Toys 'R' Us demise could spur merger boom in U.S. toy market

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(Reuters) – The U.S. toy industry looks set for a flurry of mergers and acquisitions between smaller toy makers in the aftermath of the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy, as they seek more scope and negotiating power with big box retailers Target (TGT.N) and Walmart (WMT.N).

Closing down signs are seen outside the Toys R Us store in Liverpool, Britain, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Smaller toy companies that traditionally relied on Toys ‘R’ Us as a launch platform to sell and promote products, say it is difficult to develop relationships with mass retailers, which now have the country’s biggest toy departments.

They say retailers are increasingly picky about allocating display space, preferring billion dollar well known brands like Mattel’s (MAT.O) Barbie and Hot Wheels and Hasbro’s (HAS.O) Marvel Superhero action figures.

“If you’re a young brand, it’s hard to be found,” said Shaun Rein, an analyst with China Market Research Group, who covers Asian toy…



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