Mattel Finland contacted by only a couple of hundred people regarding recalled toys
By Thursday evening, the toy manufacturer Mattel had been contacted by only a couple of hundred Finnish consumers regarding the massive toy recall by the company. Only a few toys had been returned, Mattel reports. The company estimates that some 15,000 potentially hazardous toys have been sold in Finland.
Mattel has been forced to pull from the market products coloured with paint containing lead, and products with small magnets. In Finland, some 13,500 Polly Pocket dolls, just under 5,200 Doggie Daycare toys, just over 2,400 Kessu vehicles, and a couple of dozens of Barbie dolls have been on the market.
The Polly Pocket dolls have been sold since 2003. The Kessu vehicle, pulled out because of its paint coating which contains lead, has been on the market since the beginning of March.
The largest American toy manufacturer assures consumers it will do everything in its power to get the hazardous toys withdrawn from the market.
Yesterday Mattel repeated its announcement to pull off shop shelves millions of toys manufactured in China, because of their safety risks. Up to 80 per cent of the world’s toys are manufactured in China.
On Thursday Mattel published a rare full-page announcement in Helsingin Sanomat and Ilta-Sanomat, in which Mattel CEO Bob Eckert gave his personal assurance that the company will rectify the problems thoroughly.
"We want to make sure that even the slightest chance of risk will have been made known to the parents who have brought our products, so that they can return the toys carrying such risk factors back to us", Eckert writes.
Mattel plans to recall a total of 18.2 million toys amidst fears that children may swallow their small high-powered magnets. In addition to Barbie and Batman toys, the company will also pull out 436,000 toy cars that contain hazardous lead paint.
Two weeks ago Mattel announced it would withdraw from the market 1.5 million toys manufactured in China because of the lead concerns.
After the announcement, the director of the Chinese Li Da factory, where the toys were made, committed suicide.
According to information officer Wen Suihong from the toy association of the Guangdong province, the recent events have caused nervous reactions among the Chinese toy businesses.
"This is not a good time to ask questions. There is a lot of confusion in the field, and we have a lot of work to do", Wen told Helsingin Sanomat over the telephone from Canton.
Southern Guangdong accounts for four-fifths of China’s toy exports, totalling EUR 13.6 billion in value.
The toy industry employs 1.5 million people in China. Mattel says some 65 per cent of its products have been manufactured in China.
Mattel: Voluntary safety recall facts