July 26, 2008 |
There's big trouble in the dollhouse. One of the jurors in the Barbie vs. Bratz trial -- in which toy giant Mattel Inc. already has scored a major victory over rival MGA Entertainment Inc. -- was removed Friday for making slurs about the ethnicity of Isaac Larian, the Iranian-born chief executive of MGA. A court order said the juror remarks characterized Iranians as "stubborn, rude" and as "thieves" who have "stolen other person's ideas."
February 14, 2008 |
Mattel Inc. and Jakks Pacific Inc. on Wednesday announced new deals to make wrestling action figures, the latest chapter in a story that has all the acrimony and shifting alliances of professional wrestling. Mattel has teamed with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. to make toys based on its popular wrestlers, and Jakks is matching up with WWE rival TNA Entertainment. Both deals -- which take effect in 2010 -- are for five years.
February 1, 2008 |
Mattel Inc. posted a 15% gain in fourth-quarter profit Thursday, even though it entered the crucial holiday season in the shadow of negative publicity over its recalls of millions of Chinese-made toys tainted with lead. The company said that tax gains and strong international sales of Hot Wheels and other toys helped offset the cost of the recalls. Still, the world's largest toy maker warned that it expected to rack up additional costs in 2008 as a result of the recalls. "We have a lot of litigation around the world on things related to product recalls, and we've got a significant case coming to trial this year," Robert A. Eckert, Mattel's chairman and chief executive, said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
November 22, 2007 |
In a risque video on YouTube, Ken and Barbie dolls are joining calls by high-profile Democrats for the resignation of Nancy Nord, acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In the video, shot and posted by the Campaign for America's Future, a liberal advocacy group, Ken and Barbie meet at a bar after breaking up and go to Barbie's house. A week later Barbie complains to Ken that she is "having some symptoms." When Ken asks what's wrong, she answers, "It's lead poisoning."
November 7, 2007 |
Mattel Inc. asked consumers to stop using 196,000 kitchen toys made in Mexico because small pieces may pose a choking hazard to children. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 2-in-1 Learning Kitchen toys were sold worldwide from May to October for about $70 each, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. There have been 48 reports of parts separating from the toys, with children gagging or choking on them.
October 11, 2007 |
Attorneys for a Michigan pension fund alleged in a shareholder lawsuit that Mattel Inc. had misled investors by delaying the reporting of defects in its toys to federal regulators, The lawsuit also accuses three current members and one former member of Mattel's board of engaging in illegal insider trading by dumping more than $33 million in stock before the company's massive toy recalls in the summer.
September 25, 2007 |
beijing -- China's state media on Monday welcomed U.S. toy maker Mattel's apology over its recalls of Chinese-made toys, saying that although overdue it should help restore the country's sullied export reputation. Mattel apologized in Beijing on Friday for recalling 21 million toys this summer, the majority of which had small magnets that could fall out and be harmful to children if swallowed. The company acknowledged the problem was a design flaw and not the fault of Chinese manufacturers.
September 21, 2007 |
The European Union's consumer chief has asked Mattel Inc. for details of quality control measures introduced since the company's recall of millions of Chinese-made toys, and she warned the company that it faced a major task in rebuilding trust in the industry. Meglena Kuneva told Mattel that she would push for new EU rules if not enough was done to stop dangerous toys from coming to market.
September 13, 2007 |
Testifying to a Congressional panel, Mattel Inc. Chief Executive Robert Eckert said Wednesday that the toy company had upgraded its methods to keep toys safe from excess lead and pointed to overseas contractors as the source of problems that triggered recent recalls affecting more than 20 million toys. "We were let down, and we let you down," Eckert told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.