Things That Matter

These Dolls Have Buttons On Their Private Parts That Parents Say Could Encourage Sexual Assault

There has long been a discussion about the meaning of toys in children’s lives – and along with it, plenty of controversy. From Barbie to Bratz dolls, there has long been talk about the sexualization of kids’ toys, especially those that are marketed to young girls.

Now, a new toy is helping reignite those conversations. A Trolls World Tour doll, specifically the Giggle & Sing Poppy, has been pulled from the shelves due to a massive controversy. The incident is becoming so controversial that a Change.org petition has gained more than 300,000 signatures. Now, the toys manufacturer, Hasbro, has been forced to pull the toy.

Hasbro has recalled a collection of ‘Trolls’ dolls from stores after complaints from concerned parents.

Famous toy maker Hasbro has said that it will remove a line of Trolls dolls from store shelves after people complained that a button on the doll is inappropriately placed under its skirt. The decision comes after an online petition was created urging stores to remove the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy” doll. 

The petition has massed nearly 300,000 signatures. “When you push this button on the doll’s private she gasps and giggles. This is not okay for a child’s toy! This toy needs to be removed from our stores,” reads the petition, which is addressed to Target, Walmart, Amazon, Dollar General and Family Dollar stores.

In a statement to Forbes, Julie Duffy, senior vice president of global communications at Hasbro, said: “This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate.”

“This was not intentional and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our Consumer Care team. We are in the process of removing the item for purchase,” Duffy’s statement continued. 

A video of a mom demonstrating the doll’s button has gone viral on several social media platforms.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CDeNARxAIkf/?igshid=1tj2qjky4vbgc

All the drama started, as it often does these days, on social media. An Instagram video by a concerned parent said that her 2-year-old daughter was gifted the Giggle & Sing Poppy for her birthday

In the video, she implies that she thinks that the company is “grooming our kids” for sex trafficking. Other parents seemed to agree. Jessica McManis recently started a Change.org petition to remove the doll from shelves, writing “Our society is conditioning our children to think pedophilia is ok.” The petition has now gone viral with almost 300,000 signatures. 

Instagram has now added a fact checking label on the video video to confirm that, y’know, “There is no evidence, beyond the fears of some mothers, that the button is part of a secret strategy by the toymaker to prep kids for sex trafficking.” 

‘Trolls’ dolls have long been popular and this latest controversy likely won’t hurt the iconic brand.

Credit: Alex Block / Getty Images

Trolls dolls were originally created in 1959 and have gone through so many iterations. I remember playing with them as a kid in the 90s. And they’re once again gaining in popularity thanks to a recent movie from the franchise.

Poppy, voiced by Anna Kendrick, is one of the main characters in the latest Trolls film. “Trolls World Tour” premiered for on-demand video streaming in April when most of the world was in quarantine, and Universal announced that it had the biggest opening day and weekend for a digital title, according to Variety.

These dolls aren’t the first ones to stir up some serious controversy.

Talk about despicable. In 2015, McDonald’s included a Minion toy in every Happy Meal box as a tie-in with the animated blockbuster featuring the breakout stars of the Despicable Me franchise. Like their big-screen counterparts, these bright yellow toys spoke in their own unique language… except for one particular phrase. Parents became convinced that a caveman Minion blurted out “What the f***” and took to YouTube to post the evidence.

For its part, McDonald’s insisted this just wasn’t true. “The allegation that this toy is saying any offensive phrase is not true,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman said in a statement provided to CNBC. “We apologise for any confusion or offence to those who may have interpreted the sounds for anything other than gibberish.”

I mean…who thought a vibrating broomstick was a good idea?!

Credit: Amazon.com

A long and vibrating toy doesn’t sound like a toy for children… But that’s what Mattel had planned for its vibrating version of Harry Potter’s signature Quidditch broomstick. However, Amazon comments by parent reviewers quickly revealed a different story. The toy company pulled the Nimbus from circulation.

Also, Elmo was already terrifying but this is next level.

The talking Elmo doll – which was super popular in 2008 – made headlines when the already kind of scary looking Elmo was spitting out Chucky-esque death threats. A Florida woman claimed that the doll was threatening her two-year old son and local news footage seemed to back up her claims.

The doll – which parents could program to utter 100 personalized phrases – was allegedly saying “Kill James.” Fisher-Price ultimately offered to replace the mother’s toy, but that’s a case where you definitely don’t want Elmo to know your name.

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