Toys and Their Prices Shrink to Play to the Times

pink Penbino - toy fair
pink Penbino - toy fair

Familiar toys arrived in smaller and lower-priced versions at the American International Toy Fair. It's the kind of downsizing trend that consumers can actually be happy about.

"People didn't know how long the recession would last," Reyne Rice, consultant for the Toy Industry Association, told WalletPop. "The industry is thinking ahead."

Recent big sellers such as Beyblade robot-spinning tops and resurrected classics such as Simon are being miniaturized, with a miniaturized price.

The toy world has tried to resist shrinking its hits because less-expensive models can cannibalize the regular-size ones in the competition for sales, Rice said. This year, however, toymakers faced the reality of a lingering downturn, in which consumers were less willing to bite on bigger-ticket playthings.