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Mattel Recalls Polly Pocket, Barbie and Other Toys for Lead Paint and Magnet Hazards

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Mattel, Inc. announced a massive recall today of magnet play sets and die cast cars. It is the second recall by the toy giant in as many weeks. On August 1, Mattel’s issued a Fisher-Price recall that impacted more than 1 million toys for a lead paint hazard. But this latest Mattel recall is much larger, and covers millions of toys. It also includes very popular Mattel lines such as Barbie and Polly Pocket toys. A complete list of the toys affected by the Mattel and Fisher Price recall Click Here.

Magnetic toy sets make up the largest portion of this recall. Mattel is recalling 7.3 million Polly Pocket Play Sets; 1 million Doggie Day Care Play Sets; 683,000 Barbie and Tanner Play Sets; and 345,000 Batman and One Piece Action Figures because magnets on the toys can come loose. If swallowed, these magnets can pose a serious hazard to children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recall notice, the magnets measure 1/8 of an inch in diameter and are embedded in the hands and feet, plastic clothing and accessories of the toys. If more than one is ingested, the powerful magnets can attract each other in the intestinal tract. This can cause the intestines to twist, and can lead to bowel obstructions, intestinal perforations and other serious injuries.

This is not the first time Mattel has recalled magnet toys for this hazard. In November 2006, the company issued a recall of 2.4 million other Polly Pocket Play Sets for the same reason. According to the CPSC recall notice, Mattel has had more than 400 reports of magnets coming out of the recalled toys. No injuries involving toys from this recall have been reported. But prior to the 2006 recall, the CPSC had three reports of serious injuries caused by magnets from Polly Pocket toys. All three of those children suffered intestinal perforations and had to undergo surgery.

In addition to the magnet toy recall, Mattel is also recalling 253,000 “Sarge” die cast toy cars for lead paint contamination. Sarge is a character from the popular Disney movie “Cars”. The toys, which were manufactured in China, contain lead levels in excess of what is permitted by law. According to the CPSC recall notice, lead is hazardous when ingested by young children. Exposure to lead can cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities and other health problems. This is the second time in two weeks that Mattel has recalled toys for a lead hazard. On August 1, its Fisher-Price unit recalled more than a million toys for high levels of lead. Those toys were also made in China.

Parents and caregivers should check to see if they have any of the recalled Mattel and Fisher Price toys. The recalled Mattel toys should be taken away from children immediately. Consumers can contact Mattel to receive a voucher for a replacement toy of equal value. This step by Mattel may prove to be too little to late for children that end up in the hospital and/or in surgery due to the recalled toys.

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