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Consumer Confidential: Mattel scores, a juicy RAV4, doggie danger

July 16, 2010 |  9:59 am

Here's your not-fade-away Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Turns out Pixar's "Toy Story 3" wasn't just a hit for Pixar. Toymaker Mattel has hit a home run as well. The El Segundo company says its quarterly income more than doubled, thanks primarily to strong sales of Barbie, Hot Wheels and toys associated with the movie. This bodes well, Mattel says, for the holiday season, which can account for up to half of annual sales.

--Toyota and Tesla are joining forces to build an electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV. The project is the first for the automakers since Toyota purchased about 3% of Tesla for $50 million earlier this year. A prototype electric RAV4 is already up and running, and Toyota hopes to have a working model for sale in the United States within two years.

--Traveling? Here's something to keep in mind: Dogs with short faces, such as pugs and bulldogs, are more likely than other pooches to die on airplanes, according to the Transportation Department. In the last five years, 122 dogs have died on U.S. flights, and about half that number were short-faced breeds. Officials offered no explanation for the strange statistic.

-- David Lazarus

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