Final Assignment: Case Study: Mattel and Toy Safety

Case Study Mattel and Toy Safety

Bus.250 Corporate and Social Responsibility

Case Study: Mattel and Toy Safety


The world is rapidly changing and developing into a technology-enabled marketplace. As a result, communication has become faster, and businesses are also growing at a more rapid rate. Many large organizations have taken a global international approach. However, there is increased risks that the company’s’ standards will soon be ignored. Large businesses find it difficult in ensuring that the ethical standards are well followed. As a result, controlling such behaviors may be morally upstanding, but many companies choose to commit unethical, harmful business practices. Mattel has a reputation as one of the largest toy companies in the world. It suffered a series of product recall incidences from August 2007. The first recall was from China where sixty-five percent of Mattel’s toys were manufactured using paint with lead. The following incident involved a recall of other 500, 000 toys and then 20 million toys globally. In a double announcement, the company also recalled die-cast toy cars that had character serge from the animated film/cars because they were overlayed with lead paint. These series of recalls involve toys from different Chinese contractors, the latest in this series include a Chinese made goods, including contaminated pet food ingredients, defective tires, children jewelry and tainted kinds of toothpaste. In today’s environment, it is easy to take controls out of proportion; it can also be considered as the largest recall that Mattel agency has implemented representing a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions of toys sold to the United States annually. Consumer safety products standards provide a set of performance requirements that all products including toys must meet.

Explain if Mattel acted in a socially responsible and ethical manner with regard to the safety of its toys.

Mattel Incorporated did not act in a socially responsible and ethical manner about the safety of its toys. One of the reasons behind this argument is that various harmful and injurious components like paints with lead were utilized in making the toys. Such forms of harmful ingredients on toys are dangerous to children’s health. As a result, Mattel should have used a different product strategy in ensuring that the toxic products are not sold for the children to play with. A socially responsible and ethically concerned organization dealing with children toys should ensure that children of all ages are kept safe and healthy. The health and safety concerns are significant concerns for child care providers when interacting with children.

They should always be prepared in a manner to prevent injuries and illness to manage any form of emergencies. There several outcomes in using materials that can lead to safety concerns, therefore, Mattel Inc. should have inspected the toys before releasing them onto the market or for selling. The company could also have embraced unique item techniques to avert such kinds of dangerous materials in toys used by children (Business and Society: Stakeholders, P. (2018). The health and security issues for kids must be among the top priorities for any given organization; this should be enhanced through careful investigation of any new model of product both imported and manufactured within the nation. The healthcare measures need to be linked with specific regulations from health care Acts.

Product defects and difficulty with suppliers are typical kinds of issues that organizations experience in the line of work. Planning for tomorrow and being more conscientious with domestic and global manufacturers is necessary for preventing problems like product recall which most companies are not willing to be held responsible. Mattel should continue identifying the possible issues, enforcing strict manufacturing regulations to manufacture toys, reassure consumers that the products are child safe. Moreover, collaboration with suppliers and government agencies is essential to ensuring public wellbeing. The company has to get ready to tackle other issues including risk management audits. It can lead to a change for toy manufacturers by coming up with a more responsible industry or developing a corporate culture that makes it more socially responsible.

Who or what do you believe was responsible for the fact that children were exposed to potentially dangerous toys? Why do you think so?

There are several groups responsible for childhood exposure to potentially dangerous toys. Mattel’s Inc. role was importing the items and distributing them to various sellers. This explains the fact that there was a lack of response from the company; they never took the initiative of investigating or testing the products before distributing them. Any organizations that are socially responsible will always investigate any product through the agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administers (OSHA) among others in ensuring that no product sold to the public harms the final consumer(s). Another agency responsible for this harmful exposure to children is the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), it failed to discover this issues from the tie the toys were being imported from China (Mattel Inc. – About Us – Corporate Governance – Related Links. (2018). The primary role of this governmental agency is to monitor all products including kid’s toys and the related hazards and health risks. The agency can be implicated in allowing the lead-based paint to access children leading to serious health hazards. The quality control department also did not play its role as expected in line with production and distribution of goods.

The paint manufacturers were subcontracted to provide the paint needed for children’s toys without monitoring the quality or safety. This action was considered negligence by Mattel as a toy distribution company. It is the company’s responsibility to release toys to the public; as a result, they must ensure that the final items are not harmful. Mattel Inc. commitment to product quality and safety is an important and valuable point of concern. Putting their trust in manufacturers should not be an excuse to evade any issue that results from the products they distribute to the public. When the company allowed the toys to reach children, it was a sign of negligence. It is critical to ensure that those supplying products abide by the standards set by the current safety and regulations agencies, if this does not happen, then they should be held accountable for any health safety issues resulting from the products they distribute.

What is the best way to ensure the safety of children’s toys? What might explain the differences in their point of view?

It is the responsibility of every individual and organizations within the society to protect the health of children because they are considered the future of any given nation. Among the best ways to supporting the health of children include pushing the government to develop stronger laws and requirements which disclose all useful information concerning product manufacturing and production before they are released to the general public (Noble, B. (2018). This is necessary to assure protection to children from harmful products like toys. In addition to these, the stakeholders also hold a significant position regarding enhancing children’s safety. Any form of recall by an organization may imply or portray adverse outcome on the organizations acting contrary with the morality or not complying with the regulations set by government agencies working against product deformation and health safety standards.

As stated in this case, the consumer protection can also take a series of measures for the safety of children’s toys. Moreover, the consumer commission agency also has a great responsibility in protecting the safety of children as consumers from industrial harm or issues related to products like toys. They have the mandate to communicate with the manufacturers to ensure that no harmful are distributed within the nation. The American safety standards are in most instances acknowledged implying that product distribution must meet the set regulations.

Moreover, monitoring all the imports like toys coming into the nation is also an essential step in ensuring their safety. Government regulations in the United States should use the CPSC, to help them in protecting the public from any unreasonable risks or harm. In nations like China, they need to use paints not contaminated with any metal content like lead premium. This will be a good step in enhancing their business partnership with the U.S.

The toy industry requires all the toy manufacturers producing toys for the United States to be marketed to consumers and tested to US standards. However, the toy industry believes that with the new mandatory testing program put in place, the integrity of the products will be protected to ensure for the safety of the American children. It is therefore reasonable for the United States to step up and enforce specific laws which impose and protects the health of kids. Advice to Mattel Inc. would be that it should maintain standards and establish an oversight committee which can easily monitor or inspect products before they are released to the market. Moreover, the company must work to ensure that such recalls do not happen again because they may end up losing trust with their reliable customers. Safety toys are a matter of importance to the society and parents irrespective of whether they are in China or any other nation.

Working for the improved safety of children’s toys being consistent, the U.S consumer product safety commission has banned the use of lead paint in the manufacturing of toys. Moreover, the Chinese government has also encouraged their manufacturers to export the Chinese made products in line with the U.S safety rules. This is a vital sign from the Chinese’s government portraying the fact that China is becoming more concerned about the harmful products sold to American homes. Moreover, the CPSC is planning to increase the consumer product inspections manufactured for the U.S. It will also review the plan’s effectiveness and implement the possible improvements.

What do you think is the best way for society to protect children from harmful toys? Specifically, what are the appropriate roles for various stakeholders in this process?

One of the best means for a society to safeguard children from harmful toys includes the following; parents should closely monitor the recall list before acquiring any products. The children should never purchase toys before their parents review the recall list before purchasing any products. Moreover, schools and Daycares should also control the kind of toys they are buying, and where they are buying them for the children. Safety concerns, health hazards need to be double-checked for any related matter. Importing harmful foreign goods into the United States portrays a conflict of the national policy (Business and Society: Stakeholders, P. (2018). However, other nations like Chinas law concerning the safety standards may be different. This may lead to the exportation of dangerous goods to other countries contrary to other countries that like the American policy.

It is also crucial for a society to work together, become mindful of any possible harm and health risks which can affect children. It is necessary to communicate to retailers of the need to stop selling any product in case of an issue and remove them from shelves when a toy has been recalled; manufacturers should also promote testing and quality control measures before products are released to the public. In case any risk is identified after the products are distributed, recall order needs to be immediately announced. Government inspectors also need to target imported goods used for manufacturing in the United States. It will be essential if the American safety standards are updated and verified before confirming any shipment.


In conclusion, Mattel Inc. is a company which has experienced much criticism from stealing ideas for a toy line to the issue of selling the leaded paints on toys that are harmful to kids. Investigators revealed that the company officials produced and misleading financial information to make customers believe that the company was doing well. The company has also had its share recalls approximately twenty-eight in numbers. The biggest recall in history was experienced in 1997; Mattel recalled nineteen million toys from August to September 2007. The first recall was caused by the first toy recall as a result of defective magnets; toys had high energy magnets used for industrial reasons. The magnets pose significant threats to kids and infants who can easily swallow it. According to investigators, the magnets can easily stick together in the child’s digestive tract and cause stomach issue or rapture of stomach tissue.

However, Mattel handled the toy recall issue particularly the way it is recommended when an organizations image has been tarnished. The company’s management including the CEO was available and publicly apologetic, more importantly; Mattel told the truth with an immediate action essential in fixing the issue. These strategies were applied by the company’s manager to return the positive image the company had before. The toy recall crisis has educated many readers of the fact that the nation is experiencing an economic crisis mainly with the global manufacturing. While the U.S is trying to implement strict regulations to handle safety challenges, it is evident that we need to realize other difficulties experienced outside the nation like outside nations manufacturing products in large quantities.


Business and Society: Stakeholders, P. (2018). Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy. Retrieved from

Business and Society: Stakeholders, P. (2018). Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy. Retrieved from

Mattel Inc. – About Us – Corporate Governance – Related Links. (2018). Retrieved from

Noble, B. (2018). Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy / Edition 15. Retrieved from