Disney, Others to Double-Check Toy Safety
Last week Walt Disney decided it was going to double-test toys featuring its characters, distributed by manufacturers like Mattel. The company plans to notify toy manufacturers of this decision, inspired by the recent lead paint recalls, today. (Read the Times Story)
While in the past Disney and similar companies relied on manufacturers to ensure the safety of the toys, the recent lead scares have served as a call for more aggressive guardianship over children’s safety. The chairman of the company’s consumer products division said: “It sends the message [to manufacturers] that we are looking over their shoulders.” He also noted that this new policy will give the folks over at Disney the peace of mind of knowing they have done all they can to protect consumers.
Of course, let’s not be all warm and fuzzy. The decision is also about brand reliability, especially as the holidays near. This is why Sesame Workshop and Nickelodeon are also taking steps to double-check the safety of their toys. But, companies like Disney, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Workshop would not be legally liable for dangers associated with the toys—that is the responsibility of the toy manufacturer.
When it makes common sense, business sense, and appeals to ethical principles as well, it’s a win-win situation. This move is a positive step toward protecting people against unnecessary injury.