A new line of toys are already has-beens. Hasbro had to yank “Trolls World Tour Giggle & Sing Poppy” dolls right off the shelves when the public learned their nasty secret. The manufacturer’s toddler toy designers tried to “normalize” sexual exploitation of children by choosing an unusual place to put a little button. Parents are understandably furious.
Toy manufacturer claims innocence
The promotional materials that came with the toy indicate each troll “has a button on her stomach that when pressed will prompt the doll to sing and say phrases like, ‘How about a hug?'” Kids found another button. Hasbro knew they were sticking their toes more than a little over the tape line, but had an excuse conveniently cooked up for when parents would inevitably raise a ruckus.
The phrase for the week at toy making giant Hasbro is “plausible deniability.” They’re using it now. They claim the button was placed where it was, simply so it would activate when the doll was placed in a sitting position. That sounds harmless enough, right? Well, when was the last time someone said “Whee!” or “Oh!” when sitting. The explanation the parents are alleging makes a lot more sense than Hasbro’s.
Hasbro folded under to a massive spike of complaints “that a button, located between the troll toy’s legs, was ‘inappropriately placed’ and that the toy encourages the normalization of sexual exploitation of children,” CNN reports. “Hasbro pulled the toy after a petition, circulated online, accusing the toymaker of placing a button that makes the toy talk in a ‘private area under her skirt,’ garnered more than 150,000 signatures.”
A second button between the dolls legs
Photos and videos making the rounds of the interweb, “show a second button, located between the doll’s legs, that when pressed will cause the doll to make sounds such as ‘Whee!’ and ‘Oh!'” Parents are calling that “disturbing.” Hmm, so a toy that says “Whee!” when someone sticks their finger there, maybe even “Oh!” “Sure,” they scoff “it’s only meant to happen when you sit one next to the elf on the shelf.”
“Tell me,” parents demand, “how that does not promote the “sex trafficking of kids.” According to one YouTuber, these things “are thrown in our kids’ faces to groom them.” Her daughter got one as a birthday present. “What will this toy make our innocent, impressionable children think? That it’s fun when someone touches your private area? That pedophilia and child molestation are okay?”
Facebook isn’t happy about people sharing the story around. They stick up for the manufacturer. The video raising the dire warning has been flagged as “partly false” information. Facebook firmly defends Hasbro noting officially, “that the button ‘triggers giggly sounds’ only when the doll is placed in a ‘sitting position.'” Hasbro swears up and down it was accidental but pulled the toy anyway, offering replacements to anyone who bought one. “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.”