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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that a number of large toy manufacturers have decided to supply troubled retailer Toys R Us with 21 exclusive products, and then will pay for television advertising that will hype both the toys and the retailer.

The move comes as Toys R Us considers a sale of the toy retailing arm of the company under pricing pressure from Wal-Mart.

Exclusives represent about a quarter of the items in the Toys R Us inventory this year, up from 20 percent year ago.

The manufacturers include Mattel, Hasbro and Lego. The TV ads were focus on one toy at a time, and will look like a manufacturer ad…except that the tagline will say that the item is only available at Toys R Us.
KC's View:
The manufacturers clearly understand that a toy retailing world without Toys R Us and dominated by Wal-Mart isn’t necessarily healthy for them or for consumers. Now, this quick fix doesn’t do anything about the fact that Toys R Us stores can be really off-putting…but it’s a start.