Mattel, the nation's largest toymaker, has recalled more than 9 million toys because of lead paint and tiny magnets that toddlers could swallow.  The newly recalled toys included an estimated 345,000 (combined) Batman (4 skus) and One Piece (1 sku) action figures, which contain tiny magnets that are dangerous when ingested.  Just two weeks ago Mattel had to recall 1.5 million Chinese-made Fisher Price pre-school toys because of lead paint.  The latest recall had an effect on Mattel's stock price, which declined by almost 2.5% in the wake of the new announcement, which included the 'Sarge' die cast car based on the Jeep-like character from Pixar's hit movie Cars.


Magna Wing J1946

The Batman figures involved in Tuesday's recall all feature tiny magnets and include: the Batman Magna Battle Armor Batman Figure (J1944), the Batman Magna Fight Wing Batman Figure (J1946), the Batman Secret ID Figure (J5114), and the Batman Flying Fox Figure (J5115). 


The One Piece figure involved in the recall is The One Piece Triple Slash Zolo Roronoa Figure (J4142). 


These toys were sold in the North American market starting in June of 2006.


Flying Fox J5115

While the blame for using lead paint clearly falls on Mattel's Chinese subcontractors, who ignored the American toymaker's restrictions, culpability for the magnet-based elements of the recall is harder to determine, although TV commentators, anxious to blame the Chinese whenever possible, have lumped all the elements of the recall together.  The magnet-bearing action figures were produced as designed and there is no denying that these tiny powerful magnets provide lots of play value.  The problem is simply that sometimes under the harsh conditions of children's play the magnets come loose and if swallowed they can cause all sorts of problems particularly if the child ingests more than one magnet.  Though Mattel denies that any of magnets from the Batman toys recalled today have resulted in serious injury, since 2003 one U.S. child has died and 19 have required surgery following the ingestion of magnets from toys.

Secret ID J5114