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Top 11 Most Controversial Dolls of All Time
The "Lil' Monkey" Racial Slur Doll
Customers complained that the African-American Cuddle with Me doll with a hat that says “Lil’ Monkey” was racist. It didn’t help that the doll was sold surrounded by a posse of stuffed monkeys.
Costco and the doll manufacturer apologized, and the dolls were pulled from the shelves.
In 2002, after much criticism from parents who didn’t want their “you were brought to us by a stork” story contradicted, Mattel took the very pregnant Midge doll from store shelves. Midge, part of the “Happy Family” collection, complete with a husband named Allen, could not be reached for comment.
The Murdered Toddler Doll
One could only expect that the inventor of the Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy would eventually reach the pinnacle of sleaze. Jaime Salcedo did not disappoint. The Caylee Sunshine Doll, Salcedo’s attempt to market a “tribute” doll to little Caylee Anthony, whose mother, Casey, is charged with her murder, was luckily thwarted by a disgusted public.
Rambo, by the Maker of Cabbage Patch Kids
Back in 1985, when Coleco Industries Inc., maker of those misshapen Cabbage Patch Kids, announced their latest doll, based on the hit movie “Rambo,” it created quite a controversy. Protesters railed against the action figure, which they said promoted violence and aggression in children. Today, the new WWE Wrestling Action Figures Deluxe Aggression Series dolls have faced NO opposition — is it because everyone, even kids, know the WWE is fake?
"Uncle Tom" Barbie
In a tale of cross-promotion gone bad, in 1997 Mattel and Nabisco got together to insult the African-American community and came up with the not-so-delicious Oreo Barbie.
Oreo, according to the Urban Dictionary, is a slang term used to describe a black person who “acts white” (black on the outside, white on the inside, like an Oreo cookie).
The dolls were pulled off the shelf and have become collectors’ items on eBay as a testament to the need for corporate diversity training.
Trash-Talking Indian Doll
In 2002, an online petition called for JDK Products to stop producing the Mr. Patel Doll — a doll of Indian origin who speaks in broken English with such pithy phrases as:
“Don’t talk like that in front of my back.”
“I am needing to want sex with you now.”
“In my country you would be dead already.”
An equal opportunity offender, JDK Products also makes Lee Chan Li, a smiling Chinese man; a Pimp; Bubba the Redneck; a Jewish-American princess called Babs; and Elton and Marshall, a gay couple. Collect ’em all!
Baby's First Pro-Islamic Words
Last year, Fisher-Price’s Cuddle & Coo Doll was under fire for managing to offend anyone with a vivid imagination and A LOT of time on their hands.
The doll, apparently determined to start a tiny Jihad, used such phrases as “Islam is the light,” and “Satan is king.”
A spokesman for Fisher-Price defended their dolls: “The Little Mommy Cuddle & Coo dolls feature realistic baby sounds including cooing, giggling, and baby babble with no real sentence structure.”
Silenced at last, the doll was eventually pulled from shelves.
The World's First Doll Penis
The controversy surrounding a doll inspired by “All in the Family” — the first sitcom with an openly bigoted character — surprisingly had nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with anatomy.
The Joey Stivic (son of Mike “Meathead” Stivic, who was played by Rob Reiner) was introduced in 1976 by the Ideal Toy Company, and billed as the first anatomically correct male doll.
And yes, if you must know, the Joey doll is uncircumcised.
Doll on the Skids
In 1990, K-B Toys pulled the Steve the Tramp doll from the Disney Dick Tracy series off the shelves after a dozen homeless people and their advocates picketed outside a mall in Connecticut. Could it have been the copy on the back of the box?!
“Steve the Tramp is an ignorant bum with cauliflower ears, dirty and scarred from a life on the streets. You’ll smell him before you see him.”
Yep. That’ll do it.
"The Villain" Action Figure
“The Villain,” a gun-toting, 12-inch action figure released in 1999 on the heels of the worst school massacre in history, garnered hundreds of complaints from angry consumers. The dolls, said to resemble the teenage Columbine High School gunmen, came with a ski mask, black trench coat, body armor, shotgun, and rifle.
Only 15 dolls were sold before they were pulled off the shelves.
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Look, Mommy! I'm Breastfeeding!
For some parents, this doll is a huge “letdown.”
Bebé Glotón (which means greedy baby), made by a Spanish toymaker, was introduced this year. The “mommy” wears a special halter top with a pair of daisies on the shirt that stand in for nipples.
The doll begs the question: Should little girls be pretending to lactate?