The toy industry: Child’s play

“TWO toy industry heavyweights are in unfamiliar territory: they are watching their numbers tumble. Hasbro’s year-on-year operating profit was down 11% in the last quarter and Mattel’s net income fell 24%. Sales of Barbie, a Mattel property, plunged for the fourth quarter running, this time by 12%. After Buzz Lightyear’s first flight across Andy’s room in Toy Story,Sherriff Woody says mockingly, “That wasn’t flying! That was… falling with style!” Perhaps the same could be said of Hasbro and Mattel.”   Read more at The Economist…

Designer headphones: The sound of music

“FOR decades the market for expensive headphones was mainly limited to hi-fi buffs. But now that the boxy stereo system in the corner of the bedroom is largely a thing of the past, and young music fans listen mostly on portable devices, headphones have become as much of a fashion statement as the music player itself. Among the first to spot the potential of this market was Dr Dre, an American rapper-cum-tycoon.”   Read more at The Economist…

Technophobes: Disconnected

“IT IS perhaps easy to forget that not everyone is connected to the internet. But one in five Britons do not use the web. Fully 16% of British adults have no internet access in their homes. A study from Ipsos-MORI attributes this phenomenon to two interlinking factors: ability and security. Of those who are not regularly plugged in, a large proportion would like to be better at navigating it. They can only perform basic activities, such as searching the web or sending an email.”   Read more at The Economist…