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The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America's Youngest Consumers
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The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America's Youngest Consumers

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The American toy business is massive, world dominating, cutthroat, exciting, and increasingly willing to sacrifice our kids in its frantic rush for profit. And yet, for all its rapaciousness, the industry is in the business of delighting and fascinating our children. Toys are one of the most emotive subjects in the world. We all remember our own toys; we care desperately a ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Free Press
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Simon Wood

Reading through Eric Clark's "The Real Toy Story" one can't help wondering if whatever statutes refer to making false claims about a product apply to books? Sub-titled "Inside the ruthless battle for Britain's youngest consumers" almost the entire focus of the book is on the American experience. As an investigative journalist perhaps Clark should be investigating himself?

The book itself doesn't live up to its billing even with regard to the American scene. Much of the
Jan 08, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The writing and research are good, and the book is not uninteresting; but I stopped reading because the workings of the toy industry didn't seem novel enough to spend so much time on.

The fact that the toy industry is - gasp! - driven by lust for profits, of all things! - just didn't seem like news to me. So toy execs fear disappointing shareholders more than not serving the optimal intellectual development of little minds - not so shocking.

And the toy business isn't the only one that relies mo
Todd Coopee
Jul 21, 2015 Todd Coopee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part history primer, part exposé, The Real Toy Story is a literary roller-coaster ride. Author Eric Clark, a former investigative journalist in the UK, offers up a robust, hard-hitting look at the toy industry circa 2007. While some of his anecdotes are a dated now that changes that have occurred since the book was published, Clark’s overarching descriptions of advertising tactics, labour practices, retail realities, and product development lifecycles remain relevant today.

Each stand-alone chapt
The Real Toy Story tells the history of the toy industry along with the retail giants which have changed it over the years. From Toys R Us to Wal-Mart, this chronicles the rise, fall and subsequent revival of the toy industry.

It is, in parts, incredibly depressing to learn how money on research and development has been cut while companies try to repackage and reinvent tried and true games and toys. A game like Monopoly, for example, would never get past the front door of a toy manufacturer toda
Sep 05, 2010 Brick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating insight to the toy industry, if not a bit unsettling. As a parent, I have a vested interest in my kids' toys and this book did give me pause regarding the psychological manipulation of children. Good food for thought.
Apr 06, 2007 Summer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent book on the American toy industry and the marketing machine that drives it. Contains a monstrously depressing chapter on the overseas sweatshops which produce a large amount of America's playthings.
May 13, 2007 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good, in the style of "Fast Food Nation" but not quite as well-written and not quite as hard-hitting. But still very well-worth the read. It exposes the complicated and deplorable relationships between American toy companies and marketers and Chinese manufacturers.
Feb 16, 2014 Catherine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A series of case studies on toy manufacturing that were illuminating - but you definitely wouldn't want to read in near Christmas when you need to buy lots of toys! Generally well written, thought out and appeared well researched
Jan 13, 2010 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
This book was fascinating as it sucked all the joy and wonder out of toys. Big Business is an ugly thing. One (of the many) bits of trivia that I think I'll always remember from this book is that Yahtzee was invented on a yacht. Who knew? Well...I didn't, until I read this book.
Jun 07, 2007 Naomi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yawn. I couldn't get into this at all. I thought it might be charming or amusing while informative, but it was so boring I put it down after 50 pages.
Apr 06, 2007 Brandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A look at the seedy underbelly of the toy industry, from R&D to marketing to manufacturing, backed up with a lot of anecdata and industry case studies.
Nov 19, 2009 Jcarne3 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a great book for parents who are in the midst of the toy frenzy. This book has definitely affected my shopping for Christmas this year (and years to come).
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