Saturday, October 24, 2015

Playmobil toy pirate ship with slave figurine sparks outrage Melissa Chan

Some assembly — and a lot of explanation — required.
A Playmobil toy pirate ship equipped with what appears to be a shackled slave figurine has sparked outrage after a California woman stumbled upon instructions telling her to slap a chain around its neck.
"I am mortified," Aimee Norman wrote on Facebook. "Who would think in the year 2015? Slavery is not a game."
Norman said she bought the set for her 5-year-old nephew's birthday — and chose it specifically when she saw it came with a "black character."
But along with boat floats, two cannons and a removable upper deck, the family found the dark-skinned plastic doll came with a small silver cuff.
An arrow in the instruction manual directs users to put the piece around its neck.
"It's definitely racist," the boy's mother Ida Lockett told CBS Sacramento. "It told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character's neck, and then to play with the toy."
"You cannot have this specific accessory and call it anything else," she added. "The fact that you can Google it, look it up, say what it is — it's a slave collar."
The pirate ship set sells for $89.99 and takes about 45 minutes to assemble, according to Playmobil's website.
The Germany-based toy company told the Daily News that the figurine in question is "clearly a crew member on the pirate ship and not a captive."
It was designed to portray life on a 17th-century pirate ship, Playmobil said in a statement.
"The figure was meant to represent a pirate who was a former slave in a historical context," the statement said. "It was not our intention to offend anyone in anyway."

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