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Parents' confidence in toymakers erodes in wake of two recalls

August 16, 2007|By TAMELA BAKER

For information about the toys recall, go to www.mattel.com/safety/us/




HAGERSTOWN - A series of recalls from the world's largest toy manufacturer has parents digging through toy boxes to find out whether their children's dolls or cars are on the danger list.

Mattel Inc. on Tuesday issued its second recall in as many weeks of toys manufactured in China. In Tuesday's announcement, Mattel said it was voluntarily recalling 18.2 million Polly Pocket, Doggy Day Care, Batman, Barbie and One Piece toys with small magnets that could come loose and cause serious injuries if swallowed.

Also recalled were 436,000 die-cast "Sarge" toy Jeeps that are among a collection of toy cars based on the Pixar film "Cars."

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The announcement followed a recall Mattel issued earlier this month of 1.5 million Fisher Price toys because of lead paint.

A check of local stores Wednesday afternoon showed plenty of Polly Pocket dolls and "Cars" cars on shelves, but the specific models being recalled were not seen. At Wal-Mart and KBtoys, lots of other "Cars" were available, but no "Sarge" was found. At Toys R Us, the "Cars" racks were empty.

Kmart and Toys R Us had a small army of Polly Pocket toys, and Target had several as well, but the specific play sets on the recall list weren't found.

Still, some local moms were well aware of the recall and some said the recalls had begun to erode their confidence in Mattel products.

"Unfortunately, very much so," said Jodie Coode of Hagerstown, whose daughters, Elizabeth Coode, 11, and Samantha White, 7, play with Polly Pocket and Barbie dolls. Polly Pocket, said Elizabeth, "are my favorites."

"We have Polly Pockets and Barbies everywhere to go through," her mother said. And because she works at a preschool, she said she and her co-workers worry about the Fisher Price toys as well.

Diana Dickinson of Hagerstown said she was aware of the recall, but that she hadn't purchased any of them for her children, Timmy, 1; and Lilly, 2. "I mostly buy soft toys and educational toys for them," she said.

Julie Tracy of Hagerstown said she was a little concerned about the Barbie toys because of daughter Madison, 5. And she said her son, Brier, 7, had several of the "Cars" toys, but she wasn't sure if he had "Sarge."

Other than that, she said her children had outgrown most of the toys in the earlier recall which included Dora, Diego, Big Bird and Elmo figures - but that she'd already purchased "Dora" Christmas gifts for her younger nieces and nephews and now had to check them to see if they fell under the recall list.

Coode was concerned about holiday gifts as well. When she saw the toys being recalled, she said "there goes half my Christmas list."

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