A children’s doll that reveals provocative outfits when dipped into cold water has prompted anger and calls for it to be removed from shelves.
- The LOL Surprise! dolls reveal different outfits when dipped in cold water, some include garters, suspenders, and handcuffs
- A parenting expert says there is no good to be gained from the dolls
- A Brisbane mother’s video condemning the dolls has had 7.8 million views in five days
Marketed to children, the LOL Surprise! range includes dolls with markings that resemble provocative underwear, fishnet stockings, handcuffs, the word “caution” written on underwear, and a doll with a devil tail and wings on its bottom.
Because the toy is all about a surprise, its packaging does not inform consumers what could be inside.
The principal commissioner from the Queensland Family and Child Commission, Cheryl Vardon, said without that forewarning, it should be removed from shelves.
“If a toy marketed at a child has the ability to display secret outfits, or insinuate adult images, then parents and carers have the right to know,” she said.
“They should be made aware of something completely unsuitable for the age it is marketed.
Mum’s outrage of ‘most disgusting thing’
The doll — which is widely available at various retailers in Australia — is not new to the market, but has caused a social media storm in recent days after a Brisbane mother’s video went viral after she shared her disgust of the toy on social media.
Kate Worsfold’s video has had nearly eight million views since the weekend.
“This is the most disgusting thing that I have come across,” she told viewers.
“It takes people like us, like ordinary people that find this s**t … and we call it out and we protect our children.”
It is not the first time a doll has caused outrage like this.
Hasbro this month removed from retail shelves a Troll Doll featuring a button between the legs which when pressed would make gasp and giggle sounds.
Dolls fuelling ohhhualisation of children
Parenting expert and best-selling author Justin Coulson warned the doll fuelled the overt and explicit ohhhualisation of children.
Dr Coulson said he was usually one to dampen down the outrage that social media promoted, but he said in this case it was justified.
The parenting expert said international papers in the last decade had highlighted the overt and explicit ohhhualisation of children, especially young girls.
“Whether it’s clothing in a big brand store that is far too revealing, or whether it’s a little doll that you can dunk in water and all of a sudden see this kind of exposure, there’s this idea that ‘when you see it you can be it’,” he said.
Parents have added their concern on social media:
I personally think that it’s disgusting and enabling/normalising paedophilia. — Jessica Marie
My daughters used to collect LOL doll but we stopped when they became insanely expensive and because of all the plastic BUT I remember they actually used to be modelled on people. There was one who was Lady Ga Ga with the fish nets and hair in rollers. When you know they were based on someone already in the spotlight it made more sense. Still off, BUT neither of my daughter’s thought anything ohhhual of it. — Belle Ellis
I’m more concerned about the insane amount of plastic waste that it all comes wrapped in. I remember watching my daughter unwrap one Christmas morning and thinking WTF, layers and layers of it. — Jessica Kate
I don’t like all the plastic associated with them. I don’t like the clothes they are dressed in and OTT make-up and styling even before the cold water thing. Disgusted by what’s come out. For our family we think kids should stay kids as long as they can so we don’t buy anything “ohhhy” for our daughter. Each to their own I guess. — Jessica Eldridge-Whyman
Dr Coulson said that it was not just the plastic dolls that parents should be worried about.
He said the ‘unboxing’ process that was attached to the dolls — in which the children did not know which doll they would receive before they opened the packaging — was also problematic.
YouTube videos dedicated to unboxing of different toys and items have hundreds of millions of views.
The ABC has approached the doll’s maker MGA Entertainment and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for comment.