Mattel is in the middle of a messy toy recall due to the presence of lead in some paints used in some toys. Lead content in these paints and on these toys, are dangerous if ingested. The toy major has initiated a recall in the US and Canadian markets for certain models of toys produced after May 01, 2007.

With a lot of finger pointing going on one wonders, who is responsible.

The company which owns the trademarks Fisher-Price or Mattel or any other manufacturer worth its salt, want to make more profits and outsource their manufacturing to cheaper countries like China. 

The Chinese factory which contract manufactures these toys wants to make more profits and may go slack on quality control or even ethical practices and source material from spurious sources.

The consumer is not willing to pay top dollar for the product that will be produced in a more expensive factory with better quality controls.

Consumers, namely myself, buy a toy of a reputed brand under the impression and in the comfort that the toy would conform to safety standards, because of the trust placed in that brand. The toy is expected to perform in a certain manner and not supposed to hurt my child. That is why the extra buck is paid. Once the perception that quality is not ensured gets into the mind of the consumer, then the downfall of that brand, its stock price and any goodwill that it has earned will be eroded and will disappear slowly.

China, also known as the factory of the world, will lose its USP of low costs if it does not adhere to quality standards of its customers. Non adherence will lead to an erosion in the value that the Chinese economy adds to the global market.

I found a Mattel Construction Playset in my child’s toy box. Luckily, the product was purchased prior to May 01 2007 and it seems that the recall does not include the ones I bought.

A lucky escape, meanwhile the vicious cycle continues….

 check the recall list here