The Daily Times-News from Burlington, North Carolina on December 5, 1976 · Page 25
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The Daily Times-News from Burlington, North Carolina · Page 25

Burlington, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 5, 1976
Page 25
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The Daily Times - News SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5. 1976 3wi tke cmen C SECTION 12 PAGES WOMEN'S NEWS FEATURES An Awed Marcee Sims Reaches Out To Touch A Life - Size Walking Doll David Joy Takes A Close Look At The Popular Bionic Man Television Is Influencing Toy Shopping g Too Shari Frazier Proves That Girls Like Racin By LINDA EDGERTON Staff Writer With Christmas less than three weeks away, local toy - shoppers are out in droves, according to salesmen. And those shoppers know just what they or their children want. The overwhelming trend is toward playthings inspired by TV stars and starlets, and toward items highly advertised around Saturday cartoons. See Related Article On Page 7C Dolls modeled after Lind - sav Waonnor iho Rinni. :.' - ' - I i"ui, auu ut .wajors, me six ivimion uoilar Man, are the latest rage, along with all their accessories, salesmen say. And following close behind in popularity are "super hero" dolls such as Stretch Armstrong and Evel Knievel, both highlv publicized on Mm Saturday morning television. . "If you have bionics, that's sai(i Carolyn Hoggard of .,:;r;:;;j - '':;i Western Auto's Comnanv Shops Mall store when quizzed on sales trends. jg Western Auto has had to purcnase extra shipments of the bionic dolls to keep up with sales, she said. Last year. Mrs, Hoggard said, the bionic man was tops, "but this year it's the Bionic Woman." Masketron, a bionic man with three faces, is also selling well, she said. Among other top sales items in the store's toy department are Baby - That - Away dolls and Fisher - Price's line of toys for smaller children, she said. Similar sales trends were reported by Betty Wav of Sears at Holly Hill Mall." Any toy that has to do with outer space is now The Thing to find under the Christmas tree on December 25, she said. The store has sold out its line of Star Trek dolls, along with the spaceship Enterprise and its accompanying accessories, she said. Also on the sold out list are the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, she said. Their accessories, including bionic repair stations rind studio centers, are also sold out, she said. The store ordered the Stretch Armstrong doll, she said, but has not received the order, perhaps because of the United Parcel Service strike. "We could have sold them out if we'd had them," she said. .Among the other hot sales items at the store are electronic "pong" games which turn the family TV set into a tennis or hockey court. Though the prices of the games range as high as $99 for a "Super Pong IV," the store has sold all but last year's models, which are priced at S59.99, Mrs. Way said. Many of the sold out items, though, are still available through the store's catalogue department, she said. What other items sell well? Weebles, those small, round dolls which are "not too expensive," are going well, she said. "Every child likes a little thing "in his hand." Though in its 18th year of production. Mattel's Earbie doll, along with her fashion wardrobe, still sells well. "We can't keep enough clothes," Mrs. Way said. "Anything advertised on TV goes first," she added. Bessie Johnson, manager of the toy department at Rose's of Cum - Park Plaza, quoted a similar list of top sellers: Stretch Armstrong, the Six Million Dollar Man and accessories, and the Bionic Woman and accessories. The best selling items in the store's line of dolls are Baby - That - Away. Happy Birthday Tender Love. Hush Li'l Baby, Baby Brother Tender Love and Baby - Tender Love. Games, which according to the toy industry occupy about 45 per cent of the market, are selling well at Rose's this year, Ms. Johnson s? id. Among the most popular are "Operation," "Toss A Cross," "Trouble." and "Stay Alive." The electronic pong games are selling well at the store, as well as games inspired by the CB radio cult. All wheeled toys except wagons are selling well, she said, including bicycles and toys such as The Big Wheel. Puppets inspired by the "Sesame Street" television program are a top item. too. "We can't keep Big Bird," Ms. Johnson said. Don Smith, manager of the toy department at Mann's Consumer Sales on Webb Avenue, said his store is offering some larger toys this year, such as Ideal's Tin Can Alley, a target practice game using light beams as "ammunition." TV pong games are also selling well at the store, he said. And following the trend, which according to news service wire reports seems to be national in scope, dolls modeled after TV stars and super heros are selling well. Smith said. Among those are the Starsky and Hutch dolls, the Six .Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. Smith said sales have been good, and that he has noticed an increasing trend among shoppers to be "picky," checking merchandise carefully before they take it home, and having a good, hard look at guarantees. Betty Jeffries, owner - manager of Jefgo at Hollv Hill Mall, said dolls are selling well at her store, es - pecially the Madame Alexander line she carries. In contrast with other tov dealers, she does not carry many of the items highly publicized on TV. "I buy what I like," she said. "Some of the items on TV aren't new. I think they're just dead ducks that Photos By Jack Sink have been in the warehouses for ten years." At Jefgo, doll houses, along with the miniatures to furnish them, are selling well as gifts for children and as collectibles for adults, she said. Model rockets are selling well now, as they do all year, she said. Mrs. Jeffries said people are going "back to the basics in toys." She points to the game of Monopoly as an example. Though it originated decades ago, it is still a top seller year around, she said. Mrs. Jeffries said toy sales have been good this year, slightly better than 1975's figures. "We've had increases each month of this year." she said. At Play - Mart in downtown Burlington, which is owned by Mrs. Jeffries and her husband. Sesame Street hand puppets, stuffed toys, games, plastic race tracks, trains and preschool puzzles are among the top sales items. Realism Inspires Baby Boy Dolls By LINDA EDGERTON Staff Writer It's a boy, and there's no doubt about it! Baby Brother Tender Love bv Mattel and Joey Stivic by Ideal are just two of an increasing number of anatomically correct baby boy dolls being manufactured by toy - dealers. "We believe that the time is right and the consumer is ready for an anatomically correct baby boy doll," Ray Wagner, president of Mattel, said in a promotional for Baby Brother Tender Love. "In this age of realism we feel that it's appropriate to offer youngsters a baby boy doll that is a boy not only in costume, but right down to the last detail. "For the past several years we have been monitoring public opinion to determine when the public would accept an authentically detailed baby boy doll. Our research says the time is now." The dolls are available in some local stores, and according to salesmen, shoppers' reaction to them has been varied. Don Smith, manager of the toy department at Mann's Consumer Sales, said that the store had offered the dolls, but has sold out its stock. "We probably won't have any more to offer," he said, though he admitted some customers are still requesting the dolls. The majority of the department's customers "accepted the dolls fine," he said, but a few objected to the realism and complained. Betty Jeffries of Jefgo at Holly Hill Mall said her store has carried baby boy dolls for two years now, beginning with a French doll which she chose for its prettily detailed face. Customers have accepted the item, she said. Bessie Johnson of Rose's said Baby Brother Tender Love has been the subject of a lot of laughter from customers at the Cum - Park Plaza store, but said the doll is selling well. "I've had to order it three times, ' ' she said. Carolyn Hoggard of Western Auto in Company Shops Mall said the store stocked two Joey Stivic dolls, named after Archie Bunker's grandson in "All in the Family." Not a booming success with customers, the two dolls are still on the shelf. Betty Way of Sears at Holly Hill Mall said the store's toy department did not stock the anatomically correct dolls this season, and that she had only two customer requests for them. "They're just really new," she said. "Maybe they'll go well next year." Matthew Stone Tries a 'Big Wheel' Out For Size

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