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Irish doll company owner condemns sexualisation of kids' toys after LOL Surprise! controversy


The owner of an Irish doll company has condemned the sexualisation of children’s toys after it was revealed an American company had put hidden lingerie on its products.

The bestselling LOL Surprise! dolls look like many other toys but when plunged in water they are revealed to be wearing stockings and suspenders, fishnet tights or other types of adult underwear.

The American Psychological Association has also condemned the toys.

One child psychologist, who called the practice “sexually sinister”, said: “These dolls reinforce all the negative stereotypes about women and girls and what their bodies are for. That is, that they’re about titillating others.”



Ian Harkin, founder of Irish firm Lottie Dolls, said he was shocked to learn about the controversial toy produced by an LA-based company that made €4.5billion last year.

Eight years ago he specifically set out to create a non-sexualised doll which would look and dress like a child with no mini-skirts or boob tubes.

The Donegal businessman said: “No toy should sexualise children. Youngsters should be left to enjoy their childhood.

“Our toy industry needs to look at what we are promoting as being acceptable to kids.

“Some doll brands have been proven through academic research to develop body image issues and sexualise young kids. Those brands continue to be sold.”



The dolls in ice water

Toy company MGA Entertainment issued a statement saying it was taking “corrective measures to our design” after admitting “a small number showed inappropriate attire or markings.”

LOL Surprise! dolls were launched in 2016 and last year outsold Pokemon, Barbie and Star Wars toys.

The man behind the products, Isaac Larian, previously launched the controversial Bratz dolls on the market.



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