Mattel Gets Tough on Chinese Suppliers

Second recall was a serious wake-up call
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2007 11:57 AM CDT
A vendor stands near toy cars in a department store in Beijing Tuesday Aug. 28, 2007. China launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday to weed out unqualified toy makers in the wake of a massive worldwide...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The first batch of lead-tainted toys it had to recall, Mattel wrote off as an isolated incident—"a single vendor who made a big mistake.” But when it came to recalling 1.5 million unsafe Barbie dolls, Sarge jeeps and other toys made in China, the company knew its relationships with Chinese contractors would have to be overhauled, the New York Times reports. 

Now Mattel—which had been one of the more successful US firms manufacturing in China—is in hyper-vigilance mode: The company has been shipping containers full of toys made in Chinese factories to Mattel-owned plants in Mexico for double-checking. In its most vulnerable position in memory, the toy giant is also running ads featuring its CEO, Robert Eckert, vowing to keep customers' children safe.