Toys are supposed to be the things that augment a childhood into carefree awesomeness and develop a child’s imagination, sociability and/or hand-eye coordination.
So, those who make toys have a big responsibility on their shoulders. Seeing how most grown-ups tend to live in a completely different, warped mind-frame than that of an innocent child.
When toy makers mess up, the consequences can be quite grievous regarding either the risk of physical injury of the child or, more often and more damaging, the psychological damaging of the child that can last for years, if not his/her entire life.
Take a look at the 5 inappropriate real toys below that actually made it to the shelves before someone realized that something is amiss or public outcry forced them recalled and/or banned.
1. Oreo Fun Barbie
The Barbie doll line had a notorious entry when the makers decided to collaborate with the biscuit company and put the Oreo Fun Barbie, an Oreo themed Barbie which had a biscuit replica in the box with her, on the market.
As Barbie had the custom of putting out black and white Barbie dolls on the market, this was hugely uninspired. Because “Oreo” in the black community refers to a black person that is black only by skin color, not by beliefs and social/cultural norms. So, a strong derogatory term.
Now think about it again: a black Oreo Barbie. See the problem?
2. WTC Plane Blunder
In a mammoth example of blatant disinterest on the one side, coupled with insensitivity and shrewdness on the other side, some customers of the company Lisy Corp were very unpleasantly surprised.
You seem they received candy with surprise toys inside from the company. And the toy in question was a plane between two buildings clearly representing the two towers.
But it wasn’t Lisy Corp who designed the toy. They just purchased it from another company called L&M Import and then didn’t bother to check what toy they had purchased! They just put it in along with candy and sent 14,000 of these wonders to customers!
3. Poopsy Pets
Moxie Girlz Poopsy Pets is a series of dolls made by MGA Entertainment which features girls with various pets that poop. For example, the girl with the unicorn pet can feed her unicorn and it will poop out rainbows!
There are so many wrong things with this toy that no further comment is necessary. I hope…
4. Roadkill Toys
Hard to believe there’s a company out there catering for kids by offering them a series called Squash-plush that consists entirely of different species of animals represented as squashed, but plushy, roadkill.
Yet that’s exactly the business model of Roadkill Toys and they’re proud of it. They declare on their site that: “We’re avant-garde toy designers. Actually scratch that. We’re Toy Terrorists. We take standard toys and we mess with them. We like toys that don’t take themselves too seriously. Toys with a bit of humour. Toys with a twist.”
5. Snack Time Cabbage Patch Dolls
Created by Mattel, Cabbage Patch Dolls were generally harmless, lovable and popular.
Generally, because the Snack Time iteration had a bit of a problem.
They were designed, as the name implies, to allow children to feed them various plastic foodstuffs, which the dolls would dutifully eat up.
The problem was that they worked a little too well. As in, they tended to chew off more than the plastics they were offered.
The fingers and hands of those that fed them, to be more precise. The horrific part was that they couldn’t be shutdown mid-chew, so children and parents had to find a way to pry out the body parts under attack without losing them.
This naturally led to a bit of an outrage and the toys being recalled. But not before the company tried to apologize by offering 40$ recompense to those that had already bought them and adding a warning on the rest of the unsold toys, in the hope that parents wouldn’t ask for a total recall and they can keep on selling.
Enough parents did, thankfully, ask for a recall and the whole mess ended.