Mattel and Hasbro threaten Toys R Us

Toy giants Mattel and Hasbro are refusing to supply the UK’s number-two toy retailer, Toys R Us, following a row over payments.

Mattel produces best-selling toys such as Barbie, Scrabble and the Fisher Price pre-school lines, while Hasbro manufactures Action Man and the Star Wars toy range.

It is understood these toys are still available in the 50 Toys R Us stores, but if the dispute continues stocks will soon run low.

Although there is no suggestion that Toys R Us – which once boasted it would take one per cent market share each time it opened a store – is in trouble in the UK, its US parent company reported sluggish sales over the Christmas period.

In a recent survey of how toy manufacturers rate retailers, carried out by UK Toy News, Toys R Us ranked only sixth in terms of importance to the market and failed to appear in the top ten when ranked on professionalism.

Mattel is playing down the story. A spokeswoman says: “We have a good, strong relationship with Toys R Us.”

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