So Mattel (NYSE:MAT) apologized to China, faulting its own toy designs instead of a sorely unchecked outsourcing system that led to several recalls of playthings coated in deliciously harmful lead paint.

"Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys," said Mattel executive Tom Debrowski.

I realize that China's reputation has taken a hit, but is this what we're down to?

If so, I speak on behalf of toy buyers everywhere.

I'm sorry, Mattel. I'm sorry that we bought your toxic toys by the millions.

I take full responsibility for buying my son one of those Sarge toys. I take full responsibility for taking him to see the Disney (NYSE:DIS) flicks and Viacom (NYSE:VIA) TV shows that inspired some of those licensed toys. I owe a bigger apology to RC2 (NASDAQ:RCRC), because my youngest son has been drawn to those red tank engine toys from Thomas & Friends like a bull to a matador.

Matador? Bad taste? I know. That's one more reason for me to apologize. And I'm awful glad I never coated any of those toys in ConAgra's (NYSE:CAG) batch of tainted Peter Pan peanut butter.


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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders who will have the hot toys for the fast-approaching holiday season. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a rueful disclosure policy.