Toy Figurine Incites Racism Claims

Mom says toy came with 'slave collar' for black figure
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2015 4:44 PM CDT
Playmobil Toy Incites Racism Claims
A California mother is claiming a Playmobil pirate ship toy is racist over instructions to place a shackle around a dark-skinned figure's neck.   (Playmobil)

A California mother is outraged over what she claims is a racist toy her 5-year-old son received for his birthday, the Washington Post reports. Ida Lockett says she was helping her son put together a Playmobil pirate ship set when she came to instructions to put a shackle around the neck of one of the dark-skinned pirates. “It’s definitely racist,” she tells CBS Sacramento. “It told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character’s neck and then to play with the toy.” The boy's aunt, who purchased the pirate ship set, posted on the Playmobil Facebook page that she was mortified. "Would it be too much to ask for you to just create a regular old black pirate?" she asks.

Playmobil issued a statement defending the toy as a portrayal of life on a 17th-century pirate ship. “If you look at the box, you can see that the pirate figure is clearly a crew member on the pirate ship and not a captive,” the statement reads. “The figure was meant to represent a pirate who was a former slave in a historical context." But not everyone was mollified by the statement: The Post reports the president of the Sacramento NAACP is calling for the toy to be removed from shelves. In her Facebook post, the boy's aunt claims the pirate ship was the only Playmobil set she could find with a black figure. (Playmobil once demanded a pastor stop crucifying toys.)

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