TOYS WITH SMALL PRICES

Fred DaMert's toy company aims to keep prices low: $5 to $10 per toy in retail stores and $10 to $20 for its catalog offers. This strategy allows the DaMert Company to prosper through recessions, the San Leandro, Calif., company says.The privately held company, founded in 1973, says it has grown by 530 percent in the past five years, with 1991 growth at 48 percent. Products in the DaMert's catalog include the Bubble Trumpet ("Blow bigger, longer lasting, more beautiful bubbles than ever") and Doodletop ("the top that draws"). Many of the products blend education with play, such as "Tornado Tube," which promises to develop vortex action in liquid held in a plastic drink bottle, and "Triazzle," puzzles where numerous animal pictures (insects, frogs, or fish) must be matched properly from 16 triangular cardboard pieces.

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