Business briefs


POSTED: Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sesame Street switches toy maker

NEW YORK » Elmo is getting a new home — or his toys are, at least.

Toy maker Hasbro Inc. said yesterday it will make and market toys and games based on well-known Sesame Street characters, such as Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster.

The deal takes the license away from Hasbro rival Mattel Inc., which makes Sesame Street toys under its Fisher-Price brand under a deal lasting through next year. Hasbro will start making the products in 2011.

The agreement covers all Sesame Street toys, but Julie Duffy, a representative for Hasbro, said it's “;too early to tell”; which toys it will continue making, including the popular Tickle Me Elmo toy.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NPD Group industry analyst Anita Frazier said it's a significant win for Hasbro because Sesame Workshop is a top toy brand for children under 5 — an age group representing nearly half of annual toy sales.

Brenda Andolina, a spokeswoman for Fisher-Price, said in a statement it was Sesame Workshop's decision to end the 15-year arrangement in which Fisher-Price made toys like Tickle Me Elmo, Hokey Pokey Elmo and Elmo Live.

Hasbro, the nation's second-largest toy maker, is permitted to make the merchandise for 10 years.

Hasbro Inc., based in Pawtucket, R.I., makes other toys, including Transformers and G.I. Joe products.

Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization that produces local “;Sesame Street”; programs seen in more than 140 countries.


Teenager claims transgender bias

TAMPA, Fla. » A transgender teenager says a McDonald's restaurant in Florida discriminated against her when managers refused to interview her for a job, according to a complaint filed yesterday.

Zikerria Bellamy, 17, said two managers at an Orlando restaurant wouldn't give her an interview on two separate occasions in July.

Later, she said, a manager left her a voice mail, using a gay slur to let her know she wouldn't be hired.

A spokeswoman for the local restaurant, Allison Garrett, said in a statement the employee who left the voice mail “;acted outside the scope of his authority and was not responsible for hiring.”;

He no longer works at the restaurant.

The statement did not mention the other manager.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's “;has a zero-tolerance policy prohibiting discrimination or harassment in the restaurant,”; the statement said.

Bellamy is a male who has been living as a female for about six years.

She said she completed a job application online, then was called to the store for an interview. When one manager refused to see her, she called later and was granted an interview with another manager. “;He began to laugh at me once he saw me,”; said Bellamy. “;He said, 'Oh, I can't interview you today. I'm busy.'”;

One of the managers also left her a voice mail saying, “;We do not hire faggots.”;



;  Remedy Intelligent Staffing of Honolulu has promoted Kimberly Iezza Miyashiro to senior human resources manager from human resource manager. She has been a career development specialist with youths and adults at a private educational institution.

Current Affairs, an event planning and production company, has named Steven Boyle as master designer and director of design. He has more than 15 years of special-events experience, including as vice president of sales and marketing for White Lotus Productions in San Diego and founder and owner of Gardenia Design Inc.

HomeStreet Bank's Kahului mortgage branch has hired the following:

» Faith Armanini as branch manager. She has 17 years of mortgage industry experience, including as president and owner of Alii Mortgage in Wailuku.

» Lisa Carillo as loan officer. She was previously at HomeStreet's Wailuku office and has more than 10 years of experience in the mortgage origination field.

» Mila Bumanglag as loan officer. She has many years of experience as a mortgage professional and Realtor.

» Barry Carlson as loan officer. He has 25 years of mortgage experience.