Mattel names `lead paint' vendor


Thu, Aug 09, 2007 - Page 10

Mattel Inc identified the Chinese vendor that made nearly 1 million Fisher-Price toys that were recalled last week because they may contain lead.

Lee Der Industrial Company Ltd, located in Guangdong Province, made the 967,000 toys sold under the Fisher-Price brand in the US between May and August, Mattel said on Tuesday.

Last week, Mattel recalled the plastic preschool toys, including popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters, because they were made with paint found to have excessive amounts of lead.

Mattel, the world's largest toy maker, apologized to customers for the recall and said the move would cut pretax operating income by US$30 million.

Mattel spokeswoman Jules Andres said on Tuesday that all the toys that were recalled were made by the one vendor and that the company has "ceased accepting shipments from the facility."

Mattel has shared the name of the vendor with competitors who may also be doing business with the Chinese company, Andres said.

She said she did not know what other toys might have been made at the facility for other companies, but that the company felt it was important for competitors to have the information.

"We do not consider safety to be a competitive advantage," she said.

The Chinese vendor could not immediately be reached for comment. A man at a Lee Der Industrial Company in Guangdong Province said it made cardboard boxes, not toys, while a woman who answered the telephone at another number listed under the name said that company had gone bankrupt.

A man in the production department of Mattel's office in Foshan City, Guangdong, said he was "not clear" about Lee Der and hung up without giving additional details.