No Longer The Aisle of Lost Toys

No Longer The Aisle of Lost Toys

January 8, 2021

What’s old is new again!  Toy makers have enjoyed strong sales as nostalgic parents remember their own childhood favorites and purchase them for their kids.

By October 2020, sales had climbed 18% year-over-year, driven by classics like Barbie, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Lite-Brite, Hot Wheels, and a host of board games and puzzles.

In contrast to other market segments that have suffered in the pandemic, parents looking for open-ended play options that get their kids off their computers and smart phones are willing to spend on toys to keep them busy.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Washington Post article, Mattel forecasts holiday season growth as toy demand surges, by Abha Bhattarai, October 29, 2020; the CNBC article, Mattel forecasts holiday season growth as toy demand surges, by Reuters, October 22, 2020; the New York Magazine article, The Holiday Toys to Buy Before They Sell Out, According to Toy Experts, by Liza Corsillo, December 17, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Continue reading

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Look, Up in the Sky – It’s a Car!

Look, Up in the Sky – It’s a Car!

September 19, 2020

Flying cars by 2023?  That is the hope of Japan’s SkyDrive project which just conducted Japan’s very first manned flight of an “eVTOL,” or electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.

The aircraft, dubbed the “SD-03” is the world’s smallest eVTOL developed to date, requiring the same amount of space as two parked cars.  Originally funded by big name companies like Toyota, Panasonic, and Bandai Namco, a video-game developer, SkyDrive just received fresh funds from other groups, including the Development Bank of Japan.

Over 100 flying car projects are in the works worldwide, but very few have gotten off the ground with a person inside.  SkyDrive’s recent test at Japan’s Toyota Test Field lasted about four minutes and flew a few feet off the ground.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fox Business article, Japanese flying car company conducts successful test flight, by Greg Norman, August 28, 2020; the CNN article Japanese company successfully tests a manned flying car for the first time, by Lauren M. Johnson, September 1, 2020; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Chesky/Shutterstock

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Fast Food Breakfasts Slow Down

Fast Food Breakfasts Slow Down

August 17, 2020

Fast food breakfast sales slumped early in the COVID-19 crisis as work commutes halted and breakfasts were eaten at home.

McDonald’s, Starbucks, Panera, and Dunkin’ are still struggling to win back customers in the early hours of the day, though sales at other times of day are improving.  Restaurants are scrambling to realign their employees’ schedules, menu forecasting and design to the “new normal.”


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the Business Insider article, Breakfast sales at fast-food giants like Starbucks and McDonald’s “dried up” during the pandemic, by Kate Taylor, August 3, 2020; the Food and Wine article and video, Quarantine Could Crown a Winner in the Fast Food Breakfast Wars, by Mike Pomranz, Aug 3, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: SEG – ALL

Discussion Questions:

1.  What scheduling challenges has the breakfast slump posed?

Guidance: As compared with past demand patterns, 9:30am and 2:30pm are now the peak times at Starbucks, and with more customers wanting afternoon snacks, Continue reading

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