“Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion.” declared the company, making Mr. Potato Head one among the controversial toys.
Mr. Potato Head is the most renowned toy from Hasbro. It was introduced in the year 1952 and was the first toy ever to be advertised on Television. This toy allows children to swap different parts of the body like, moustache, hat, glasses, which makes it so much popular among the children. The dropping of “Mr.” from the brand name ensures to create a more inclusive and gender-neutral environment for all. This initiative has grabbed the attention of many and have applauded the change.
“Hold that Tot — your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD” said the company. Read an opinion on the Mr Potato Head controversy.
While many such initiatives have been taken by various companies, there are still a lot of controversial toys which are problematic for the childish brain. Here are five such controversial toys which have been talked about in the recent past.
Earring Magic Ken
Barbie’s counterpart, Ken has always been a very popular character toy among kids. However, in 1993, Mattel toys decided to give this popular toy a makeover. This step was not very welcomed by the parents. According to the new makeover, Ken wears a purple mesh shirt, a blue leather vest, earrings, and a silver ring on a chain. Some people said that the chain looked like a sex toy. Many acclaimed the new overlook to fit the gay stereotype. Publications like Queerty and Pride said that Ken’s necklace strongly resembles a sex toy that was considered a queer fashion statement in the ’90s.
Breast Milk Baby
While toys are created for the mere purpose of recreation and imagination, this toy was acclaimed to have “forced girls to grow up quickly”. This toy allowed children to imitate the act of breastfeeding. The package consisted of a child sized bra with flower shaped nipples and a baby doll. This baby doll had the ability to make sucking and burping sounds. Some parents in the US blamed the doll of promoting young pregnancy. However, some believed the toy to normalise breastfeeding and found nothing wrong with the concept of the doll.
It’s girl Stuff
This set was manufactured by Kandytoys in 2014. This set consisted of a dustpan and a broom, mainly for the purpose of imitating the act of cleaning. The problem with this toy set lies in the name and appearance of the product which promotes gender stereotypes. The packaging is of the colour pink and purple with flowers, signifying girls, with the slogan “it’s girl stuff”. This toy promotes the idea that cleaning is only for girls.
Little outrageous littles (LOL!) manufactured by MGA Entertainment, was a doll that showed patterns of lingerie on the figurines’ bodies when dunked in water. This particular feature on the doll came to light when parents inadvertently began discovering hidden signs of bondage and adult underwear on their kids’ dolls. The doll was claimed to be highly sexualised and exploiting children for entertainment. MGA responded to the controversy saying it would inculcate parents’ feedback into the doll production design.
This Disney released doll of Tarzan, a Disney character, was considered to be awkward rather than offensive. This toy had the ability of making a jungle call where its hands would move in an up and down motion very fast. When the arms were shifted a little below, many adults found it awkward as it looked like he was masturbating.
Ayusmita Chatterjee is an intern with SheThePeople.TV