Serious Injuries Prompt Recall of Polly Pocket Toys

Mattel is recalling 2.4 million Polly Pocket play sets due to several serious injuries sustained when magnets inside the dolls and accessories fell out undetected.

“The magnets can be swallowed, aspirated by young children or placed by a child in their nose or ears. When more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation, infection or blockage, which can be fatal.”

Yikes! “There were three reports of serious injuries to children who swallowed more than one magnet. All three suffered intestinal perforations that required surgery. A 2-year-old child was hospitalized for seven days and a 7-year-old child was hospitalized for 12 days. An 8-year-old child was also hospitalized.”

If you have one of the 2.4 million play sets, we encourage you to immediately take these recalled toys away from children and contact Mattel to arrange for the return of the sets and to receive a voucher for a replacement toy of the customer’s choice, up to the value of the returned product.


Mattel (888) 597-6597 anytime

Serious Injuries Prompt Recall of Mattel’s Polly Pocket Magnetic Play Sets [CPSC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    The two-year-old I can understand. But, how the heck does a child live to be seven or eight and fail to understand that broken toys aren’t for eating?

  2. Spiny Norman says:

    Now wait a minute! Are you telling me that an 8-year-old was chowing down toy magnets? I have an 8-year-old and he left the “toy = food” stage at about age 3. I think perhaps we need a chronology lesson here. Did the 2-year-old story make the evening news before the 7- and 8-year-olds hit the hospital? Is there a child protective services human reading Consumerist that perhaps needs to interview these parents?

  3. Metschick says:

    a 7-year-old child was hospitalized for 12 days. An 8-year-old child was also hospitalized.”

    First thing that popped into my head: “survival of the fittest”.

    Second thing: “I’m so going to hell.”

    This is horrible news, and just validates my decision to not buy anything smaller than her fist for my 20-month old baby to play with.

  4. Triteon says:

    If the playsets weren’t made of pure frosting this really wouldn’t be an issue.

  5. infinitysnake says:

    What scares me really is that many of these toys uintended for older children end up in the hands of babies. I remember that magnetix were briefly yanked and warning signs put up when a child died (painfully and tragically) after ingesting the magnets, and then the toy reappeared a few days later and that was that. I threw out every one in the house and I still shudder when I pass those things by.

  6. Meg Marco says:

    “If the playsets weren’t made of pure frosting this really wouldn’t be an issue.” Hahahahaha!

  7. pbasra says:

    Is it just me or are toys getting too safe? Playgrounds too…

    Of the children who did get injured, I hope they recover and live long lives.

    To the parents of those children, wow just wow.
    Children do need danger, otherwise how will they learn?
    In my neighborhood, there used to be several large wooden “forts” with gravel underneath them, metal bolts holding everything together. Now in the same locations there are plastic forts with sawdust underneath and not a hint of a screw or bolt or anything that children can get snagged on (it’s happened to me).
    It’s sad how over protective the north american world is turning out to be, instead of letting children discover the world around them, we’re keeping them in a bubble.

    I don’t know if anything of what i typed made sense, but it was a thought bubble that i needed to get out.

  8. Metschick says:

    It’s sad how over protective the north american world is turning out to be, instead of letting children discover the world around them, we’re keeping them in a bubble.

    I think I get what you’re saying. It all goes back to: how or why would a child of 7 or 8 put anything other than food in their mouths? I know they’re still children.

  9. Mom says:

    You want to know how?

    Go to and find out.

    Tiny magnets the size of popcorn kernels fell out of some “magnetic” models of Polly Pocket! playsets AND many models of Magnetix, Magna Man, etc. by Rose Art Industries. Let’s say a few of them fell out onto the carpet. Mom says, OK sweetie, put away your dolls now and she puts away all the bright pink and blue plastic pieces. Mom is not looking for little silver magnets on the floor. Later, the child or a baby brother finds them. You may have trained YOUR kids perfectly to be mini-adults immediately at the age of 3, but for the rest of us, consider that every child is born with very strong oral impulses and this is moderated only gradually over the years.

    The reason small parts are allowed only in toys marketed to kids age 3 and older is this was a cutoff arbitrarily selected years ago in product safety legislation. But in reality there is a continuum and each child is different. Yes, normal kids age up to 11 HAVE swallowed magnets from these toys. The oldest ones did it as a dare or to experiment, which was quite dumb especially as they were too embarassed to admit to their parents what they had done even after they got really ill. There were about three other kids over age 3 who were autistic or developmentally disabled and ended up needing the abdominal surgery to remove the magnets and repair intestinal perforations. But by far the majority were normal kids age 1 through 11.

    And as Triteon says above, a toy piece is more inviting to a child if it looks like candy. Some kids who swallowed Magnetix magnets at around 3 years old said they thought they were M&Ms. These things are very small and kids have also put them in their ears, nose, tried to pretend they had a tongue-ring or a nose-ring.

    By the way, there have been dozens of teens who bought magnetic jewelry and tried to use it as a nose ring, ending up in the emergency room. Guess what happened? They tried to put one magnet on the outside of the nostril and the other one on the inside. The NIB magnets were so strong they did not want to stay separated and instead as soon as the kid inhaled, one magnet flew up each nostril. With each breath they went higher up in the sinus cavity until they were so stuck, extraction by a physician was needed. Painful!

    Mattel and MEGA Brands both say they have redesigned and improved their toys so magnets won’t come out in the models that are currently for sale. I hope that is true, but am not willing to take a chance with my little ones. So in our house, we won’t be buying any toys that contain small magnets this holiday season!

    Best wishes to you and your families for a warm and wonderful winter!

  10. izzydrc says:

    there are many adults that chew on inapropriate objects. kids of all ages do stupid things. as said above due to dares and peer pressure. people do drugs dont they. isnt that just as stupid.

  11. Mom says:

    Hmmm, what in the world is going on these days? Nine months later and now Mattel is recalling 63 magnetic toys! Guess they or the CPSC didn’t realize the extent of the problem the first time. Parents, please be careful and if you have any Mattel magnetic toys such as Polly Pocket, call Mattel’s hotline at 1-888-597-6597 and just return them for a new toy.