Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that Department of Justice staff and members of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program will be joined today by area firefighters to distribute toys to needy Oregon children in 10 Oregon counties.
"This joint effort of Justice, the Marine Corps Reserve and firefighters gives special meaning to the holiday season," Myers said.
The 2001 distribution of $108,785 in toys is part of the state's final share of a 1999 national settlement with retailer Toys "R" Us. Oregon was part of national, multi-state antitrust settlements in 1998 and 1999 totaling $50 million with national retailer Toys "R" Us and toy manufacturers Mattel, Hasbro and The Little Tikes Company. This resulted in Oregon receiving toys worth more than $389,000 over the last four holiday seasons and approximately $150,000 in cash for children's programs and educational grants.
Today, representatives from several counties will join the Marine Reserves from the Sixth Engineer Support at Swan Island, area firefighters and Justice employees in loading new toys into trucks bound for area distribution centers. Counties included in this year's distribution are Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Lincoln, Linn, Polk, and Tillamook. These counties will receive a percentage of toys according to their population multiplied by the total dollar amount of toys Oregon received in the settlement.
The 1998 and 1999 settlements resolved a lawsuit filed in 1997 by the Attorneys General of 44 states alleging that the defendants conspired for more than 10 years to withhold popular toys from low margin warehouse clubs that undercut Toys "R" Us prices. As a result of these illegal agreements between the manufacturers and the retailer, warehouse clubs could not compete in price with Toys "R" Us and consumers paid more for the toys.
Oregonians wanting to contribute toys to the continuing efforts of the Marines and the Portland firefighters may drop off new, unwrapped toys at any Safeway or fire department in the Portland area. Toys for Tots is a non-profit organization providing toys for underprivileged children in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Consumers wanting general information on the Toys "R" Us settlement or other consumer protection subjects may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org