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The Collective
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via CNN: Mattel recalls 9 million toys

Toymaker Mattel is voluntarily recalling 9 million of its toys including popular characters such as Batman, Barbie, Polly Pockets and a toy from Pixar’s “Cars” movie because of hazards to children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday.

[…]

All of the toys were manufactured in China.

The issue at hand appears to be magnets that can be swallowed:

if more than one magnet is swallowed they could cause intestinal damage and other injuries.

I have noted in the past that consumers may start balking at Chinese made products . However, if Chinese manufacturers are going to start costing big companies like Mattel and Fisher-Price big bucks, then the pressure is going to come from those companies to fix these problems or else they will take their manufacturing contracts elsewhere.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: China | |

7 Comments

  1. And actually, they should have known better on the magnet issue. China already had a “kids swallowing multiple magnets” recall on the Magnetix brand toys that my youngest son likes. They have had time to supposedly fix the problem and get those products back on the shelves.

    Comment by Jan — Tuesday, August 14, 2007 @ 9:57 am

  2. I think Mattel should be responsible for designing and selling the toys which contain magnets. There is nothing related to where these products are made, but who designed and sold them.

    Comment by Vivian — Tuesday, August 14, 2007 @ 10:25 am

  3. A legit point-although the issue will be one of design v. manufacture in terms of determining blame.

    At a minimum, this is more bad press for “Made in China.”

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Tuesday, August 14, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

  4. Absolutely, Vivian. We need to hold our own government and corporations responsible.

    Having said that, I have been more than “balking” at “made in China” for a very long time. I’ve taken to asking at any restaurant where their ingredients are from, and I always explain why. And I look for labels on products. (I am not much in the toy market these days, but the same conscious-consumer procedures apply across the board.)

    I prefer not to support dictatorships when consuming, whether food or any product, and it is that absence of rule of law and worker/citizen rights that is at the bottom of these dangerous foods and toys.

    Of course, in some product areas (shoes, e.g.) it is very hard to find anything made in democratic countries of the developing world. And even those often have minimal oversight of standards. We notice China, in particular, because it is so big and so attractive for US (and other) foreign corporate investment.

    Comment by MSS — Tuesday, August 14, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

  5. It is Mattel’s responsibility to monitor their production process, including all the materials and supplies that are being used. The problem is not ‘Made in China’. It doesn’t matter where the sourcing is done. The same thing can happen in India or Vietnam. Mattel’s control system if there is one has failed. The U.S. law is very clear, the importer is responsible for the quality of the goods they are bring into the country. Mattel should face legal actions!!!

    Comment by NWC — Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

  6. IT TRULY AMAZES ME THAT THE MATTEL TOY COMPANY SITS UP WITH A START AND SAYS WHAT HAPPENED HERE. WELL WHEN YOU SEND YOUR WORK OVERSEAS TO BE DONE THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE REGULATED LIKE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES WHAT A BUMMER. SO THE CHAINESE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CARE WHAT THEY USE IN MAKING THE TOYS THEY ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN THE JOBS IT HAS REQIRED THERE FOR THEIR PEOPLE. SO NOW THE MATTELL TOY COMPANY IS AGAST AT THE OUTCOME OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED.???

    THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SEND THINGS OVERSEAS TO BE DONE TAKING AWAY JOBS HERE IN AMERICA WHERE OUR OWN PEOPLE NEED JOBS. WHY BECAUSE ITS CHEAPER THERE A FEW CENTS ON THE DOLLAR AND THEY DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT UNIONS EITHER. WELL SO MUCH FOR A GLOBAL ECONOMY WE HAVE HIGHER STANDARDS HERE AND THAT IS WHAT MADE AMERICA GREAT THE STANDARDS WELL WHERE ARE THEY NOW. NOW OUR CHILDREN ARE AT RISK WITH LEAD PAINT BEING USED AND SMALL ITEMS FALLING OFF OR BITTEN OFF BY SMALL CHILDREN. THIS IS WHY THEIR IS A THING CALLED QUALITY CONTROL BUT THERE ISN’T ANYMORE. THIS IS ONLY A SMALL PORTION OF WHAT GOES ON NOW ON THE INTERNATIONL MARKET PLACE AND WE ARE AT RISK NOW MORE THAN EVER WHERE DOES IT END. IF ALL IN THE MARKET PLACE WANT THINGS DONE OVERSEAS THEN MAKE DAME SURE THAT QUALITY CONTROLS ARE IN PLACE AND TO MAKE SURE PAINT ETC IS SAFE AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS MAKE OVERSEAS IS SAFE.

    SO MUCH FOR THE BOTTOM LINE….

    Comment by Teresa Milazzo — Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  7. I’m a little curious as to why more diecast toys such as Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars have not been listed; I would think that if the Chinese were cutting corners using cheap lead based paint that more metal or diecast toys would be suspect???

    Comment by Tadrok — Saturday, August 18, 2007 @ 9:10 pm

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