Fisher-Price Courts Far-Flung Fans

Firm adjusts to shifting global sales patterns
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 2:30 PM CDT
Fisher- Price toys subject to recall including 'Go Diego Go Mountain Rescue,' and 'Birthday Dora,' right, are seen on a store shelf late Monday, Aug. 1, 2007, in Alexandria, Va.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
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(Newser) – Fisher-Price has tackled some unexpected challenges lately, from perfecting a recording of the phrase “It’s learning time!” in Mandarin to removing pig illustrations from Turkish kids’ books. In the past 5 years, Fisher-Price’s sales abroad have more than doubled while sales drop domestically—as traditional toys are replaced with high-tech gadgets—and the firm is re-prioritizing to serve its new audience, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Of specific interest are markets like those of Poland, Brazil, and Russia, where American toys are just becoming widely available and a growing middle class gains the disposable income to buy them. Still, every area has entrenched local toymakers, so FP’s success will depend on building brand consciousness, which can be an uphill battle in new markets.