42 E. 14th Street in Union Square opened in 1880, the first NY location was in 1870 - talk about a long history! The marketing tag line was , the New York "the largest dealer in toys in this city." NYC is and was the largest city in the United States so this is an immense statement to make.

Today FAO Schwarz is located on posh 5th Avenue in NYC.

D. E. Shaw & Co.

Times change and so did the ownership of FAO Schwarz. In 2004 an investment firm by the name of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. acquired FAO Schwarz.

Today the brand remains synoymous with toys and operates stores in New York and Las Vegas, a catalog and of course, an internet business.

FAO Schwarz

767 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10153
(212) 644-9400
Subway: 5th Avenue - 59 St


Toys R Us Corporate Profile

Ownership: Privately Held

Founded: 1948 Washington, D.C.

Headquarters: Wayne, New Jersey

Revenue$13.646 billion USD (2007)

Owner(s)Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Bain Capital Partners LLC
Vornado Realty Trust


Websites:  and

Toys R Us is the giant for the mid western United States. Toys R Us is the parent company of FAO Schwarz.

Can you imagine all the 70,000 workers as Santa elves!

Parent Toys "R" Us Website


Mattel Corporate Profile

Ownership: Public (NASDAQ: MAT)

Founded: 1945 by Ruth Handler and her husband

Headquarters: El Segundo, California, U.S.

Revenue US$5.92 Billion (FY 2008)

Employees: 31,000 (2008)

Brands: Barbie, Fisher Price


Mattel is a manufacturer of toys, not a retailer. Mattel is the world’s number one toy manufacturer. Mattel has created and successfully marketed leading brands including American Girl, Barbie, Fisher Price, Hot Wheels, Matchbox. Mattel also holds licenses for Barney, Sesame Street, and Star Wars.

Mattel's action figures and toys based on Walt Disney movies and the Harry Potter children's books are household names.

Toys have changed and Mattel has lead the way with the new technology and incorporated interactive games with old time favorites such as Barbie.

Mattel's biggest customers are Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us, and Target.

Reports showcase that Mattel is actively promoting its own catalog and Internet sales.

And remember, Mattel's Barbie was first promoted directly on television. The toy industry experts stated that Barbie would fail. So retailer watch out IF Mattel wants to dominate the Internet, this is real competition - it can become a game changer in our society and how we shop.

Source Corporate Profile Summary

Ownership:  Public (NASDAQ: AMZN)

Founded: 1994

Founder(s)Jeffrey P. Bezos

Headquarters:  Seattle, Washington, U.S.

Revenues: Revenue US$ 24.509 billion (2009)

Key Brands/Products:  retail website, Kindle

Employees:  31,200 (2010)

Amazon is without a doubt the online giant in the industry. Amazon is what Google is for the search engine only in the industry of the online retailer. A mega giant who rules the online purchasing.

Amazon started with books and now is competitive across all industries and making inroads into apparel and toys.


Hasbro HAS


Publicly traded on the NYSE ( HAS )

Founded 1923

Headquarters Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Revenue US $4.07 billion (FY 2009)

Employees 5,800 (2009) Website

Hasbro you might best know as the manufacturer and creator of Mr. Potato Head. The company was started in 1923 by two brother - Henry and Helal Hassenfeld. They started as a textile company and diverted into pencil cases, school supplies and later doctor and nurses kits for children. Remember Armand Hammer whose fortune was first in pencils in Russia. Similarily, Hasbro took several different ventures.

Hasbro Buys Mr. Potato Head in 1952

In 1952, Hasbro purchases the rights for Mr. Potato Head from its inventor George Lerner and the rest is history.

My Little Pony

In 1983, Hasbro introduced another successful toy you probably know My Little Pony.

CBS Toys

In 1985, Hasbro purchased CBS Toys (including the Sesame Street Child Guidance label). In 1986, subsequently, Hasbro acquired Playskool. In 1991, Hasbro continues its acquisitions with Parker Brothers who you probably remember best was the manufacturer and marketer of Monopoly. Industry accounts report that Monopoly was the most successful commercial board game of all time.

Sara Groves


Sara Groves "Add to the Beauty"

Sara Groves

Sara Groves is the reason I have heard about wrap rage. Her song and her interviews on Christian radio stations have highlighted this holiday problem. Who is this lady? A mother, a song writer and more....

Sara Grove (Sara Lee Colbaugh, September 10, 1972 in Vineland, New Jersey) resides in Burnsville, Minnesota is an American Contemporary Christian singer, record producer, and author.

Sara received her Bachelor of Science degree in History and English in 1994 from Evangel University, a private Christian university in Springfield, Missouri.

Sara is familiar with children as she spent four years teaching high school in Rosemount, Minnesota before recording her first album, Past the Wishing, in 1998.

She has several accolades to her name:

  • nominated for three Dove Awards including "New Artist of the Year" in 2002 and
  • "Special Event Album of the Year 2003" by the Gospel Music Association
  • Named one of the best Christian music artists of 2005
  • Her album in 2005 was named "Album of the Year" for 2005 by CCM Magazine.

And here is the song and the lyrics that brought my attention to this holiday problem.  Also, another song from Sara Groves is in the video to the right.

Toy Packaging

"Toy Packaging
Sara Groves and Ben Shive
© 2008 Sara Groves Music (ASCAP) admin by Music Services

Nothing makes me lose my cool like
Toy packaging
Ask the kids to leave the room for
Toy packaging
I have no choice the money's spent
I've worked for hours to make a dent
I guess it's anger management
Toy packaging

Nothing makes me lose my cool like
Toy packaging
Ask the kids please leave the room it's time for
Toy packaging
I'm drawing up a battle plan
to extricate this robot man
My self-esteem is in the can
Toy packaging

In the old days you could hold a box and shake it
And hear the pieces rattling around
My eyes tear up with these grommets, tape and twisty ties
Remembering their beautiful sound

Nothing makes me lose my cool like toy packaging
Kids you need to leave the room, mom's opening toy packaging
I'm sorry you have to see this sight
You must be brave, no please don't cry
I promise it will be alright
I hope to have it by tonight
Nevermind this dynamite
Toy packaging"

Zipit Blister Pack/Clamshell Opener

Zipit and Wrap Rage

Zipit offers an effective solution to "wrap rage".  A special tool designed just for the bubble wrap that plagues adults and parents alike during this holiday season.


Open It

Open It is aptly named to help open the presents  and combat "wrap rage".  A special tool designed just for the bubble wrap that plagues adults and parents alike during this holiday season.

Have you ever had wrap rage with your children's toys?

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