The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Barbie add-ons in recall line
- Mattel issues voluntary alert over level of lead

Mumbai, Sept. 5: Mattel, the world’s biggest toy maker, has announced a recall that involves Barbie playset accessories.

The toys, made in China, cover eight Barbie playsets and three Fisher-Price models. No Barbie dolls have been included.

The recall — the third so far — comes on top of last month’s decision to replace some Fisher-Price and Batman toys because of the presence of impermissible levels of lead.

In India, close to 7,500 pieces of these toys sold since January this year will be recalled. Mattel Toys (India), a subsidiary of the US-based company, said the two Barbie accessories that have been affected by the recall include the K8605 deluxe furniture assortment and K8510 premium playset assortment.

Of these, the first series include K8606, a table and chairs kitchen playset; K8607, a bathtub and toilet playset; K8608, a living room playset; and K8609, a desk and chair bedroom playset.

The K8510 premium playset assortment includes a living room playset. The company said it wouldn’t be replacing the playsets but only some components. For instance, in the K8605 deluxe furniture assortment, the affected parts include two plates with food, a miniature dog, potato chip bowl, salad bowl and a miniature cat. Similarly, a purse that comes with K8613 living room playset should be returned.Sanjay Luthra, the managing director of Mattel Toys (India), said that while the deluxe furniture assortment came at a priceof Rs 400, the premium playset assortment was priced at Rs 699.

Luthra said the voluntary recall is part of Mattel’s plan to build consumer confidence in a market that is dominated by the unorganised sector. “This came after we did a complete audit of the product category. In a market where you are competingagainst the unorganised sector and where there are so many unsafe toys, consumers will understand the rationale behind this recall,” he said.

Luthra explained that in this case, the company found excessive quantities of lead from the yellow pigment of the paint. Mattel, he said, did not want to take any chances as children could be harmed if they consumed some paint that chipped off from the toy.

In August, Mattel recalled a Batman toy because of the risk that it could liberate small magnets that might be swallowed by a child. This came after it undertook a similar exercise with certain Fisher-Price toys. In India, close to 2000 Batman models and 300FischerPrice were affected by the recall.

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