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Mattel recalls 18.5 million China-made toys in Round 2 news
14 August 2007

Mumbai: Mattel Inc, the world''s largest toy company, recalled millions of toys from the world market in a secod round of action amidst safety fears relating to lead paint and small magnets that can be shaken loose and swallowed by children.

Reports said Mattel recalled a total of 18.5 million toys from the world market, including nearly 2 million from Britain''s shelves.

The recalls include 7.3 million play sets, including Barbie doll pooper-scoop, Pollypocket sets, Batman figurines, Doggy day care toys and a toy car inspired by the Disney film, `Cars''.

Mattel, Inc. has recalled 436,000 toys from the `CARS'' die-cast vehicle line (`Sarge''), manufactured between May 2007 and July 2007, including 253,000 in the US and 183,000 outside of the US, for fear of containing impermissible levels of lead.

The recall, the largest in the company''s history, is expected to shake consumer confidence in toys manufactured in China.

The recall of the Sarge toy results from Mattel''s increased investigation and ongoing testing procedures following the recall of select Fisher-Price toys on August 1.

The action was announced on the company''s web site and at a news conference by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall is the latest blow to the toy industry, which has had a string of recalled products from China. With more than 80 per cent of toys sold worldwide made in China, toy sellers are nervous that shoppers will shy away from products made in China.

The recall involving lead paint was Mattel''s second in two weeks. Earlier this month, Mattel warned consumers about 1.5 million Chinese-made toys that contain lead paint.

Mattel also published a full-page ads in The New York Times and other newspapers, stating it was "one of the most trusted names with parents" and was "working extremely hard to address your concerns and continue creating safe, entertaining toys for you and your children."

Meanwhile, the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the, which negotiated details of Mattel''s recalls, reported that since its recall of Polly Pockets play sets in November last year, three children had been injured by swallowing more than one magnet.

If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attach to each other and cause intestinal perforation, infection or blockage, which can be fatal, the commission warned.

In March 2006, another toy company, Mega Brands Inc., recalled 3.8 million Magnetix magnetic building sets after one child died and four others were seriously injured after swallowing tiny magnets in them.

Since the first recall by Mattel''s Fisher-Price unit, Chinese officials had temporarily banned the toys'' manufacturer, Lee Der Industrial Co., from exporting products. A disgraced Lee Der co-owner, Cheung Shu-hung, also committed suicide following the reports.

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Mattel recalls 18.5 million China-made toys in Round 2