January 6, 1997

Release # 97-055


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to concerns related to its Cabbage Patch Kids® Snacktime Kids dolls, Mattel, Inc., with the cooperation of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), voluntarily announced today a refund program for all dolls purchased since the toy's introduction in the fall of 1996. Mattel will offer consumers a full cash refund of $40. At the same time, the company announced a withdrawal of the product from all retail shelves across the U.S., and will discontinue the distribution of the Snacktime Kids dolls.

Mattel is taking this action following reports of people getting their hair and fingers caught in the mouths of the dolls. Neither Mattel's nor CPSC's testing of the product has identified a serious safety hazard associated with the dolls.

"Nonetheless, we remain deeply concerned with the satisfaction of all our consumers and in maintaining their long-standing confidence in the safety and value of our toys," said Jill E. Barad, Mattel's chief executive officer. "Our job is to bring joy to children's lives. If any of our products are causing concerns, we are committed to responding in a responsible manner."

"We recognize that these incidents can be upsetting to children and adults, and we are pleased with the actions being taken by Mattel," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown.

According to Mattel, since the birth of Cabbage Patch Kids in 1983, more than 80 million dolls have been "adopted" by children throughout the world, and their unique individual features and representation of all races and ethnicities has established the dolls as one of the most beloved toys in history.

To date, approximately 500,000 Cabbage Patch Kids Snacktime Kids dolls have been sold to consumers.

"This voluntary program serves as a reconfirmation of our commitment to the children who enjoy Cabbage Patch Kids and all the people who, for more than 50 years, have helped make our many toys the most popular in the world," said Barad.

To receive a $40 refund, which includes estimated shipping and handling costs, consumers can call Mattel at (800) 524-8697, Mondays through Friday's from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.