Parents across America reacted with shock and anger when Mattel Inc. yanked 9 million toys from store shelves in August 2007. Some Polly Pocket playsets and Batman action figures contained unsafe amounts of lead; others contained small magnets that were potentially deadly if swallowed by a child.
In the months that followed, the El Segundo, Calif.-based toymaker was by no means the only company to recall a children's product due to unsafe lead levels. American companies undertook more than 100 recalls of unsafe toys in 2007. The recalls set off a wave of news reports questioning the safety of products imported from China.