Mattel Inc was set yesterday to announce the recall of a Chinese-made toy because it may contain excessive amounts of lead paint. The expected announcement would mark the second recall involving lead paint by the world's largest toy maker within two weeks.
The latest recall, whose details could not be immediately learned, involves a different Chinese supplier, according to three people close to the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
It follows a highly publicized worldwide recall, announced on Aug. 1 by Mattel's Fisher-Price division, of 1.5 million preschool toys featuring characters such as Dora the Explorer, Big Bird and Elmo. That action included 967,000 toys sold in the US between May and this month.
One of the three people confirmed the latest case involves lead paint.
Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, declined to comment. Mattel officials did not immediately return phone calls.
On Aug. 2, Mattel apologized to customers for the preschool toy recall and said the move would cut pretax operating income by US$30 million.
The second Mattel recall would mark the latest in a string of toy recalls that have rocked the toy industry just as it prepares for the critical holiday season. With more than 80 percent of toys sold worldwide made in China, toy sellers are nervous that shoppers will shy away from their products.
In June, toy maker RC2 Corp voluntarily recalled 1.5 million wooden railroad toys and set parts from its Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line. The company said the surface paint on certain toys and parts made in China between January 2005 and April last year contain lead, affecting 26 components and 23 retailers.