Disney launches toy-testing scheme following recalls

The Walt Disney Company is launching its own toy-testing system to handle quality-control issues after toymaker Mattel was hit by three product recalls due to harmful levels of lead paint.

The US entertainment giant will randomly test products featuring Disney characters in an unusual move for the toy industry. In the past, licensors such as Disney have allowed manufacturers to manage quality control and the manufacturers are held liable for any harm caused.

Disney chiefs made the decision last Thursday, and are expected to inform Mattel and other toy manufacturers today (September 10). Disney chairman Andy Mooney is reported to have said the plans “send the message that we are looking over their shoulders”.

The tests will focus on about 2,000 toymakers and 65,000 products each year and start within the next two weeks. They will be overseen by the company’s product integrity office, which is responsible for Disney’s safety programme.

Mattel had to pull 436,000 small toy cars based on the character Sarge from the Disney/Pixar movie “Cars” on August 14.

Toy manufacturers have stepped up their own testing systems and last week Mattel performed a U-turn by launching a print advertising campaign in the UK promoting its new testing strategy after initially claiming it was unnecessary.

The British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) has tried to ease parental fears over toy safety by launching an online safety guide on its website.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here