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CONSUMERS LOOK FOR VALUE IN TOYS

 CONSUMERS LOOK FOR VALUE IN TOYS
 MILWAUKEE, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- As toy retailers gear up for the


holiday rush, shoppers' interest in toys with a proven play value is expected to continue strong this year.
 "Consumers are becoming better educated about the importance of play in a child's development," said Peter Reynolds, president of BRIO Corporation, a Midwest toy company known for its quality Wooden Railway, BRIO MEC construction toy and pre-school toys. "There's a general trend toward spending toy dollars wisely by selecting toys with good play value."
 BRIO's strong sales in the past two years reflect that trend. Sales so far this year are up more than 20 percent from the same period in 1991, a year in which sales grew 22 percent," Reynolds said.
 Sales by toy manufacturers in the United States rose 5.6 percent in 1991, following several flat years, according to Toy Manufacturers of America, Inc. (TMA), the industry trade group. Contributing to the higher sales was the strength of classic toys known for their play value, said Jodi Levin, a TMA spokesperson.
 "With more and more information available from child development specialists and toy companies like BRIO on the value of play, consumers have become more careful in selecting appropriate toys that are fun and challenging," Reynolds said.
 The slow economy has also contributed to consumers' emphasis on value, Reynolds noted. "When people have less money to spend, they review their buying decisions more carefully."
 In selecting a toy, Reynolds said, the shopper should consider the child's age, interests and developmental needs. An open-ended toy, which can be played with in a number of different ways by children of different ages, encourages children to be creative and offers the best play value. There's no right or wrong way to play with an open-ended toy, and children enjoy playing with it for years.
 Durable open-ended toys are the most satisfying to buy and the least expensive to own, Reynolds noted.
 "Classic toys continue to sell well because parents know they won't be abandoned after the holidays," Levin said. "The bread and butter of the toy industry are basic, staple toys that every child has in his or her toy box. They don't grab headlines but parents and children know they're fun."
 Typically, toys that are considered classics have broad appeal so they interest both boys and girls and are open-ended so that children play with them for many years, Levin said.
 For additional information on selecting good toys and a list of specialty toy stores, contact BRIO toll-free at 1-800-558-6863 ext. 5, between 8:30 a.m and 5 p.m. CST; Monday through Friday.
 BRIO Corporation is the United States subsidiary of BRIO AB of Sweden, the world's largest manufacturer of wooden toys. A number of BRIO toys have won national awards for quality, durability, safety and fun.
 -0- 11/10/92
 /CONTACT: Leslie Remme of BRIO, 414-353-8697/ CO: BRIO Corporation ST: Wisconsin IN: SU:


LD -- NYHFNS14 -- 9023 11/10/92 06:59 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1992
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