Mattel's Batmobile recalled
The toy car poses a potential puncture or laceration hazard to young children.
April 14, 2004: 12:48 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - No. 1 toymaker Mattel Inc. recalled hundreds of thousands of its Batman Batmobiles on Wednesday after reports that over a dozen children were injured by the toy car, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
According to the CPSC, El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel is recalling 314,000 units of the 20-inch blue and gray plastic car that come with a detachable motorcycle.
Mattel is recalling the Batmobile B4944 after reports that the pointy rear tail wings caused injury to young children.
The rear tail wings of the Batmobile are made of rigid plastic and come to a point, which pose a potential puncture or laceration hazard to young children, the agency said.
Mattel (MAT: Research, Estimates) has received 14 reports of injuries, including scrapes, scratches, lacerations and punctures.
The toy car has the model number B4944 written on the bottom of the unit. The car sold for about $27 at retail locations nationwide from June 2003 through February 2004. Parents should contact Mattel for information on receiving free replacement wings, CPSC said.
At least one industry watcher said he's confident the Batmobile recall will not hurt Mattel's fall launch of the much-hyped new "interactive" collection of Batman toys, including the Batman action figure and the Batmobile. The innovative toys use Video Encoded Invisible Light (VEIL) technology that enables these wireless toys to become activated by receiving digital signals from an encoded TV show.
The VEIL- encoded remote Batman toys from Mattel.
So the Batmobile toy revs up at the same time that the cartoon car is ready to go on the TV screen, and the Batman action figure interacts in real time with the new Warner Bros. Batman series out this fall. Warner Bros. is a unit of Time Warner (TWX: Research, Estimates), parent of CNN/Money.
Chris Byrne, an independent toy consultant, has already pegged Mattel's new VEIL-enabled toys to be among the hottest toys of this year.
"Batman is such a strong property for Mattel, especially among boys between 4 to 6 years old. One recall is unlikely to affect the brand," said Byrne. "Mattel did the responsible thing and I don't think this recall will affect the launch of the new Batman toys."
Mattel (MAT: Research, Estimates) was not immediately available for comment.