WASHINGTON — Toy maker Fisher-Price Inc. is recalling 83 types of toys -- including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters -- because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead.
The worldwide recall involves 967,000 plastic preschool toys made by a Chinese vendor and sold in the United States since May. It is the latest in a wave of recalls that has heightened global concern about the safety of Chinese-made products.
The recall is the first for Fisher-Price and parent company Mattel Inc. involving lead paint. It is the largest for El Segundo-based Mattel since 1998, when Fisher-Price had to yank about 10 million Power Wheels from stores.
David Allmark, general manager of Fisher-Price, said Wednesday that the problem was detected by an internal probe and reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fisher-Price and the commission issued statements saying parents should keep suspect toys away from children and contact the company.