Category Archives: Current Events

Mattel and Hasbro Considering a Merger—Again

matty-kid-1A recipe for disaster corporate success: Take 1 part struggling Mattel Toys, combine it with 1 part more of longtime rival, Hasbro Toys, then sprinkle with a dash of shrinking consumer interest and a smattering of unpalatable market effects (such as crumbling Toys ‘R Us (TRU) infrastructure), and what do you have? We don’t know, but the world’s two biggest toy companies appear to be contemplating a merger that (they hope) would cook up profitable “hot” products (to display on those vanishing TRU store shelves?), raise “Has/Mat” stock prices, and boost their newly combined mega-company’s bottom line. But WILL it?

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Will all of this corporate merger/restructuring simply result in a bland melange of bombast trumpeting, “Hey, look at us, we’re doing something BIG about our troubled toy industry.” Or is this all going to boil over into an even bigger, blander pot of  “kids-just-don’t-care-about-toys-anymore” reality stew? It will be interesting to toy fans and collectors to find out. Here’s the latest article we’ve found on this possible merger and its hoped-for final effects. Read it, watch the Mattel CEO video, and decide for yourself whether this merger is a good idea

Bottom Line: This move seems like too MUCH, and too LATE, to us. If the two companies combine, wouldn’t there be less urgency, less rivalry, less competitive spirit and less innovation? Monopoly the game, may be fun to play, but monopolies in real life rarely work out well for consumers. Company execs and stockholders may benefit in the short term, but toy fans in general will probably be quickly bored by all the new “tech toys” Mattel’s CEO seems to be so enamored of. (And all this hoopla looks like it’ll be one more nail in GIjOE’s “low tech” coffin box.)

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No More Toy Stores? Toys ‘R Us Going Bankrupt

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Going, Going… GONE? Someday very soon, a simple trip to a neighborhood toy store may become a nostalgic memory from America’s past. In yet another startling measure of the growing number of consumers switching over to online purchasing, retailing giant, Toys ‘R Us, recently announced that it is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Though safe for now, all of the company’s colorful stores may soon be shuttered—and completely empty. (Photo: gettyimages)

Bottom Line: Toys ‘R Us (TRU), has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (see complete details HERE). Sadly, we saw this event coming along YEARS ago. As more and more consumers have chosen to “shop” for bargains online and purchase their toys on the internet, web-retailing powerhouses such as Amazon and Walmart (and many, many others) have continued to drain away TRU’s financial stability and perilously erode its market share.

Indeed, TRU’s once-dominant, nation-wide chain of “brick-n-mortar” toy stores is now facing a dire and uncertain future. Faithful readers of The Joe Report will recall we first reported on TRU’s mounting fiscal woes waaaay back in 2014 (see that story HERE), and since that time, the company’s situation has only continued to weaken. It’s too soon to “call the game” on this sad story, and we’ll continue to monitor developments, but if current market trends are any indication, we don’t expect news to improve for America’s once mightiest—but now FAILING—toy chain.

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G.I.Joe Convention 2017 This Weekend, Orlando, FL

GIJOE2017WEBcenter.jpgBottom Line: You already know it’s going on. If you don’t, well… it is! And if you’re there, HAVE FUN! If you’re not… there’s always next year—in Chattanooga, TN. June 21-24, 2018. Go, JOE!

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SHOCKER! “G.I. Joe” Cop Intentionally Misleads Investigators, Stole From IL Youth Program, Commits Suicide and “Extensive Criminal Acts”

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No Hero— Lt. Joseph “G.I. Joe” Gliniewicz (now deceased) in his squad car. (Photo: Tom Ahern)

Bottom Line: Ouch. What a sad and pathetic story. However, despite its depressing outcome, we felt compelled to report the latest findings regarding the Illinois police officer nicknamed “G.I. Joe” and the unsettling realities of his actions. Make sure you have some Tums or Alka-Seltzer on hand before you read THIS gut-wrenching story over on the Chicago Tribune website.

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Death of a Real-Life American Hero———Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles “G.I. Joe” Gliniewicz, Killed While Pursuing Three Suspects in Illinois

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Slain police officer, Charles “G.I. Joe” Gliniewicz of Illinois. (Photo: Fox Lake PD)

In an all too common story (nowadays), we’ve just received news that another member of America’s “thin blue line” separating civilized society from anarchy and chaos—has been killed. In this particular case, the slain police officer in question, Lt. Charles Gliniewicz of Fox Lake, IL, also had a unique nickname that may be of interest. That’s right. It was “G.I. Joe.” We’re not sure how or when Officer Gliniewicz was tagged with that specific appellation, but it will certainly strike another chord with readers of The Joe Report. As of the writing of this article, Gliniewicz’s killer (or killers) remain at large and a massive manhunt is currently underway. According to the latest intel from NBC News:

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“A growing manhunt continued on land and in the air Tuesday for three suspects believed to have gunned down a police officer in northern Illinois during a foot chase. The slain officer in Fox Lake, a village on the Wisconsin border, was identified as 30-year-veteran Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, a married father of four boys. Colleagues nicknamed him “G.I. Joe,” the mayor said.”

The Manhunt is On— For the killer or killers of Lt.

Armored Up— The manhunt is on for the killer—or killers—of Lt. Gliniewicz. (Photo: nydailynews)

“Gliniewicz radioed to dispatch before 8 a.m. local time that he was chasing three male suspects engaged in suspicious activity, Lake County Sheriff’s spokesman Chris Covelli told reporters. The officer then lost contact with the dispatchers. When backup arrived, officers found the injured Gliniewicz lying in a marshy area and stripped of his weapon and pepper spray, Covelli said. He died at the scene, reported NBC Chicago.”

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Killed in the Line of Duty—Lt. Gliniewicz on duty in his Fox Lake PD squad car. (Photo: Fox Lake PD)

Gliniewicz was remembered Tuesday for his enthusiasm and dedication to law enforcement, including working with children as part of a local Police Explorers unit. ‘He would always try to help everybody,’ youth member Thomas Ashbacher told NBC Chicago. ‘He would give his shirt off his back if he could.’ Ashbacher said Gliniewicz went by G.I. Joe because of his past military career, and was always patient when it came to showing kids the ropes of law enforcement training. ‘He could be tough,’ Ashbacher recalled, ‘but he could also be the most friendliest guy [to] you.”” 

Bottom Line: Our sincerest support and prayers go out to the family of Lt. Gliniewicz and to the other members of the Fox Lake PD and to all other police departments nationwide.

A supporter of Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz who was also known as

Honoring Gliniewicz— A supporter of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz holds up his handmade sign in memory of the slain police officer in Illinois. (Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young)

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