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the Toys of Death

category international | consumer issues | other press author Wednesday September 05, 2007 09:20author by fu manchu Report this post to the editors

Just as the British ministry of Defence admit they're on the long list of Western military offices hacked by the People's Republic of China - & gun-ho patriots demand surgical strikes on China, the esteemed advocator of family & caucasian values of beauty and healthy living which is the Mattel Toy Corporations announce their 3rd product recall this year.

Less than 150 years ago, a female kid was happy to play with a bit of sackcloth stuffed with straw or a male kid was encouraged to tie a bit of pig gut to a forked stick. Posh kids (of the male variety) were offered lead soldiers to re-enact regimental glories at Waterloo and posh kids (of the child girl variety) were offered endless coloured ribons of the Laura Ingles "little house on the prarie" type.

Then Mattel came along and sold us Barbie.

At last Barbie's Dog is deemed unsafe
At last Barbie's Dog is deemed unsafe

At first Barbie dolls and the accesories to same, things like a dog, a boyfriend, a bitchy pal, a mirror, a celulite massage kit, a SUV 4x4 vehicle, and a 15,000kg Carbon emission each flight -private jet were made lovingly and with pride by people with no teeth and lengthy mullets in the USA.
But then modern globalised economics and Richard Nixon showed it was possible and feasible to move such factories out to China where people with no teeth and not a sign of mullets or notions of trailer parks could make them for a fraction of the price.

Of course you must come to grips with the multiple enormities of this issue.

1) If you know a kid (of either boy or girl kind) with a Barbie doll, Superhero Marvell movie franchise spin-off, or any accesory to same - that kid has now got lead poisoning. Nothing to worry about - it just ended the Roman Empire.
2) The Chinese aren't taking this lying down. In the last year they've refused imports of all types of goods and materials from both the EU and USA. Everytime Mattel worry for your kids' welfare as they suck the paint off their barbie doll - the Chinese retaliate and stop an import of precious hardwood.
3) This will end in war or rather.......... this is the war. Now long before I graduated from watching Hammer House B movies of the Fu Manchu genre to reading the original Sax Rohmer books of the late 19th century, I knew what Fu Manchu represented. & I reckon he's the side to bet on. We have several million less "made in China" dolls - & are we not better off without them? And the Chinese are refusing to import US handled hardwood which fine Yankee lumberjacks have carefully chopped out of the rainforests.


Women in Panyu, Guangdong Province making toys (but not for Mattel)
Women in Panyu, Guangdong Province making toys (but not for Mattel)

author by fu manchupublication date Fri Sep 21, 2007 18:38Report this post to the editors

After lengthy discussions between representatives of manufacturers in the People's Republic of China the largest toy manufacturer in the world and one of the most ubiqitous US corporations has climbed down & apologised. They sent faulty designs to the Chinese which included lethal levels of lead and other toxins in the paint coz it was cheap. They quite plausibly thought it could be blamed on the Chinese too if anything went wrong.

2 executives have since committed suicide, one on the US and the other on the Chinese side.

The Mattel corporation has not yet updated their message from Mr Bob Eckhart........ Mattel CEO - chairman -president -world leader -alpha male - works hard for a living - [late 2005 disclosure under "The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 USA" revealed $1,000,000 per year; and a grant of 25,000 restricted stock units (“RSUs”) with dividend equivalents].... to include the apology made by Thomas Debrowski, their executive vice president for worldwide operations to the Chinese today.

"Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologises personally to you, the Chinese people and all of our customers who received the toys," he told Li Changjiang, head of China's product quality watchdog.

"It is important for everyone to understand that the vast majority of these products that we recalled were the result of a flaw in Mattel's design, not through a manufacturing flaw in Chinese manufacturers."

a news-source which will in the full breadth of time prove easier to find than an encyclical -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7006599.stm If you'd like to follow up on this story in either an artistic sense, silly rant or even "hope of hopes" a properly incisive & well written report of social and worker interest to indymedia readers - here's a resource link to Mattel corp. http://www.google.es/search?num=30&hl=es&safe=off&rlz=1...ng_en

author by Fu Manchu - (iosaf mac diarmada)publication date Fri Sep 21, 2007 20:09Report this post to the editors

I'm adding illustrations because today's apology by Mattel vice-president for world operations Thomas Debrowski is very big news. & it is really our sort of international news.

The Irish media sidestepped the last product recall which this article reported simply noting the listed goods did not affect Ireland. All the same many hundreds of toys were recalled in Ireland in the previous "emergencies".
The Mattel corporation have in less than two months recalled 20 million toys worldwide. The manufacturing quality reputation of Chinese industry has been injustifiably slandered and libelled. And this was not only done to protect your kids from poisonous paint. The USA and EU combined forces to challenge all Chinese manufacturing. The EU commissioner for imports Meglena Kuneva suggested a blanket ban on all goods coming from the PRC as response to the allegations made by Mattel and the immediate thinly veiled racism which saw those allegations spun in western media. *& That was only yesterday!*

But why?

# Do either the USA or EU want to take back the production jobs they moved in the name of economic rationalisation to PRC and Taiwan, perhaps as part of a new worker paradise of full employment from the Mexican border to Estonia?
# Has the rationale by which Richard Nixon could spread globalised production & find low skill workers in Asia rather than blue collar America ended?
# Do they wish to undermine the migration nodes which China has seen blossom in recent years, thinking now there are too many Chinese people working in Chinese clothing or novelty good distribution?
# Do they wish to cut the global impact China is undoubtedly having on globalised economics after the setting up of her "special administrative regions " of Hong Kong & Macau and her SEZ's ("special economic zones")?

I argue that they (meaning the neo-liberal globalists be they so called "neo-con" or "social democrat" alike want all those things. The "yellow peril" hysteria which excused western inteference in China a century ago and racist attacks throughout the western empires and USA has returned in another form. I understand that as being "par for the course". I have always argued that free market globalisation is ironically nothing more than a return to protectionist market 19th century imperialism.

The legacy of Fu Manchu it seems lives on.

As will all news which plays on prejudice, the 20 million consumers who gave their toys back to retaillers and ultimately Mattel - will not now readily turn from the libel or slander on Chinese industry. As simple proof let's look at how Mr Eckhart the "million a year toymaker who worries for your kids" managed to pull off a stock value increase today after chatting to the US safety board.
One Mattel share today sold at 23.97$ on the New York Stock Exchange, the corporation enjoyed a slight bouyancy of 1.74%. Yep you read it. Mattel stock is worth more today, coz nobdy in investor land read the apology......or cared about it......before close of trading. That's Biz.

coverage so far of the "apology"

http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,507126,00.html (spiegel used the same illustration I started out with - that damned Barbie dog. belonged in a camp. no?)

Mattel CEO gets over 1,000,000$ a year &  25,000$ stock options. a Chinese worker gets 4,397$
Mattel CEO gets over 1,000,000$ a year & 25,000$ stock options. a Chinese worker gets 4,397$

Get it clear - 20 million deadly toys were made in the U$A
Get it clear - 20 million deadly toys were made in the U$A

author by fu manchupublication date Fri Sep 21, 2007 20:58Report this post to the editors

I'm sorry it isn't 1,000,000$ a year with 25,000$ stock options. He doesn't get bonuses but does get other compensations. we call these perks. Just as well when you're being sued by parents and have the deaths of one Mattel executive and one Chinese factory boss on your hands even though your stock price is going up.
He gets 1,250,000$ wages in 2006. & complete compensation (perks) to stood at $4,744,559.
In total the man got paid 5,994,559$ last year. His options (perks which keep you loyal) stood at 3,750,000 exercisable (meaning he could stroke them) worth $13,710,000 and just beyond his reach saved up for a rainy day were 750,000 shares in non-exercisable options. At the close of 2006 he had a total value of $13,710,000 to his name in Mattel stock. Oh yep, he's also a director of McDonalds. They do food. It's quite probably poisonous but don't go handing out pamphlets. Now many people will say I'm being prejudiced against big business in this article and the last 2 comments as I report the big capitalist news this week

" "It is important for everyone to understand that the vast majority of these products that we recalled were the result of a flaw in Mattel's design, not through a manufacturing flaw in Chinese manufacturers." which of course was what beta-male-not-so-tough Mr Dubrowski said on his piddling $706,154 a year salary with $1,350,359 options totalling only $2,056,513.

So I won't be prejudiced. IT's important to give the other side of the picture. the Mattel corporation scores 88 out of 100 on gay rights and transexual equality corporate employment, the average for Fortune 500 companies is only 81. Great news there, that no-one cares if you're queer or were born with different dangly bits in the company that leaves genitals off its dolls.

Let's go back to Mr Dubrowski, he's up and coming, & obviously feeling the whole thing.

"These recalls have been very, very devastating to our company. We make products for 150 countries around the world, but no one has been hurt more by the recall other than Mattel,' he told Li in front of a group of reporters."

now that's forthright and honest for a man whose stock has managed to go up since I wrote my last comment, silly me forgot they're still trading over in NYC. It's now at 24.01$ a pop. The good folk of the capitalist world know the best way to mark the suicide of Hong Kong entrepeneur Zhang Shuhong who hung himself over this is to rally round and buy U$ stock. Strange how only a few weeks ago he "was so evil-hearted to have sold the fake paint to our boss ... our boss was ruined by his best friend," a manager of the company, surname Liu, was quoted as saying to Reuters, the week "the Economist" ran the China toxic toy scoop story. http://www.economist.com/people/displaystory.cfm?story_...90265

Related Link: http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2007/09/....html
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