Mattel Recalls Over 7 Million Chinese-Made Toys For Lead Paint, Magnets

Today Mattel expanded their lead paint recall to include 253,000 die cast “Cars” toys. In addition, Mattel expended a 2006 magnetic toy recall to include about 7 million other toys.

Poorly constructed magnet toys have been the cause of several injuries and at least one fatality. When the toys break and magnets fall out, they can be eaten or inhaled by small children—causing punctures in the intestines and lungs and requiring emergency surgery. Lead paint is toxic to children can cause adverse health effects.

Here is a list of the newly recalled toys:

Cars “Sarge” 21/2″ Die-Cast Toy

Barbie and Tanner

play sets — model numbers J9472 and J9560.
Doggie Day Care

Magnetic Toys (All)
A Very Long List of Various Polly Pocket dolls and accessories with magnets

and One Piece

Magnetic Action Figure Sets

Mattel originally recalled the Polly Pocket magnet toys in November of 2006, after three children required emergency surgery to repair intestinal perforations caused by the magnets. Since then they have received 400 additional reports of magnets falling out of various Polly Pocket toys, prompting an expansion of the recall. And, of course, Mattel’s Fisher-Price division recently recalled almost a million toys due to lead paint.

Before this latest recall was announced, Mattel took out full page ads in the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal that featured a letter from Mattel’s CEO, Robert A. Eckert. The New York Times reports:

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children,” the letter begins.

“Our long record of safety at Mattel is why we’re one of the most trusted names with parents,” it says. “And I am confident that the actions we are taking now will maintain that trust.”

The toymaker said the latest defective Chinese toys were produced by Early Light Industrial Company, which it said subcontracted the painting to another Chinese vendor, Hong Li Da (HLD). “While the painting subcontractor, HLD, was required to utilize paint supplied directly from Early Light, it instead violated Mattel’s standards and utilized paint from a nonauthorized third-party supplier,” Mattel said.

Mattel said Lee Der Industrial, a contract manufacturer based in southern China, was responsible for producing the toys that contained excessive levels of lead paint in the initial recall.

If you have any of these toys in your home, please take them away from your children immediately. Contact Mattel at (800) 916-4997 anytime or visit the firm’s Web site at You’ll need to return the toy in order to get a replacement, but at this point do you really want one?

Mattel Issues New Recall of Toys Produced in China
[New York Times]
(Photo:Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

PREVIOUSLY: Toxic Lead Paint Prompts Recall of 967,000 Fisher-Price Toys
Fisher-Price Being Investigated By CPSC Due To Shoddy Track Record Reporting Defects
Fisher-Price Fined $975,000 for Failing to Report a Serious Choking Hazard With A Popular Toy
Chinese Lead Toy Maker Commits Suicide In Mattel Recall Aftermath
China: It’s Mattel’s Fault That Chinese Companies Manufactured Toys Covered With Lead. What?
Serious Injuries Prompt Recall of Polly Pocket Toys


Edit Your Comment

  1. headon says:

    “train keeps a rollin all night long”

  2. Buran says:

    I have one of those jeeps. They’re lucky it wasn’t depleted uranium (I know, I know, the US Army didn’t use DU in 1942).

    I am going to keep it, though. It was a real hassle to find. Nope, it’s staying right there next to the Sherman tank, the Stukas, the Me-262, the Kubelwagens, and the Warhawk.

    Yeah, I’m a military geek… nyah.

    If I have kids, they’ll just find my collection — all of it — placed out of their reach behind locked glass doors.

  3. BoorRichard says:

    What about the toy companies that are NOT issuing lead-paint recalls for made in china stuff?

    Will they issue assurances before Christmas? Would they be willing to go on record with a guarantee that all of their of made in China stuff is up to US code?

    As the father of two small children who consume a lot of made-in-China crap (thank you Disney Store), I am considering this policy: no China toys for Christmas 2007.

  4. hoo_foot says:

    You know what scares the hell out of me? How much hazardous junk from China is slips through inspections and never gets recalled? We’re up a recall from China a day now.

  5. dbeahn says:

    I’m waiting for that one guy to make another “Oh, everyone is just over reacting!” post lol

  6. dbeahn says:

    Oh, come on! OK, I’ll repost an old comment of his:


    We must continue to overreact to a small number of problems that we’re aware of!”

    Jeff, Jeff where are you? We need you to tell us all again how there aren’t REALLY any problems…

  7. savvy9999 says:

    Lead Paint swab kit = $7
    Millions of toxic toy recall = $10,000,000.00?

    I’m no math major, but isn’t quality control BEFORE slightly less expensive than damage control AFTER?

  8. rmz says:

    @savvy9999: “I’m no math major, but isn’t quality control BEFORE slightly less expensive than damage control AFTER?”

    Not if nobody notices the problem and you get away with it!

  9. gibsonic says:


    “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

    i would say “ban everything from china” but that is damn near impossible at this point in history.

    as a side note, i just let my kids play with sharp objects…but HEY they are MADE IN THE USA!

  10. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @Buran: Yep I have a 9 month old and as soon as he tried to crawl for the first time I had to put all my Military models and figures behind a locked glass display.

  11. Bill Brasky says:

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

  12. Pelagius says:

    Fine, they can have my toy cars. But they can pry my Cornballer from by cold, dead, hideously burned fingers.

  13. Crazytree says:

    A Chinese toy company executive would fill your kid’s Elmo doll with asbestos if it could make him a buck and he thought he could get away with it.

  14. Those Barbie and Tanner things are being recalled? That’s a shame, they were such wonderfully wholesome toys, especially the magnetic dog poo.

  15. Pelagius says:

    If there’s a time to revive toy manufacturing in America, this would be it. Your slogan could be “American Toy Company, Inc.: We don’t use lead paint”

  16. mopar_man says:

    I am considering this policy: no China toys for Christmas 2007.

    I think everybody should adopt that policy. It’ll be tricky though (I know I try not to buy anything made it China).

  17. esqdork says:

    @Crazytree: You don’t have to look outside our own borders to find some executive who would sell your child a dangerous product if the executive could make a buck and get away with it. Plenty of our own corporations export poison to other countries, make a profit and get away with it. Need I remind you of Monsanto?

  18. Buran says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: Checked it tonight and it’s from Thailand. Guess the Army’s secret plan to make poison jeeps has been foiled … for now!

  19. Dhalver_Xeno says:

    MOPAR_MAN: Better stop using your computer or thinking about ever upgrading the thing. Chances are that a high percentage of that boxing you are typing on right now is made in the PRC and chances are that the next computer you buy will have an even greater percentage of Chinese parts.

    Infact, I’m not sure if it is even possible to build a computer using off the shelf parts without having at least one Chinese component.

  20. Mom says:

    The title of this post is misleading: “Mattel Recalls Over 7 Million Chinese-Made Toys For Lead Paint, Magnets”. Of the 9.5 million Mattel toys recalled in the US on August 14th, only .2 million of them were due to lead paint. The vast majority of the Mattel Inc. recall consists of magnetic toys that turned out to have a defective design where magnets can fall out. Already 4 children have needed invasive surgery due to magnets they swallowed which attracted to eachother across the bowels and pierced their intestines, creating horrible infections. Mattel has received 570 reports from parents that magnets were released from these Polly Pocket, Batman, etc. toys. This one is not really about the whole Made In China controversy. This story is about Mattel making tons of money by selling toys with dangerous magnets to small children. WHAT DID THEY KNOW AND WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT? It sounds like they knew about the magnet safety problem for months if not years. First they agreed to a smaller recall in Nov. 2006 restricted to only 8 Polly Pocket models. Then it looks like they got hundreds more complaints covering dozens of other products, but didn’t tell the CPSC until a couple of weeks ago. Hmmmm. For a complete list of all 63 unsafe products and links to more info, go to [] There you can also read about the Chinese-made Magnetix toys which are made by Mega Brands of Canada and have also been subject to 2 recalls.