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Mattel Announces Chinese Toy Recall in Korea

Posted August. 16, 2007 07:19,   


Following U.S. toy-making giant Mattel Inc.’s decision to recall 18 million Chinese toys that were found to contain more than the standard amount of harmful “lead paint,” it was also found that Korea also imported Chinese toys that contained the paint.

“In accordance with the U.S. headquarters’ additional recall announced on Tuesday, we have decided to issue an immediate recall of the five types – 14,000 Chinese toys – imported to Korea,” said an official of Mattel Korea.

The U.S. headquarters announced that it would recall 430,000 Chinese toy cars that were found to contain paint lead and 18.2 million magnetic toys that have magnets that could potentially be swallowed by children.

The recall list includes five Chinese toy models that have been imported to Korea. Among the five problematic toys, the “Cars Movie Moment Assortment,” which was imported in March of this year, was the only product found to contain excessive levels of lead paint.

The product includes "Sarge," a 7-centimeter-long military jeep from the hit animated film "Cars." Among the 600 jeep toys imported to Korea, more than 300 of them have been sold in Korea through discount or toy stores, according to sources.

In addition, the “Pollywood Limo-Scene Vehicle,” the “PP Twirl N Swirl Beauty Case,” the “Polly World Rock Theme Park, and the “My Friend Barbie and Tanner” have been included in the recall list because they contain small magnets that could be swallowed by children.

If the recalled toys have been imported to Korea through private importers, a greater number of the toys could have been distributed in Korea.

“We have discontinued the sales of the ‘Cars Movie Moment Assortment’ and ‘My Friend Barbie and Tanner’ from Tuesday,” said a senior officer of Shinsegae`s E-Mart division.

In this regard, Mattel Korea said, “Our products imported by private companies or purchased in the U.S. are also subject to recall.”

You can call Mattel Korea’s customer satisfaction center (080-000-4622) or visit the recall product information website (www.toyrecall.co.kr) for more information.

Chinese-made children’s toys have a market share of 80 percent in the world. Chinese toys have been recalled 15 times due to lead paint and nine times due to magnet issues in the U.S. since 2005.

parky@donga.com sechepa@donga.com