Following an outcry from UAE parents regarding the inappropriate nature of markings on some LOL Surprise! Dolls, Toys R Us, the distributor for LOL across the MENA region, took the decision to remove the dolls from their shelves.
However, after a thorough investigation of the LOL dolls sent to the region, Toys R Us says it is now putting them back out into the market.
"Toys R Us has always ensured that the toys we sell in the region are appropriate and safe for children,” says Jonathan Watts, general manager of Toys R Us.
“That is why when the news broke in our region, it was our immediate decision to remove the concerned dolls from our shelves out of an abundance of caution in light of consumers’ important concerns for their children; while the items were tested by the Quality Control teams.”
The LOL Surprise! Dolls, which have been sold since 2015 and are hugely popular across the world with children in their target age range of 4-14, made headlines following a spate of viral videos made by concerned mothers.
In the videos, the shocked parents demonstrate what happens when some unclothed LOL dolls are placed in ice water. On being exposed to the cold water, the dolls’ colour-changing properties reveal new lingerie-like markings and words, which are inappropriate for children and could be used for child grooming, say the parents.
Following the Toys R Us Quality Control team’s analysis, the retailer and distributor has concluded that the LOL dolls they receive are safe to be sold, says General Manager Jonathan Watts:
“The results of the tests have now been confirmed. The batches sent to our region do not contain any hidden implicit or written inappropriate messages appeared when exposed to ice-water, unlike the ones circulating in the international news. Therefore, we are confident in placing the LOL dolls back in our shelves.’’