A concerned mother who published a petition online got the attention of the manufacturer of a product she believes is dangerous and inappropriate.
Jessica McManis of Ohio created the Removing Poppy Trolls World Tour Doll From Store Shelves petition to encourage retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target to stop selling the Trolls World Tour Giggle ‘n Sing Poppy.
The toy has two buttons on the doll’s body that prompt it to say different phrases. After pressing a button on the doll’s stomach, it sings or plays audio of the character saying phrases like, “How about a hug?”
But another button, placed under the doll’s skirt, prompts her to respond with exclamations like “Whee!” and “Oh!” The doll also reacts with a gasp or giggle when this button is toggled.
“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?” McManis wrote in the petition. “It’s not OK! It’s not fun! It’s damaging and has long term affects on a child’s mental [and] physical health!”
Other concerned parents made videos demonstrating the toy’s audio responses.
Jamie Nelson Cornaby, a mother from Utah, noted that the packaging doesn’t say anything about the button found on the doll’s “private parts.”
A product description by Hasbro does state that the doll, which is made for girls aged 4 and up, “makes ... funny sounds” when seated.
After outrage reached Hasbro, the maker of the dolls, the company said it would remove it from stores.
Julie Duffy, Hasbro’s senior vice president of global communications, suggested the button wasn’t made to be pressed.
“This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
McManis’s petition garnered more than 335,000 signatures as of Friday night. Hasbro announced it would pull the doll from shelves before the petition reached 160,000 signatures.