Business: Trouble in Toyland

WHEN Santa touches down on the nation's roofs this Christmas Eve, his big bag of toys will be a little lighter than usual. In a rare occurrence, Americans will acquire fewer toys this year than last. Manufacturers' shipments for the first nine months of 1971 slipped to $1.56 billion, down from $1.58 billion for the same period last year. Mattel, the General Motors of the toy industry, has seen its nine months' sales figures drop from $280 million to $217 million, and has reported a net loss of $4,003,000 for the period.

Troubles have piled up in Toyland partly because the economy...

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