Another recall for Mattel
By JAMIE BROWN
MATTEL has recalled more than 460,000 toys across 31 varieties, including Batman and Barbie accessories, in its second major recall this month, and toy shop owners are not happy.
Carey Horner, of Lismore Toy Kingdom, spent several hours pulling the Polly Pocket, Pollyworld, Batman and Barbie lines off the shelves, dealing with customers returning their wares, repackaging the whole lot and freighting it back to Mattel.
"It is a pain," he confided. "These companies cut corners to keep their products cheap, although Mattel is doing everything right through this total recall.
"I'd love more Australian toys on my shelves but the question is 'would people be able to afford them?'"
Dallas Palmer, of North Coast Hobby Centre, said he took the recall seriously, with the threat of fines very real.
"Mattel is doing the right thing by recalling these toys, but at the end of the day it is the retailer who cops it from the Department of Fair Trading if any items are left on our shelves," he said.
"The consumer is protected by law but there is no legal avenue to protect the retailer from the supplier of faulty toys."
If a shop is found to have recalled toys still on their shelves they can be fined $500 for a first offence and up to $100,000 for repeat offenders.
The recall is Mattel's second for the month and follows another recall for different toys including Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer items because of lead-based paint used on them.
"In my opinion manufacturers do what they can to drive costs down," Mr Palmer said.