SEATTLE December 10, 1998 - Washington's settlement with one of the defendants in an antitrust suit against three national toymakers and a toy retailer will mean a happier holiday season for thousands of the less-fortunate children statewide.
Under the settlement announced today, toymaker Hasbro, Inc. denied any wrongdoing but agreed to provide the state with $73,409 worth of new toys valued at the manufacturer's list prices. The toys will be turned over to the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Foundation for distribution to needy children statewide. Toys for Tots is expected to receive approximately 9,000 toys.
This morning, Attorney General Christine Gregoire met with Marines at the Toys for Tots distribution warehouse in Seattle to announce the toy giveaway.
“It's really a great day when a settlement in a major antitrust case can brighten the lives of needy children in such a direct and personal way,” Gregoire said. “Of course, there are thousands of children in need and Toys for Tots can always find a home for every contribution they receive so people still need to keep giving.”
Washington along with New York were among the first states to file the antitrust suit in November 1997 and were joined by 42 other states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The states alleged that toy retailer Toys “R” Us and three toy manufacturers - including Hasbro - violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring to cut off supplies of popular toys to warehouse clubs that threatened to undersell Toys “R” Us.
The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, continues against Toys “R” Us and two other defendants: Mattel, Inc. and The Little Tikes Co., Inc. Tyco Industries, the other manufacturer sued, has been acquired by Mattel.
Washington's settlement with Hasbro is part of a national agreement that will result in the distribution of nearly $3.57 million worth of toys to all of the plaintiffs. The agreement also provides for a $2.38 million cash settlement by Hasbro, most of which will be used to cover the plaintiffs' legal fees and costs. Washington's share of that amount will be $48,941.
The Toys for Tots program, which has operated in Washington for 51 years, provided 100,000 toys to about 60,000 children in the Puget Sound area alone last year. The organization works with various community service organizations statewide to ensure that the neediest families receive toys.
“Attorney General Gregoire's ability to provide these toys—especially at this time of year—will be a real blessing for thousands of needy children,” said Marine Sgt. Douglas Wood, a Toys for Tots spokesman.
Marine coordinators are expected to receive the Hasbro toy shipment by mid-December.