The Na Na Na Surprise Doll that wears X-rated fishnet stockings, panties and bra, and comes with its own bedroom shouldn’t be bought for young girls, Tri-City parents, politicians and community groups warn.
The alarm comes after a Port Coquitlam mother posted on Facebook in shock that the Na Na Na Surprise dolls she bought for her daughter’s birthday were clothed in sexy lingerie, fishnet stockings and garters when the toys were removed from the packaging.
“All the girls are getting them at school, so my daughter was begging me for it for her birthday. I googled it, saw a pic and didn't think much of it,” said Araminta Applewood, who is now contacting stores to have the toy removed for fear it is “grooming” girls for predators.
Her concerns are supported by groups fighting to stop the sexual exploitation of children, including Carol Todd, mother of Amanda Todd, whose own daughter was lured online by a predator who later threatened to expose her.
“You are actually grooming these young girls so they will be ready for the predator on the other end,” said Todd.
Children of the Street Society, which educates boys and girls about sexual exploitation and ways to be safe online, has similar fears.
“Parents should avoid purchasing any products that aim to sexualize children and youth,” said Children of the Street spokesperson Camila Jimenez.
“Store owners should be stepping up and refusing to stock these types of products in efforts to stop normalizing the sexualization of young people.”
One of the concerns is that parents who buy this toy might not realize what it contains. The packaging doesn’t give any indications that the doll is wearing sexy lingerie, but a video promoted by the doll company shows a young girl, heavily made up, unboxing the toy, which is packaged in a balloon that when popped, ejects a cloud of confetti.
Some versions come with their own backpack and bedroom, as well as a closet with clothes. One type is pictured as a unicorn, another wearing a leather outfit and cap.
They also come with purses and fuzzy plush toys.
With concerns come a call for a boycott of the popular Na Na Na Surprise Doll that is available in most big box stores, including Walmart and Toys R Us, as well as online at Amazon.
And with online shopping becoming more popular this holiday season, concerned parents are hoping to get their message outs soon.
“It would be great for retailers to make the ethical decision to take it off the shelf. However, we can always send a message with our dollars, so consumers should say no to these dolls,” said Coquitlam Coun. Bonita Zarrillo.
Port Coquitlam Coun. Nancy McCurrach made a similar suggestion, saying she was shocked by the racy nature of the doll given the age group expected to be purchasing the toy.
“These dolls sexualize women and degrade them. They need to be boycotted,” she told the Tri-City News.
McCurrach says toymakers should be making toys that elevate children, help them learn about society, including the importance of respect and diversity, so they can make good choices in their lives.
But for now, boycotting the toy is the best solution for some.
Indeed, many stores in the UK are removing the Na Na Na Surprise dolls after outcries from parents.
But there is also an education component to the toy and toy purchases, say Todd and Jimenez, who recommend parents do a lot of research before choosing a toy for their child.
“Is it appropriate for the age? Take a look at what it does and read the reviews,” suggested Todd.
Children of the Streets’ Jimenez recommended parents watch videos of the products and read the comments.
“Treat it like a TV show. Is the toy age appropriate, does it have any sexual undertones?”