Thomas the Tank Engine is chugging into East Aurora. Mattel is acquiring HIT Entertainment for $680 million in cash. HIT owns a global portfolio of popular pre-school brands, from Thomas & Friends and Barney, to Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina. Fisher-Price already produces HIT's toys under license so the two companies know each other well. Mattel says the acquisition will allow the company to continue to expand and grow the product lines. Once the deal closes, workers at Fisher-Price in East Aurora say they'll be busy, developing both the toy and consumer product lines of business.
There's nothing scary about Halloween to retailers this year! The National Retail Federation says more people than ever are expected to take part in traditional festivities. Their annual survey says seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween, up about five percent from last year. That makes it the most in the nine-year survey history. The average consumer is expected to spend more than $72 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from about $66 last year. Total Halloween spending is expected to top $6.8 billion this year.