DOJ: News Release

Toys Headed to Montana Reservations

HELENA – Oversized plastic dump trucks, furry stuffed lions, talking bathtub toys, skateboards and other toys and games will make some Montana holidays a little brighter this year, Attorney General Mike McGrath said at a news conference Tuesday. McGrath appeared at the warehouse of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and announced the distribution of 1600 brand new toys to communities on each of the state’s Indian reservations.

The shipment of toys worth $29,000 represents the fourth and final payment to Montana under a settlement of a national anti-trust case brought against Toys R Us and three toy manufacturers in 1997. The 1997 case alleged Toys R Us orchestrated illegal agreements among manufacturers to restrict or limit the supply of certain popular toys to warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club.

“It’s not often that the settlement of big-time litigation results in some fun new things for Montana kids,” McGrath said. “It’s a pleasure to pass along these toys this year.”

The 1997 complaint alleged that Toys R Us used its market power to obtain agreements with Mattel, Hasbro and the Little Tikes Co. The agreements limited the sale of certain toys to the warehouse clubs or required the manufacturers to provide the toys only in combination packs, making it harder for consumers to compare the prices charged by the warehouse clubs to those charged by Toys R Us, the suit said.

The toys will be distributed to reservation families based on their participation in the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDIR) program, a federal program that distributes food commodities to low income families as an alternative to food stamps.

“We’re fortunate to be able to coordinate the distribution of this year’s toys with DPHHS,” McGrath said. “Without them, Montana children wouldn’t receive these gifts in time for the holidays.”

A list of the programs to which the toys are being delivered and approximate shipping dates follows.

Distribution of Toys from the Toys-R-Us Settlement
December 2001

Montana’s allocation for final year of settlement: 1,652 toys valued at $29,087

Vic Connelly
Blackfeet FDPIR
338-7340 Shipped week of 12/10

Leroy Standish
665-2523 Shipped week of 12/17

Ann Helgeson
Fort Belknap FDPIR
353-8487 Shipped week of 12/10

Johnny Russell
Northern Cheyenne FDPIR
Lame Deer
477-8278 Shipped week of 12/17

Donna Turner
Rocky Boy FDPIR
Box Elder
395-4315 Shipped week of 12/10

Maxine MacDonald
Salish & Kootenai FDPIR
Saint Ignatius
745-4115 Shipped 12/3

Crystal Bighorn
Fort Peck FDPIR
768-5321 Shipped 11/28

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