Flight To Quality: European Toy Makers Fill the Void


It's happening in the financial markets right now; in food, and now in toys; in times of crisis there is a flight to quality. Suddenly the sales of the expensive but high quality toys from Brio, Haba and Playmobile are exploding. "It's scary. First cat food and dog food, and now the kids' toys," said Whitney Settle, of Petroleum, W.Va. "I have a 2-year-old boy who chews on everything. I doubt I am going to buy [Mattel] anymore -- or it's going to make me look twice."

And, while they cost a lot more, these toys last forever. Brio train sets just don't break, and Haba? Handmade and beautiful, but money is no object. "We are not interested in the mass market," said Christian Vollmer, who is responsible for Haba sales to the US market. "That is not our clientele."

::Associated Press via ::Boston Globe

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