Mattel Gets Fined for Lead Toys, Three Years and One Terrible Law Too Late.


hipster baby toys

Remember when all those toys were full of lead and everyone freaked out? Remember a full year later when Congress passed badly-written, redundant, do-something legislation? Remember when that legislation went into effect and wound out scaring the bejeesus out of small toymakers and others who suddenly found themselves laboring under strict (and often pointless) testing requirements? And remember when I wrote a big article about this in the June issue?

It all seems so long ago.

And yet! After years of hullabaloo, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has finally gotten around to levying a $2.3 million fine against Mattel and Fisher-Price for violating a perfectly good law that went into effect in 1978. That law, of course, already banned all of the stuff that freaked people out in 2007.

From the Homemade Toy Alliance, which is leading the fight against the new law:

"One of the biggest frustrations with this issue is that Mattel and Fisher-Price broke a law that was already on the books, but the Congress reacted by writing another law that doesn't improve the safety of children's products on the market," Mary Newell of Terrapin Toys (OR) states. "Instead, small companies get penalized for not having the capital to third party test their safe products, and Mattel and Fisher-Price get a financial slap on the wrist."