Mom Confronts Mattel at Corporate HQ Over Toy Recall
EL SEGUNDO, Aug. 23, 2007 (KABC-TV) (KABC) -- She was worried her children's toys could be tainted, so a local mom took action and took on giant toymaker Mattel.
Scared and angry about possibly dangerous amounts of lead in her children's toys, a Southland mother has taken her concerns directly to toy-making giant Mattel.
At Mattel headquarters in El Segundo, one mom's mission and how the giant toy maker responded.
The Westchester mom tells us she has a 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter, a 13-month-old son, a house to run. She asks, When are you supposed to have time to go to the Web site and check out the lengthy list of recalled toys? Out of frustration, she packed up the family and the toys and came to Mattel seeking action. She got it.
When it comes to her children's toys, Dana Parker, like other parents, just wants them to be safe. So when she heard Mattel's CEO last week talk about toys with tainted lead paint being recalled, she declared that was it. So she packed a suitcase and some plastic trash bags with the kids' Fisher-Price and Mattel toys, put them, her two kids, and mom in the car and drove straight to Mattel's El Segundo headquarters.
"You guys take the time, you guys take the effort because I can't figure it out and I didn't have faith that I was reading the right numbers. They look the same," said Dana Parker.
After about a 20-minute wait, two people from Mattel's Consumer Products Division came down to check out her kids' toys.
"I went through in a conference room and went through piece by piece and I left there knowing that all my toys were not on a recall list. They also sent me an updated copy of the recall list, a printed version. I walked away feeling better," said Parker.
Mattel recently recalled toys made with tainted lead paint, all manufactured in China. The recall also includes a number of Fisher-Price toys. Wednesday, it was announced that more Chinese-manufactured toys are being recalled, among them, about 250,000 SpongeBob SquarePants address books and journals imported by Martin Designs Incorporated have been found to have paint with high levels of lead. As far as Mrs. Parker is concerned, she tells me she's not going to be shopping for toys anytime soon.
"Honestly, I'm not buying anymore toys for a little while, but if I do, I now have a little more confidence in Mattel," said Parker.
Mattel released a statement: "Sometimes people just need a personal touch and my colleague and I were happy to provide that," wrote Valerie Rodgers, with the company's consumer relations department. She's been with Mattel for 30 years. She goes on to say: "I really understand her concern. As a mom, this has been a challenge for Mattel, too. So if I could personally make a difference to one mother, it was time well spent for me."
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