With everything going on in the world involving child sex trafficking and child sex slavery, it’s extremely important that we teach children from an early age about inappropriate touching and what is and isn’t okay. This is what makes this “hidden” feature of this Hasbro Trolls doll so disturbing, and this mom posted a video online to explain why. To her, it is so wrong – and that’s why she’s looking for a troll doll recall.
Woman Claims Feature on Hasbro Trolls Doll ‘Grooming Children for Sexual Abuse’
What makes kids so vulnerable to sexual abuse is the fact that, at such a young age, they haven’t yet learned what is and isn’t right or normal. It is the job of the adults in their lives – parents, family members, teachers, etc. – to teach them these things so they understand how to take ownership over their bodies and not allow someone to abuse them in such a way.
Corporations whose target demographic is children, like the Hasbro toy company, also must assume some responsibility in ensuring that they are putting products out there that support these lessons. This is why Jessica McManis took to Facebook to share the outrageously inappropriate design of this Trolls World Tour Doll named Poppy and started a petition on Change.org to have the doll removed from store shelves. (1)
A ‘Private’ Button
McManis’ two-year-old daughter received Poppy the Troll as a gift for her birthday, and by all accounts, it is a very cute doll. The doll is designed to sing songs and say various things when you push a button on her tummy. This is what is advertised on the box, and it is true – when you push her tummy, she sings a variety of songs. What the box does not advertise anywhere, however, is another button – one that is positioned between her legs on her private parts – that also causes Poppy to make noises when you push it. (1)
These noises are not songs, however, they are “gasps” and “giggles”. (1)
She is worried that the doll essentially is teaching kids from a very young age that perhaps your private areas aren’t so private, and that it is fun and okay for someone to touch you there.
On her petition, McManis writes this:
“Our society is conditioning our children to think pedophilia is ok. This Trolls World Tour doll named Poppy has a button on her private area under her skirt. 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. 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 ok? It’s not ok! It’s not fun! It’s damaging and has long term effects on a child’s mental/physical health! Sign this petition to get this toy removed from shelves and help #SaveTheChildren! Children are our future and WE are their voice!” (2)
The doll has baffled thousands of parents around the country. How could someone not realize how inappropriate that button is?
Fact Check: Hasbro’s Response and Troll Doll Recall
According to Hasbro, the intention of the button placed under the doll’s skirt was fort these noises to be made when in the seated position only. Since McManis’ video and petition went viral, they have received harsh backlash and are now pulling the doll from both on-line and in-person stores. (1)
“This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate,” Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy told The Providence Journal in an email. “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.” (1)
Though many voices have joined in the uproar, others were also quick to defend Hasbro saying that they were not intentionally ‘grooming children for sexual abuse’ or trafficking. In any case, because of the poor preception and placement of the button, Hasbro is facilitating a troll doll recall (4, 5)
Other Inappropriate Kids Toys
This troll doll recall isn’t the first time a toy company has dropped the ball. Toy companies have a history of not thinking through various toy designs. There have been plenty of toys in the past that are also highly questionable, including:
- The Punisher. Who decided that positioning the rocket launcher between his legs was a good idea? (3)
- Pole Dancer Doll. This doll even included instructions on the back to teach kids how to make her essentially grind on the poll. Say what? (3)
- Roadkill Cat. Complete with a missing eye and tread marks, it’s a toy that teaches kids that it’s okay to play with roadkill. (3)
- Baby’s First Baby Doll: Teaching children about pregnancy is a good thing. Giving them a baby doll that gives birth to another baby doll? That’s just plain wrong. (3)
- Nimbus 2000 Broomstick. Most kids who grew up reading Harry Potter would love to have their very own Nimbus 2000 broomstick for their pretend Quidditch games. The question we have for the toy designers: Why on earth was a toy made that is meant to be ridden (aka placed between a child’s legs) vibrate? (3)
- Russian Roulette For Kids. Does this one need an explanation as to why it’s a terrible kids’ game? I think not. (3)
At the end of the day, it is always up to each individual parent to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for their child. This also serves as a reminder that we all look into facts before jumping to drastic conclusions from videos and photos we see online.
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