Barbie sales had weakened in recent years, and Mattel had argued in court that it was, in part, because of the rising popularity of Bratz.
Hasbro, the maker of Nerf toys, Monopoly board games and, as of this year, the licensor for Sesame Street, attributed its weaker performance to increased spending on product development, investments in emerging markets, and new initiatives related to the children's television network The Hub, which it launched last fall as a joint venture with Discovery Communications (DISCA).
Toy sales are expected to strengthen in 2011 as toymakers bet on new plush toys, digital updates to old classics and the return of an iconic relationship.-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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