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Mattel Announces Recall of 11 Toys as a Result of Extensive Ongoing Investigation and Product Testing
Mattel: Jay Cochran - 2007.09.04
Mattel, Inc. announced today that, as a result of the company's ongoing investigation of its toys manufactured by vendors in China, the company has voluntarily recalled 11 toys globally, including eight pet and furniture playsets sold under the Barbie(R) brand and three Fisher-Price(R) toys, due to impermissible levels of lead. No Barbie(R) dolls are included within the recall. In total, there are 522,000 affected toys in the U.S., and 322,000 affected toys outside of the U.S. Mattel has completed the testing program for the majority of its toys, including all of its toys currently sourced from vendors.


The voluntary recall results from Mattel's thorough investigation of vendor-sourced toys. Mattel has also globally implemented a strengthened, three-point check system to test toys throughout the manufacturing process.


"In August we promised that we'd continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys through extensive testing of finished products, thorough investigation of our vendors and the implementation of a strengthened three-point check system. As a result of our ongoing investigation we discovered additional affected products. Consequently, several subcontractors are no longer manufacturing Mattel toys. We apologize again to everyone affected and promise that we will continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys," said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer, Mattel.


In the U.S., there are seven recalled Barbie(R)-branded toys. The specific affected parts include:


-- Dream Puppy House(TM)- orange on miniature dog
-- Dream Kitty Condo(TM)- brown on miniature cat
-- Table & Chairs Kitchen Playset - yellow food on two dinner plates,
brown on miniature dog, yellow and orange on potato chip bowl, orange
on salad bowl
-- Bathtub & Toilet Playset - brown on miniature cat
-- Desk & Chair Bedroom Playset - brown on miniature dog
-- Living Room Playset (deluxe) - brown on miniature cat
-- Living Room Playset (premium) - yellow flower on purse



The playsets affected by the recall were produced by Holder Plastic Company (Holder), a Mattel contract vendor, which subcontracted the painting of miniature toy pets and small furniture pieces to Dong Lian Fa (DLF) and Yip Sing (YS). DLF and YS used uncertified paint and are no longer producing toys for Mattel.


Mattel's investigation revealed that the subcontractors painted the affected toys between March 2007 and August 2007. However Mattel is being cautious and recalling the entire production of the seven toys painted by the subcontractors. Therefore, toys manufactured beginning in October 2006 are included within the recall. The toys being recalled were sold at retail between November 2006 and August 2007.


Among the three Fisher-Price(R) toys recalled are two Fisher-Price(R) GEOTRAX(TM) toys and one "It's a Big Big World" toy. Fisher-Price(R) toys with specific parts affected include:


-- GEOTRAX(TM) Rail & Road System Freightway Transport(TM)- yellow
headlights on train car and miniature ladder
-- GEOTRAX(TM) Special Track Pack(TM) - yellow headlights on train car and
miniature ladder
-- "It's a Big Big World" 6-in-1 Bongo Band - painted decal on top of
clear plastic on drum



The two GEOTRAX(TM) toys were manufactured by Apex Manufacturing Company Ltd. (Apex), one of Mattel's contract vendors, which outsourced paint work to a subcontractor, Boyi Plastic Products Factory (Boyi). Apex supplied Boyi with certified paint; however, the toys were manufactured with uncertified paint. Boyi is no longer in business. The two GEOTRAX(TM) toys that tested for impermissible levels of lead were manufactured between July 31, 2006, and September 4, 2006; however, the painted parts were stored and incorporated into toy production throughout the year. Mattel is being cautious and recalling toys shipped between August 3, 2006, and July 31, 2007.


The Fisher-Price(R) "It's a Big Big World" 6-in-1 Bongo Band toy was manufactured by Shun On Factory, one of Mattel's contract vendors, which outsourced the molding and painting of one plastic piece. A subcontractor, Jingying Tampo Printing Processing Factory, used uncertified paint on the affected piece. The "It's a Big Big World" 6-in-1 Bongo Band was manufactured between May 19, 2007, and August 1, 2007.


Mattel is working in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory agencies worldwide. Mattel is also working with retailers worldwide to identify and remove affected products from retail shelves.


For additional information regarding this recall, including a full list of affected products, please contact Mattel at (888) 496-8330, or visit the company's Web site at http://www.service.mattel.com/. A full list of products is also published by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.


How to Return Affected Toys/Parts:

1) The first step is for consumers to determine if they have a toy that
has been affected by the recall. To do so, they can visit
http://www.service.mattel.com/ where they will find a complete list of
each toy recalled, including color photos, toy model numbers and
affected date codes. Consumers can locate toy model numbers on the
bottom of most recalled toys.

For consumers without a computer, or for those preferring phone
support, they may call (888) 496-8330

2) Once consumers determine that they think they own a Mattel toy
affected by the recall, they are prompted to fill out a form (online)
or provide their postal address (via phone), and Mattel will send to
consumers (via email or to a postal address) a color brochure with
photos, toy numbers and date code ranges of every affected toy, as
well as a pre-paid mailing label for return of the affected part(s).

3) After receiving consumers' returned, affected part(s), Mattel will
send consumers replacement parts for each affected product, as well as
bonus pieces/parts.



Mattel recommends that consumers do not return toys to retailers for three reasons:


1) Mattel can help consumers determine if a toy has been affected by the
recall (vs. returning an unaffected toy)

2) Mattel will provide consumers with a replacement part for each toy
part affected by the recall

3) Mattel will handle affected products in an environmentally friendly
way



Consumers do not need to have the toy's original packaging or a receipt to return affected products to Mattel.


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