(Aug. 27, 4 p.m. EDT) — I was very much a part of the Fisher-Price buyout by Mattel in the mid-1990s. I was hired by Fisher-Price to do something, anything, with their old, antiquated molding operation in Matamoros, Mexico.
Little did I know that all of my very hard work and efforts would go down the drain when Mattel Inc. purchased Fisher-Price and basically liquidated all assets, only to keep the toy line — which, by the way, was the only tangible, worthy asset.
Now you see what happens when you even beat down the cheapest of the cheap! You can only go so far before you begin shaving corners and using substandard materials.
From my perspective, Mattel deserves whatever punishment it receives from this humongous, inexcusable and, to me, deliberate error in judgment. No one in this world or the next will ever convince me that 19 million toys could have been manufactured with hazardous paint and magnets without the company's knowledge. Come on now — we are talking about 19 million toys! If I had a quality person that was worth a damn, this sort of thing would have never escalated to this level. And if it did, I would quit before I got canned!
As for Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Eckert's statement that this was not a manufacturing issue but, instead, a design issue, I am trying to follow this reasoning with absolutely no success. Is he saying Mattel designed-in the flaws intentionally and then manufactured them knowing this, or what?
Let's go even further with this. Since the demise of U.S. manufactured toys, has anyone noticed a substantial decrease in the cost of Fisher-Price or Mattel toys? Pure greed, my friends, pure greed!
Do not charge less — let's charge more, beat the hell out of the Chinese to make them cheaper and put the money in our pockets in rewarding bonus checks at the end of the year! I have been there — I know what kind of monies they get.
You know, I go to bed at night and lose sleep because I believe I am letting my workers down due to the loss of contracts going to China. But I am no quitter. I will scrape, fight, chew and holler for my survival.
It just makes me puke to read stuff like this, where individuals with so-called higher education wiggle and squirm their way out of situations like this one. I would fine Mattel and Fisher-Price to the fullest extent allowable by the law of this land. Individuals can go to prison in this great country of ours for a lot less then this. If you do not believe me, then turn on the news at 5.
America needs a wake-up call. Even as bad as this one is, I do not believe it is near the proportion of the one we will need to get back to the basics. But it's coming. There are a lot more Mattels and Fisher-Prices out there.
I would really love to know if anyone at Mattel is losing any sleep at all over their inability to police their own production. Maybe the Chinese fellow who committed suicide was the only real patriot in this whole story. I can truly tell you, it bothered him.
Maxcy Molding Technologies Inc.
Fort Worth, Texas