Based on its outward appearance, the Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy doll seems like your run-of-the-mill toy: brightly coloured, smiling, sugary sweet.
This specific doll actually has two buttons: one button on her stomach that, when pressed, prompts the doll to sing or say things like, “How about a hug?”
The second button, located in the doll’s crotch under her skirt, is the issue. When pressed, the doll exclaims “Whee!” accompanied by giggles, or “Oh!”
As of this writing, nearly 500,000 people have signed the Change.org petition to remove the doll from store shelves, saying having the button there teaches children “that pedophilia and child molestation are ok.”
“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?” the petition reads in part.
The petition is addressed to major retailers including Target, Walmart and Amazon.
Toymaker Hasbro said Wednesday that it’s in the process of removing the doll from the market and will be offering customers a Poppy replacement doll.
“This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate,” Julie Duffy, senior vice-president of global communications at Hasbro said in a statement.
“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.”
A quick search on Canadian websites for retailers Walmart and Amazon showed that the dolls are no longer available for purchase.
— With files from The Associated Press