Disturbing ‘hidden message’ in popular toy
An Australian mum has labelled a popular toy for young girls "disgusting" after discovering what she believes are a "hidden message" on the dolls.
It comes after similar claims were made by parents overseas about the LOL Surprise! dolls, prompting the company to release a statement acknowledging the backlash.
Brisbane woman Kate Worsfold shared a video on Facebook over the weekend showing what happened when she submerged some of the LOL Surprise! dolls in ice water.
Several of the dolls, which are available at Kmart, Big W and Target, would change to show words or patterns across the doll's private parts.
"As a mum I am so fuming and f***ing livid right now that my daughter has these toys in our house and I knew nothing about it," Ms Worsfold said.
One of the dolls, which Ms Worsfold said was already a "bit weird" because it had red lipstick and fishnet stockings, changed in the cold water to reveal the doll was wearing bandage-like underwear and appeared to have black shackles around her wrists.
"It looks like bandages or kind of tape or some sh*t - and it starts to read caution around her private parts," she said. "On top of that on her hands are shackles, the turn into black shackles."
One doll's face turned blue when it was put in ice water while another had a bizarre pattern over their underwear which Ms Worsfold claimed looked like a "lucifer monster".
"This is toys that are being given to our kids and being sold in Kmart, Target, f**king Big W, kid's shops and we're buying them innocently for our kids," she said.
A Big W spokeswoman confirmed to news.com.au that the store had received complaints about the dolls.
"We can confirm some of our customers have approached us about the current LOL Surprise! dolls and expressed concern with this range," she said.
"We are currently working closely with our suppliers to reach the best outcome for our customers."
News.com.au has also contacted Target and Kmart for comment.
Ms Worsfold's video has since been viewed more than five million times and shared 89,000 times, with the mum saying she has been targeted as a result of the viral post.
"I have had to change the privacy of all my other posts both past and future. I have started to receive threats, bullying, abuse and trolling of my profile," she wrote in a comment on the video.
"I never expected this video to reach this amount of people. I shared it because I felt it necessary for parents to know so they can protect their children.
"Why some people thought and continue to think its funny I don't know because it's far from funny.
"There are obviously people who are OK with this sickening evil."
Ms Worsfold also added #SaveOurChildren repeatedly, a hashtag that the New York Times reported earlier this month has been hijacked by conspiracy group QAnon supporters to spread what they claim are genuine facts about child trafficking.
The movement has gained support on social media sites like Facebook, where many users are unaware of the roots of the hashtag and many claims have not been properly fact checked.
In the United States, parents have expressed concerns about the LOL Surprise! Dolls since last year, with a video similar to Ms Worsfold's going viral last week.
MGA Entertainment, the company that makes the dolls told Fast Company they were listening to the "recent feedback".
"We work very hard to be a brand that listens and adapts to our fans' requests. We acknowledge the recent feedback received and thank you for bringing it to our attention," a spokesperson said.
"We have implemented comprehensive corrective measures to our design and approval process while ensuring the essence of the brand is kept intact."
Originally published as Disturbing 'hidden message' in popular toy