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ADVERTISING AGE REPORTS ON THE HOTTEST HOLIDAY GIFTS

 ADVERTISING AGE REPORTS ON THE HOTTEST HOLIDAY GIFTS
 NEW YORK, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Apparel, videos, toys, fragrances


and "stress-busting" personal care devices are among the hot items for this holiday season, according to Advertising Age's report on holiday marketing.
 The bargain-basement selling season forecast by retail analysts is taking shape, with sales action concentrated at the low end.
 Higher-end department stores aren't expected to fare as well as the discounters.
 Wal-Mart Stores should do well this holiday season because of its emphasis on national brand names at low prices.
 Kmart Corp. is anticipating stronger sales of its lower-price items this year, particularly toys less than $20 and lower-end fragrances.
 Videos are selling extremely fast as gifts, according to the Advertising Age report. Priced between $15 and $30, videos are perceived as a "major value" by consumers this holiday season.
 Stress-busters are also racking up big sales as gifts. Among the personal care devices that bring high comfort at low cost, Pollenex's Power Massage at $25 and its Dial Massage Showerhead at $15 to $30 are expected to increase 8 percent this year.
 Advertising Age reports that the toy industry is bucking the recession in part because consumers are returning to traditional toys and games as the videogame craze wanes.
 The strongest categories will be dolls and action figures, both up more than 20 percent from last year, according to Toy Manufactures of America. Board and activity games, plush toys and vehicles are also expected to sell well after sales declines in the past few years.
 Expected to be among the winners: Lego Systems, with a projected sales gain of 20 percent to nearly $200 million for its plastic building sets and Tyco Toys and Little Tikes, with soaring sales of dolls and outdoor toys, respectively.
 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and related merchandise are still the rage among pre-teens. Turtles merchandise is expected to hit an all- time high of $400 million this year, according to manufacturer Playmates.
 Other hot action figures include G.I. Joe Eco-Warriors and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" figures from No. 1 toy marketer, Hasbro. From Mattel, the other toy superpower, action figures tied to "Hook," a feature film to be released Dec. 11, are expected to be big sellers.
 Mattel's best-selling large doll is its new L'il Miss Singing Mermaid, which changes colors and can be used in the bathtub. Mattel is also launching a set of "Beauty & the Beast" dolls tied to the recently released Disney film. Worldwide sales of Mattel's Barbie fashion dolls are expected to increase 8 percent from 1990 to more than $800 million.
 Hasbro's top-selling large doll this year appears to be Baby Wanna Walk, who walks and crawls. Hasbro also reported strong sales from last year's Go Go My Walking Pup and this year's new Yo Yo My Walking Kitty.
 -0- 11/25/91
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: If you'd like to have an Ad Age editor comment on this release, or for more information CONTACT: Meryl Suben of Advertising Age, 212-210-0716/ CO: ST: IN: HOU SU: ECO


KD-SM -- NY001 -- 6662 11/25/91 08:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 25, 1991
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