Matchbox fan Carter Vaughn.
Matchbox Tow Truck with HOT phone number.
MARIETTA, Ga. -- Like many little boys his age, 3-year-old Carter Vaughn of Marietta loves playing with his toy cars and trucks.
But he won't be playing with one of his newer ones any more.
His mom has taken away a Mattel Matchbox tow truck, but not because of anything Carter did.
"Very shocked; it kinda made me mad," Mandy Vaughn told 11Alive News on Monday.
That was her reaction after she jokingly asked her mother to call the phone number printed on the fender of the toy tow truck that she'd given her grandson.
"I called the number and I got a real shocker," said Jan Barnett.
"It was a sex line," Carter's grandmother added.
We called it, too, and sure enough, it is.
Barnett realizes her 3-year-old grandson doesn't understand, but she worries about kids who aren't so young.
"If it had been an older child, you know, they could have known to call the number," said Barnett.
"What if they came and said, 'Hey, mommy, I can talk to hot girls'," she said.
Mattel was not aware of the issue until 11Alive News contacted them Monday afternoon.
Company spokesperson Rachel Cooper e-mailed us this statement:
"We apologize that this has happened. Mattel's products are designed with children and their best interests in mind. Many of Mattel's employees are parents themselves and we understand the importance of child safety - it is our number one priority. The Matchbox GMC Tow Truck vehicle was released in 2000 and is no longer manufactured. Mattel has a policy in place prohibiting the inclusion of phone numbers on toys."
Mattel points out most of these tow truck models are now sold on secondary markets like auctions.
Who knows, it might become a collector's item.