Mattel Apologizes for Toy Recall

Mattel (MAT) apologized Thursday to customers affected by a recall nearly a million toys from its Fisher-Price division and said the move will cut pretax operating income at the world's largest toymaker by $30 million.

The plastic preschool toys were made in China with paint found to have excessive amounts of lead.

"We apologize to everyone affected by this recall, especially those who bought the toys in question," Robert A. Eckert, Mattel Inc.'s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

"Our goal is to correct this problem, improve our systems and maintain the trust of the families that have allowed us to be part of their lives by acting responsibly and quickly to address their concerns," he said.

Mattel shares fell 55 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $23.03 in afternoon trading Thursday.

The apology came a day after El Segundo-based Mattel disclosed the recall of 967,000 toys manufactured by a Chinese vendor and sold in the United States between May and August.

Included in the recall were 83 types of toys based on the popular characters Big Bird, Elmo and Dora, among others.

Mattel will adjust its already reported 2007 second-quarter results to reflect the impact of the recall, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mattel also said it was not aware of any additional issues related to lead in paints with its products but cannot guarantee that more issues will not be identified.

"We require our manufacturing partners to use paint from approved and certified suppliers and have procedures in place to test and verify, but in this particular case our procedures were not followed," Jim Walter, Mattel's senior vice president of worldwide quality assurance, said in a statement. "We are investigating the cause to ensure such events do not reoccur."

The company said it was reviewing the procedures of all of its manufacturing partners in China.

Last month, Mattel reported a 15 percent increase in its second-quarter profit on strong sales of toy cars.