Amazon is making a move into toy-making just in time for the holidays.
TJI, a research site that tracks Amazon’s private-label brands, recently noticed four product pages on Amazon.com for children’s toys from AmazonBasics. The products listed were a Soft Play Single Tunnel; a Soft Play Climber; a Soft Play Climb and Crawl Play Set, 5-Piece; and a Kids’ Toy Storage Organizer.
Once TJI reported on its findings, however, Amazon removed three of the product pages. So far, the kids’ toy storage organizer is still available, with shipping availability of “one to three months.”
“Toy brands like Melissa & Doug and Little Tikes are sure to keep a keen eye on how Amazon rolls out its selection of private-label toys for young children,” TJI’s Justin Smith wrote. “While Amazon is starting in the toddler category, we could see Amazon moving into several categories of toys for older children as well.”
While Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment, shares of Hasbro and Mattel fell in Dec. 10 midday trading, with Mattel ending the day down around 4 percent, according to Quartz.
This year, Amazon published its first-ever printed holiday toy catalog. “A Holiday of Play” was also made available at Amazon Bookstores and 4-star locations. The catalog was another way for Amazon to fill the void Toys R Us left when it closed down earlier this year.
“Amazon is excited to offer a new way for customers to shop for toys this holiday season,” according to a company statement.
As for Toys R Us, there were reports in October that lenders were looking to reorganize the company’s assets into a new company, which would then be able to invest in new retail operating businesses and keep license agreements.
“The company did generate operating profits — and without debt, its profitability would be easier to maintain,” Seth R. Freeman, senior managing director at GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group, said at the time. “Still, the timing of this move means the new company misses the critical holiday season, in which 34 percent of Toys R Us merchandise is typically sold, giving it a tough three quarters of 2019 to slog through till holiday 2019.”