Mattel Case Study

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Mattel is a company that’s business is to design, manufacture, and market toys. Mattel toy brands included best-selling brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, American Girl, and Tyco, as well as Fisher-Price brands, including Little People, Power Wheels, and a wide range of entertainment-inspired toys (Lawrence and Weber, 2011). According to the text, Mattel had a lengthy reputation of being a responsible toy manufacturing company. Mattel was recognized as one of the best corporate companies and earned honors for being one of the United States best corporate citizens. Mattel is the largest toy company in the world. A market capital of over $5.6 billion and employs 30,000 in 43 countries, with sales in more than 150 countries (Mattel, 2011). In August of 2007, Mattel was hit hard with a huge product recall. The first recall was in regards to a Chinese subcontractor (who produces 65% of Mattel’s toys) for using leaded paint. Two weeks later Mattel had to recall another 500,000 toys. The second recall included almost 20 million toys worldwide (Mattel, 2011). These products contained lead paint or faulty design that allowed magnets to fall from toys. Mattel accepted the blame for the harm that was caused by their faulty products and issued recalls due to lead paint and malfunctioning parts, but parents are responsible for ensuring their children are playing with safe toys.
In the 1990’s Mattel built or acquired production facilities in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. In 2007, China was making the majority of toys for Mattel. In China, Mattel tested products both at its own facilities and in special test labs. The company had specific standards with respect to lead in paint an...

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...fix the problem by pleasing the most people (Lawrence & Weber, 2011). I believe Mattel learned from this incident and will keep a closer watch on any sub-contractor that they hire. The best way for society to protect children from harmful toy would be for parents to monitor the recall list before purchasing any products. Parents should oversee their child’s play and never leave children alone during playtime. Another way to ensure toy safety is to research schools, daycares and family homes about toys that children are exposed to. Mattel’s unfortunate recalls took the world by storm and parents lost their faith in Mattel. However, as long as the United States oversees the imported toy industry and major brands continue to monitor subcontractors and perform inspections, parents should feel confident that toys brought into the United States are safe for play.

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