Mattel: Buybacks, Barbie And Dead Babies

And it wasn't one death. One death is an accident. At the second death you are probably wondering "is this a product design issue". At the third death if you are not having serious doubts then you probably lacking basic human morality.

But this was over thirty deaths. 

That is thirty families that held funerals for their baby.

I don't know what you say to parent number 17 whose child died well after it was patently obvious that this thing was killing babies.

One day I guess we will find out what Mattel will say to a jury.

But this is a moral failure truly extraordinary for a company whose key staff have to love children, understand children and design things to make children happy.

Understanding children and designing and marketing things to make children happy

But from what I hear that isn't what Mattel is about any more. Their management were once from fast moving consumer goods companies (really attuned to milking brands).

Now they are Silicon Valley/social media types (which Hasbro has shown with Nerf might be better), but they seem too focused on selling their existing characters to Hollywood. 

But Hatchimals (to pick a success from Spin Master) was a toy aimed at young children designed by someone with flair and a deep empathy with the young children who are the target market. 

An empathy and an understanding that seems lacking at Mattel.

The morality of short-selling

I am a short-seller, and sometimes I am betting things fail when I really hope (for society) that they survive.

I am short a very small amount of Tesla and strangely I hope I lose on that bet. Elon Musk has demonstrated that electric cars can be better than internal combustion engines. He has improved the world. I think his finances are a mess and he has other problems. But deep down I hope he succeeds. I feel slightly dirty betting against what is fundamentally a good thing.


And I felt a little dirty betting against Barbie too. After all what is wrong with a toy company?

But there is plenty wrong with this toy company. It kills babies. It fails the basic test of a toy company. 

And it will probably go bust too. And it will be deserved. The world will be a better place when the toy company which doesn't love children and doesn't design things to make them happy finally fails.

And maybe the next deadly toy won't stay on the market quite as long. And there will be less grieving parents because this thing has finally filed chapter 11.

I truly hope so.

1 2 3 4
View single page >> |

Disclosure: The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Hempton. Mr. Hempton may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog ...

more
How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience. Users' ratings are only visible to themselves.

Comments

Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.