Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ethnic-based toy prices


Ethnic Toy Twist Uncovered At Toys 'R' Us
Some Ethnic Toys Sold At Different Price Than Similar English Counterparts

In recent years, toy manufacturers have introduced many ethnically diverse versions of their products, such as an African-American Barbie or Spanish language-speaking toys.

This year, Toys “R” Us is selling toy phones that have become the subject of a complaint made by a Westchester woman to WNBC’s Asa Aarons.

Helen Pici of Yonkers mistakenly purchased a Spanish-language Laugh and Learn phone from Toys “R” Us. When she went to return it and get the English-language version instead, she learned that the English language phone was priced at $1 more. It was the same phone in every way, except the language spoken.

When Pici complained, the Toys “R” Us manager waived the extra dollar, but Pici was frustrated it had to come to that.

"Why should I be penalized for speaking English? If anything, they should be the same price."

Asa Aarons looked closer and found that the Time Square Toys “R” Us also priced similar items differently, such as virtually identical bride dolls. The African-American dolls cost $1 less than their counterparts.

The Toys “R” Us Web site was the same way.

Fisher Price assured Asa that toys are shipped to retailers without any ethnic-based toy differences.

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