Written by Robert W. Armijo
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Saturday, 18 August 2007

image for Mattel cancels production order from its Chinese-toy manufacture of its latest Transformer character, 'Lead' Zeppelin
Mattel's new spokesman, Transformer, 'Lead' Zeppelin; he has mind altering powers for your kids

New York, New York - It would have been one of the greatest examples of synergy product-tie-in placement ever, say industry insiders, Based on this summer's blockbuster movie, Transformers, Mattel's introduction of the least Transformer character, Lead Zeppelin, now faces an uncertain future, and its release postponed indifferently in light of its unprecedented massive recall of its lead paint tainted toys. It is just the least fiasco to plague the multi-billion dollar corporation.

"We feel at this time with the number of toys we are having to recall now numbering in the millions," said a spokesperson for Mattel. "It would insensitive at this time to go ahead with our planed release of the latest Transformer character, Lead Zeppelin. We're not just about profits, you know."

According to an internal memo from Mattel, some its top executives fought for the release of the new Transformer character, Lead Zeppelin, just the same. Arguing it contained educational value because of its name and not just all that lead besides.

According to the internal memo the executives wrote:

Lead Zeppelin, the Transformer, can be our new spokesman for the Chinese-toy manufacturing industry, warning children of the dangers of our products pose to them, just like other industry spokesmen. Like Smoky The Bear, Pete The Porno Puppet or Joe Camel.

He could transform from his Lead Zeppelin shape into a Transformer character and say, with the assistance of an imbedded preprogrammed microchip:

"Hey, kids don't put Chinese-toys into your mouth, or your fingers either when playing with them. You never know where they've been. And remember, always play it safe by washing your hands real good afterwards, too. Okay?"

Attempting to capture the grandchildren of the Baby-Boomer generation, Mattel thought of designing a Transformer character that would transcend generations.

"We thought we found it in the new Transformer character, Lead Zeppelin," said Jack Stone, Mattel toy designer. "You know because of the infamous 1970s rock band, Led Zeppelin. It's a play on words, get it?"

Test marketing confirmed that the new Transformer, in fact, showed intergenerational appeal, a very rare occurrence, say industry insiders.

"It brought back fond memories of mind altering states by the Baby-boomers," said a marketing annalist for Mattel. "It's too bad it won't get the chance to do the same for their grandchildren."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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