Mattel and Toy Safety

Topics: Mattel, Lead poisoning, 2007 Chinese export recalls Pages: 3 (968 words) Published: January 30, 2012
Mattel and Toy Safety
Mattel, the world’s largest toys company, had been faced with some rough challenges due to some safety scandals revolving toy design and manufacturing in China. During August 2007 Mattel was forced to extremely recall toys due to loose magnets and excess lead found in some of the Mattel toys that posed immediate danger to the children that played with them. “Mattel voluntarily recalled 1.5 million Chinese made, Fisher-Price product, after the company learned that they contained too much lead.” A second recall of Mattel’s most popular items such as Barbie, Batman, Polly Pocket and Doggie Daycare play sets. The items contained small magnets that could fall out of the toy and be swallowed by young children. Since responsibility will be attributed to Mattel no matter what, accepting the responsibility is vital for Mattel to maintain credibility. Throwing the blame on others looks bad and invites a counter strike by the accused. Mattel quickly sought to undo the hazard in an open and respectful manner; through taking action hastily they presented their concern for consumers and the welfare of their children. Mattel’s CEO Bob Eckert’s first response to fixing the problem was an immediate recall of toys and issuing apologetic public statements. The question many have is who should be held responsible for exposing children to hazardous substances. To call into question who should be accountable draws many questions that can pass blame that points in many directions. The recall shed light on the fact that many U.S. name brands that manufacture overseas use contractors that provide materials; it can be a very time consuming process to maintain how these contractors conduct business and ensuring that they are following appropriate and safe health standards. Early Light whom is responsible for hiring seven various subcontractors, each responsible for using cheaper lead based paints. Mattel took initiative by not placing the...

References: Barboza, D. (n.d.). Scandal and suicide in China: A dark side of toys - The New York Times. The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved July 3, 2011, from
Barboza, D. (n.d.). Mattel recalls toys made in China - The New York Times. The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved July 2, 2011, from
Lawrence, A. T., & Weber, J. (2011). Business and society: stakeholders, ethics, public policy (13th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
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