From Barbie to Sesame Street

Mattel Saves Face, Steps Up Safety Protocols

Mattel, the world’s largest toy maker, has stepped up its protocols to keep the nation’s children safe from faulty products, in a move to clear its name after scandal stemming from the massive recall of millions of children’s toys.

After the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled more than 20 million Chinese-made Mattel toys, Mattel Chairman and CEO Bob Eckert put his foot down and promised the nation that his company would safeguard children from the hazards of lead paint and loose magnets posed by the recalled products. In a month’s time, Mattel’s corporate office estimates that its employees have put in more than 50,000 hours investigating vendors and testing toys.

“I want to assure you that we continue to keep our promise to parents around the world through our steadfast commitment to the safety of children who play with our toys,” Eckert said in a video message last week. “I let you know last month that we were stepping up our testing and oversight, and we did. I want to reconfirm with you today that we’re thoroughly testing our toys to ensure they are the high quality you expect.”

As a result of heightened efforts to weed out hazardous products, Mattel has voluntarily recalled 11 more toys, which include several Barbie accessory sets, from around the world.

“As part of our increased efforts, we discovered additional products that had very specific parts that could be affected by lead paint, and we’re now voluntarily recalling those products,” Eckert confirmed. “At Mattel, if we find issues, we address them immediately and tell you about them promptly.”

Additionally, Mattel’s corporate office initiated a three-stage safety check of paint used on its toys. In a statement, the company said, “First, all paint must be tested before it is used-no exceptions. Second, we have significantly increased testing and unannounced inspections at every stage of production. Finally, we are testing every production run of finished toys to ensure compliance before they reach you.”

“We apologize again to everyone affected and promise that we will continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys,” Eckert said.