Saturday, September 8, 2007

Cutting Corners

Ouch! Better make sure that little Jimmy is not chewing on Batman's head in the hall.

Finally, with Mattel recalling over 20 million toys and one dead factory manager(suicide) later, we get proof that the Chinese manufacturing Goliath is just as adept at dicking around with safety issues as the best morons in the industry.

I'm not even going into the fact that it's probably a vicious cycle. Client squeezes factory for better margins, factories cut corners to make it worth their while to keep manufacturing and every thing's sunshine and rainbows until some little girl starts getting crossed eyed from smelling Barbie's hair.

So Mattel goes into canggih PR mode to ensure that there's no backlash at their Christmas collections of the 100th version of Buzz Lightyear or Volcano Armour Batman. That's fine actually. They will actually DO something about it. They're Americans. If they Sin they're subjugated to eternal damnation in Legal Hell.

Nike used to get called up on subjecting skeletal Pakistani kids into making their footballs. But that was only because they were the largest sports brand in the world and these NGOs need to go after high profile targets to get noticed. I don't think adidas was making their balls in Hamburg man.

But really, the global big boys are forced to comply in some way or another. Its actually the smaller companies especially local boys that must be gleefully having an Up Yours Barbeque to lax safety or quality stadards. In Asia who actually keeps them in check? What do they put in our food, plastics and fabrics?

The Asian cheapskate way of cutting corners is most excellent as Asian consumers will actually lap up what ever we give them as any better alternative would probably be more expensive. Has anyone compared locally made chocolates to the imported versions of the same brand? Can anyone remember the taste of certain brands of bread and buns from their childhood? Is it better Made in Malaysia? Not to me man. 'Cept maybe the pirated DVDs...

Government buildings falling apart, bridges cracking, environmental pollution, illegal deforestation, dodgy government officials and you think some one's looking into what happens INSIDE local manufacturing facilities?

Anyway, if anyone has the banned Sarge Jeep from the Pixar Cars collection, I'll take if off your kid's hands. I think I can get a good price for it on Ebay. One man's meat and all that...


Nex said...

Even MR(Master Replica) is giving a $400 discount on their ROTS Vader helmets now. Be warned though they may be trying to offload the crappy returns with one kind of fault or the other (MR have received a lot of flak lately due to substandard production of their products)

For more info go here:

Chindiana said...

And I thought they were supposed to manufacture 'prop quality' replicas.

So looks like I can finally afford the Vader helmet now to go with by Imperial Tie Fighter boxers!

Nex said...

Yeah for the kind of price MR charge, you'd expect to receive a museum quality piece, but sadly no. MR has gotten the most flak for defective items lately, until Mattel came along...

And sorry dude, the discount can only be had if you buy directly from MR, and they don't ship the helmet to Malaysia. Trust me, I tried (just for fun :P)