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Comic Book Jobs: Mattel

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Action Figures, Editorials, DC Comics

The DemonI don’t think of a toy company like Mattel as having comic book jobs readily available, but then I’m happy to be wrong. The home of Barbie and Hot Wheels is looking for a Senior Level Project Management Associate to “join its team of Product Development professionals within its Action Play team.”

This is all happening down in El Segundo, which sounds like the greatest name for a super-hero, but instead is the name of a city south of Los Angeles.
 
Mattel’s Action Play team “is a cohesive group of talented and knowledgeable individuals.” If you’re selected you’ll get to work with “some of the finest Toy Design and Development professionals in the industry.” More specifically, you’ll be working on DC Comics properties. Ah ha! So there’s the comic book connection.
 
They want you to have “experience working for a consumer packaged goods company utilizing plastic materials.” Responsibilities include “oversight of issues pertaining to product schedule, cost, product functionality, and quality.” You’re like the inspector of DC toys for Mattel.
 
Some might think that’s the coolest job ever, and you’ll get to see the toys long before they reach the shelves, and probably the conceptual ones that don’t make it out of the Action Play meeting room.
 
Intrigued yet? 

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Marvel Monster Trucks: With Great Power!

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics

Spidey MobileIf you're a fan of Marvel Comics, then you know about Marvel's monsters like Fin Fang Foom and Tim Boo Bah. But are you ready for Marvel's Monster Trucks?

Well get ready to rumble, you V-8ers, Red Staters and Import Haters!

Marvel Entertainment, no doubt a division that rests somewhere between Marvel Comics and Disney, has expanded its deal with Feld Motor Sports, the motor sports entertainment company (and owners of the Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Circus, go figure).

Read More | Marvel Monster Trucks

Amazon aims to eliminate hard-to-open packaging

Amazon wrap rage

After years upon years of frustrated purchasers cutting themselves on clamshell plastic cases, a company has stood up and proclaimed “No more!”. This morning, a letter from CEO Jeff Bezos appeared on the main page of the site, informing visitors that the company will now be working with leading manufacturers to deliver products “inside smaller, easy-to-open, recyclable cardboard boxes with less packaging material (and no frustrating plastic clamshells or wire ties).” They are calling it “Frustration-free Packaging.” Really? Could a world really exist where you can simply buy a product, open a box, and easily remove said product from said box—without having to scour the immediate vicinity for a box cutter? We know, it sounds too good to be true. We applaud Amazon for standing up for both the environment, and our cut up fingers.

Read More | Amazon Wrap Rage video comparison

Mattel Continues Recalls with Barbie Accessories

Lead Test KitOnce again, Mattel has recalled over 800,000 items made in China with lead paint. This time the targets are Barbie accessories, Geo Trax Engines, and Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys. CEO Robert Eckert gives the usual obligatory “I’m sorry” and “You have my promise…” on the company site, but it really makes you wonder when/if the recall will be over.

While we would like to think that this will end the matter, somehow we don’t think it is a complete solution. What can we as consumers do? We can write to our legislators and contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ask for stricter control. We also suggest you go to your nearest hardware store and pick up or order online a Lead Test Kit, which retails for only about $4.00. If you find a toy and can identify the brand, contact the company and/or send them the part. We certainly no longer agree with their old tagline “If it’s Mattel, it’s Swell.”

Read More | Mattel

eBay Sells Recalled Items

Elmo GuitarSS Pots and Pans

According to a recent study in Injury Prevention Journal, many recalled products that are never returned end up in thrift stores, garage sales, and on eBay. Researchers randomly picked 141 items for children recalled between 1992 and 2004, including baby walkers, furniture and riding toys. The items were found on 190 different auctions. The company says that it doesn’t permit listing of U.S. CPSC recalled items and suggests that buyers check their “security and resolution” page.

We suggest they do more than that. With a mimimal effort we found an Elmo Guitar and Sesame Street Tub, Pots, and Pans, both up for sale on the site. Until eBay gets a clue, if you suspect that one of the items you want to purchase has been recalled, check with Mattel before you purchase.

 

Read More | MSNBC

How Mattel Can Pay for Its Carelessness

Sarge

It is nearly impossible to ignore the fact Mattel is seemingly paying for their manufacturing sins as another recall was announced yesterday by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It includes 9.3 million play sets that have small magnets that are can be swallowed by toddlers in Barbie, Polly Pocket, and Tanner Playsets, as well as Batman and One Piece toys. The company is also recalling their die-cast “Sarge” Jeeps from the movie “Cars” that contain lead paint. For a list of recalled items in question, you can visit their website or call 888-597-6597 for information about the recalled toys with magnets, or 800-916-4997 for information about the recalled cars.

Two weeks ago, items from Mattel’s Fisher Price line were also recalled. What bothers us, aside from the negligence and finger pointing between the overseas companies involved, is that so far Mattel’s CEO Bob Eckert has only issued an apology. After reading about the effects of lead poisoning and noting that Mattel has set up a Children’s Foundation as a means of funding for health-related issues, we suggest that they take this money to offer free testing and/or treatment for any of the kids that owned the recalled toys.

 

Read More | Mattel

Barbie Girls: MP3 Players for the Pink Set

Barbie Girls MP3 Player

Remember when Barbie was all about playhouses, clothing, and Ken? Well now she’s gone all high-tech on us! Barbie manufacturer Mattel now has a new “Barbie Girls” online community, where young girls can chat and play games together, with a companion Barbie Girl MP3 player coming soon. The device plays music stored on 512 mb internal memory with an expansion slot for an miniSD card. Plus, BFF’s can sync their players with each other’s desktops—and engage in super-private “Secret B Chat”, which faintly reminds us of another chatting device for girls, also from Mattel. The Barbie Girls will be available for $60 USD in July. 

 

Read More | BusinessWire via engadget


Mattel’s IM-ME Protects Girls from Online Predators

Posted by Lolita Beckwith Categories: Internet, Toys, Wireless / WiFi

Mattel IM-ME

A booming trend is high-tech gadgets for kids, as seen at New York’s American International Toy Fair this week. One such item is Mattel’s Girl Tech IM-ME, a wireless text-messaging device for young girls, that allows them to chat while keeping them safe from anonymous online predators. The two-piece IM-ME set is a small, colorful text device and an RF dongle with antenna. Plug the dongle into a parent-monitored PC connected to the internet, and your little one can chat away. However they can only chat with other IM-ME users who are in her address book—and within her dongle range. Interesting idea, we just wonder why this product is targeted solely to young girls…and not to all kids. Look for IM-Me this summer, retailing for $64.99 USD.

Read More | Wired

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