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Thursday, August 2, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Fisher-Price to recall nearly 1M toys

Toy-maker Fisher-Price is recalling 83 types of toys — including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters — because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead.

The worldwide recall being announced Thursday involves 967,000 plastic preschool toys made by a Chinese vendor and sold in the United States between May and August. It is the latest in a wave of recalls that has heightened global concern about the safety of Chinese-made products.

The recall is the first for Fisher-Price Inc. and parent company Mattel Inc. involving lead paint. It is the largest for Mattel since 1998 when Fisher-Price had to yank about 10 million Power Wheels from toy stores.


The recall is particularly alarming since Mattel, known for its strict quality controls, is considered a role model in the toy industry for how it operates in China.

First Thomas, now Elmo. The part of these situations that continue to interest me is the degree to which it has any effect on business relationships between US companies and China or, more to the point, between US consumers’ buying habits and products made in China. Of course, one will allow that most people don’t pay attention to where things are made. Of course, if enough toys are affected, there will be parents who do start paying attention.

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Filed under: Kids, Asia | |


  1. First of all, with all the things made in China, it is difficult (though I will grant, not impossible) to NOT purchase items made in China.

    Secondly, you know what kids are like when they want something. Saying “the toys you want was made in China, so you can’t have it” is a reason they would never comprehend.

    Comment by Jan — Thursday, August 2, 2007 @ 10:50 am

  2. 1. Quite true.

    2. Also true, but also if there are enough of these problems, there will be parents who won’t buy the things.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, August 2, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  3. It will take a lot more of these problems before any real change occurs. We will continue buying cheap goods and undermining our manufacturing infrastructure until it is an epidemic.

    Comment by Talmadge East — Thursday, August 2, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  4. I agree it will take more than this.

    The degree to which the whole situation is a grave undermining of our industrial infrastructure, however, is a whole other discussion.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, August 2, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

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