In response to Mattel’s national recall of nearly one million toys due to concerns over lead poisoning, Nickelodeon, which licenses its Dora the Explorer character to Mattel’s Fisher-Price division, expressed confidence in the toy company's reaction and pledged to monitor its own licensing processes.
Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, announced yesterday that it is recalling 967,000 toys manufactured in China because they are coated in lead paint. In addition to Nickelodeon characters Dora and Diego, the toys feature the Sesame Street characters, including Elmo and Cookie Monster.
A spokesman for Nick, part of Viacom’s MTV Networks, offered the following statement in response to an inquiry from B&C:
“Fisher-Price identified the problem very early through their own internal processes, and we have every assurance from them and the Consumer Products Safety Commission that this voluntary recall is being handled as swiftly and efficiently as possible. We remain in close communication with Fisher-Price, and we're confident they have the best protections in place.
“We regularly review our licensees' procedures and re-examine them each time we enter into a contract and any renewal. We feel we have the right protections in place but also believe we must continue to update our licensing processes to adapt to the ever-changing global marketplace. Accordingly, we will be adapting our protocols for our licensees to ensure that best practices and the highest safety standards are met.”
This is the second major toy recall this year. In June, RC2 recalled 1.5 million Chinese made Thomas the Tank Engine toys due to lead paint hazards.
Additional reporting by Sarah Outhwaite