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Photo: Axel Heimken/picture alliance/Getty Images

Americans are buying fewer toys in the post-Toys "R" Us era.

The big picture: As we've reported, the demise of the toy giant kicked off a war among U.S. retail titans Amazon, Target and Walmart to vacuum up its toy sales. But the end of Toys "R" Us dealt the multibillion-dollar American toy market a blow that it still hasn't recovered from.

  • Target and Walmart both added floor space for toys. And Target partnered with Disney to sell exclusive products in its stores.
  • Amazon attempted to dominate the online sale of toys. Its products topped 95% of online search results for toys in 2019, according to the research firm Gartner L2.

But all that wasn't enough to revive the toy market.

  • Toy sales fell 4% between 2018 and 2019, according to research from the NPD Group, cited by Retail Dive.
  • American retailers also sold fewer toys during the 2019 holiday season. That might be partially explained by the fact that last year's peak holiday shopping season — the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas — was unusually short, per NPD.

The bottom line: The American toy industry is likely to eventually bounce back, but it's a testament to the ubiquitousness of Toys "R" Us that it has temporarily dragged down the entire market.

Go deeper: The Toys "R" Us blame game

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.