Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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Underprivileged Children in Oregon to Receive Toys

December 16, 1999

Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that underprivileged children in Oregon will share an additional $45,000 in toys this holiday season as part of a national $4 million supplemental toy distribution the Oregon Department of Justice helped negotiate with Mattel. The $45,000, which represents approximately 5,800 in toys, is in addition to approximately $184,000 in toys the Department distributed earlier this month to programs in Oregon that provide toys to underprivileged families.

"We believed that we were shortchanged," Myers said. " Fortunately, enough states agreed and we were able to reopen negotiations with Mattel and work out an agreement that results in more appropriate and useful toys being distributed to needy families in Oregon and across the country. I am also very proud of the leading role Oregon had in achieving this agreement through the work of Assistant Attorney General Andrew Aubertine."

The original distribution resulted from multi-state settlements achieved earlier this year with Toys 'R' Us, The Little Tikes Company and Mattel that resolved allegations the companies conspired to withhold popular toys from low margin warehouse clubs that undercut Toys 'R' Us prices. The supplemental distribution announced today results from Mattel's alleged failure to meet the conditions of the initial settlement agreement.

The original settlement agreement required Mattel to provide toys from current inventory that represented a broad variety of toys, proportionate to Mattel's total toy production, both as to selection and age-appropriateness. Upon receiving toy shipments from Mattel, Oregon and many other states believed that Mattel provided outdated and impractical toys that were not representative of the broad variety of toys produced by the company.

The supplemental distribution agreement requires that Mattel provide states with 17 different toys and more than 490,000 in total toys that were not part of the original contribution. Mattel is obligated to transport the toys at its expense to every state no later than noon on December 17. If Mattel fails to deliver the toys as specified by the agreement to any state, that state has the right to reject the toys, and Mattel's obligation to the state carries over to the following year and is increased by 20 percent. Lastly, the states are authorized by the agreement to audit Mattel's distribution at the conclusion of the holiday season to ensure that Mattel met its settlement obligations with the original and supplemental toy contributions

Contact:

Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
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