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Mattel’s China Experience: a Crisis in Toyland

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Mattel’s China Experience: A Crisis in Toyland In 2007, Mattel a California based toy company shockingly recalled 19 million toys that had been manufactured in China. Mattel was founded in 1944, and has produced iconic toys such as Barbie and Hot Wheels. The company had a long established trust with their consumers that had been forged from decades of reliability. However, when the company recalled 19 million toys due to health and safety violations, consumer confusion and outrage soared. The public wanted to know how such an established company’s safety regulations could fail, how Mattel was addressing the issue, and whether consumers could trust Mattel to produce reliable toys in the future. Mattel had been a long time leader in the toy industry. Mattel and its main competitor Hasbro held control of over a third of the toy market, even in an industry with over 900 manufactures. However, there had been shifting trends in the toy industry. New electronics and video games were becoming increasingly popular among older children. Since Mattel manufactured classic toys such as dolls, the shifting trend forced the company to focus on marketing towards young children under the age of 12. While this segment responds well to Mattel’s products, they also are the most at risk of endangering themselves. The younger the children, the more likely they are to put toys in their mouth. This behavior puts children at risk of choking or ingesting harmful chemicals. Even with new adversities in the toy industry, Mattel remained a global leader. As seen in Exhibit A, a SWOT analysis of the company, Mattel had many different strengths that kept it a favorite among consumers. Some of its most significant strengths included its reputable brand name among consumers and its successful marketing of toys through children’s entertainment. Even with changing toy preferences, Mattel was…...

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