“Ooh. Gasp. Tee-hee!”
So says a new Trolls doll from Hasbro when you push her button. Literally and figuratively, apparently. The long-time toymaker has already agreed to pull the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy” doll from retailers’ shelves after a petition demanding it do just that amassed the signatures of almost 330,000 outraged parents. The doll allegedly “gasps and giggles” when a button located on its “private area” is pushed. One Utah mother made an online video demonstrating the sounds the doll makes when her button is pushed, characterizing them as “disturbing” and “sexual.”
The petition reads in part: “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 privates, she gasps and giggles.” One question: how did all these parents discover what the doll does when her dress is pulled up and her “button” is activated? Just sayin’.
Hasbro says there was no ill-intent involving the existence or placement of the doll’s button. Julie Duffy, Hasbro’s Senior Vice-President of Global Communications, told the Providence Journal, “This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate.”
Coincidentally, Hassis, another toy manufacturer specializing in dolls for kids, recently introduced a male “Poppy Sings” doll, which sports a fleshy protuberance extending from its groin area. When the protrusion is fondled, Poppy groans and says, “Oh, yeah, just like that, baby! God, yes!” The company says that this, too, was completely inadvertent and innocuous. A company spokesperson stated, “Poppy was designed to say that only when a user patted his stomach area. His response was simply meant to indicate his pleasure at a good meal recently consumed. There was—and is-- no sexual meaning or connotation to his utterances whatsoever. I swear.”