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WikiLeaks: Kirk asked China to let Baxter slide

When it comes to protecting consumers, American politicians in China don’t always practice what they preach, unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables show.

In 2007, two U.S. congressmen private admonished a Chinese official about the spike in potentially harmful made-in-China products being shipped around the world, according to a cable from the U.S. embassy in Beijing obtained by WikiLeaks and provided to Reuters by a third party. Get the full story »

FBI issues alert for Barbie doll with video camera

The FBI says it recently issued an alert about a popular Barbie doll with a hidden video camera that could be used to produce child pornography, but stressed that the toy has not been linked with any reported crimes.

FBI spokesman Steve Dupre said Tuesday the alert last month was meant only for law enforcement agencies to advise them not to overlook Mattel’s “Barbie Video Girl” during any searches. The alert was sent out by the bureau’s Sacramento office. Get the full story »

Fisher-Price recalling nearly 11 million toys

One of several models of tricycles being recalled. (Fisher-Price)

By Bloomberg News

Mattel Inc.’s Fisher-Price subsidiary is recalling almost 11 million toys, including tricycles, after reports of children being cut or choking, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said today.

The recall is the largest for toys since Congress passed a law two years ago beefing up the product-safety regulator’s powers. Mattel and Fisher-Price were fined $2.3 million in June 2009 for toys violating federal lead-paint laws, at the time the largest civil fine in CPSC history. Get the full story »

The search starts for the top holiday toys

Silly Bandz (McClatchy/Tribune News)

Want to get an extra early jump on this year’s holiday must-haves? Take an exclusive look at what products Google says are burning up the Internet 14 weeks before Christmas.

Google was among the earliest to predict last year’s Zhu Zhu Pets toy craze after spotting an explosion of searches for Zhu Zhu Pets a full three months before Christmas, according to the folks with the company’s retail team. Get the full story »

Mattel charges Bratz maker with diverting funds

Toymaker Mattel Inc. has filed a lawsuit alleging MGA Entertainment fraudulently transferred hundreds of millions of dollars to keep Mattel from collecting on anticipated judgments and to defraud other creditors.

The suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges MGA transferred $430 million in dividends and other assets to its chief executive Isaac Larian, his family members and various trusts between 2004 and 2008 to make the company appear insolvent and prevent MGA’s creditors, including Mattel, from cashing in. Get the full story »

Mattel, MGA head back to court over Bratz in January

A federal judge has set a date for Round 2 of the battle between toymaker rivals Mattel Inc. and MGA Entertainment as they duke it out over ownership of the pouty Bratz doll line.

U.S. District Judge David Carter has ordered a Jan. 11 trial date  and dismissed a motion by MGA to toss out Mattel’s allegations of racketeering. Get the full story »

Ruling sends new Bratz dolls to toy stores

New Bratz dolls (AP)

New Bratz dolls are heading to toy stores after a federal court overturned a ruling that their maker, MGA Entertainment, had to turn over the brand to Mattel Inc.

Two new lines of the doe-eyed dolls should hit stores such as Toys R Us, Target and Walmart by the end of August. Get the full story »