The Ethical And Social Responsibility Of The Mattel Toys

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What comes to mind when thinking about childhood playtime? Memories of playing with Barbie and her dream house or racing Hot Wheel cars are most often thought about. Do you ever stop to think, where those toys were made, or if the company making them is ethical? Most consumers do not, however the leaders at Mattel do. Mattel knows they have an ethical and social responsibility to their customers. Their goal is to produce toys that are not only safe but also made at ethically run production facilities. Case Study: Identification Ruth and Elliot Handler and Harold “Matt” Matson started their business venture as a picture frame company. Their first production shop was a garage in Southern California in the early 1940’s (www.mattel.com).…show more content…
Even with all their success came hard times. Mattel wanting to grow the company made some costly acquisitions when they purchased Tyco Toys in 1997, Pleasant Company and Bluebird Toys PLC in 1998 and lastly the Learning Company in 1999. These purchases cost Mattel over $5 billion, and they had a loss in revenue of $500 million. The losses continued into the fourth quarter of 1999 with a reported loss of $184 million. March 2006, one of Mattel’s acquisition companies, American Girl Inc., had to recall about 180,000 pieces of American Girl Children’s Jewelry due to toxic levels of lead paint. (cpsc.gov) Lead paint was then also found in several more products leading to four other recalls over then next year and a half, in various Mattel toys. Lead based paint, wasn’t the only major recall issue Mattel was having at that time, toys were also being recalled for small loose magnets. If a child swallowed the magnet they could choke. If more than one magnet was swallowed it could cause the magnets to attract one another inside a child causing infection, blockage or internal perforations all of which could be fatal. Mattel had to turn this company back around, financially and ethically. External corrections included, a video of Mattel’s CEO, Mr. Eckert, apologizing. In the video Mr. Eckert lets the public know that changing the past is impossible, but ensuring this does not happen in the future is in their control. It aired on Mattel’s webpage and on

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