Fisher-Price at It Again

By Victoria Robertson on December 22, 2016

Looking for the perfect toy this holiday season for your niece, nephew, brother or sister? Or maybe you have kids of your own that you’re looking to purchase new and exciting toys for?

Or maybe you’ve got a Secret Santa that you just have no idea what to get and you’re 15 minutes away from buying a Visa gift card and calling it a day.

Well look no further, because there’s a new toy in town and you aren’t going to want to miss this one. Seriously, remain seated.

Fisher-Price, that extremely popular toy company that you remember from your childhood, faced a bit of backlash when a known meme maker, Adam Padilla, created a meme featuring a not-real, though extremely funny, toy that he linked to the company.

They have since gotten many complains via Twitter (because people have no idea how to take a joke and must complain somewhere), to which they’ve had to respond that they have not, in fact, created said toy.

So what’s the toy that’s creating controversy?

Well, when Emma Stone hosted “Saturday Night Live,” the company was the butt of the joke when they created a fake ad for a toy for “sensitive boys.”

The toy was a wishing well, a place where “sensitive boys” could go and cry or talk to themselves.

Following this fake ad, Padilla created his own meme of a Fisher-Price toy that he called the “Happy Hour Playset.” The toy features three toddlers standing at a pretend bar (think toy kitchen, but rather a bar) and holding plastic beer bottles. One of the toddlers appears to be posing as the bartender.

As college students, we can all appreciate how hilarious this sounds, and I’m sure many of us truly wish that it was a real toy.

However, while obviously funny and meant to be satirical, the more serious parents aren’t too thrilled that the popular company name is being displayed in such negative lights.

The company made a statement and claimed that they had nothing to do with this “product,” going on to state that it wasn’t ever “endorsed, produced or approved by Fisher-Price.”

The picture was posted to one of our favorite social media sites, Instagram, and while we can appreciate it (and probably wish that it was a real thing for multiple reasons), not everyone can.

Fisher-Price appears to be on the same side however, in saying that it appreciates “the suggestions as obvious love of the brand.”

So why is this relevant to you?

Well, in my family, every year we must come up with Christmas lists of things that we want, but my family never really gets us anything on those lists.

So this year, we’re filling our lists with ridiculous items that we would love to have.

This is going to be one of those items.

Can you imagine sitting in your dorm room at your toy-kitchen-esque bar enjoying a mixed drink with your roommates while watching Spongebob re-runs and avoiding homework?

I can, and I think it’s going to be the perfect gift for any college student.

All jokes aside, brand issues like this come up all too often, though the way that Fisher-Price is handling the issue is commendable. There’s no obvious harm being done to the company (as there shouldn’t be, since they’ve done nothing wrong), so they’ve been good sports in claiming that these fake ads and products are simply meant as flattery to a company that’s so well-known and loved.

There are plenty of toy companies out there, but their brand name is one that people recognize, and perhaps that is why they are at the forefront of these fake ads, especially in light of the holidays, which typically leads to an increase in ads for all companies anyway.

For all you advertising majors, bad publicity is a very real thing, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case here. At least, not yet.

If customers of the company continue complaining about such pictures and fake ads, there may be another story here soon. Especially since the company has actually had to come out and say they do not endorse and have not made this toy, even though it should be fairly obvious to anyone with any sort of brain that this would be the case.

But for the time being, no publicity is bad publicity and Fisher-Price is still the toy company we all turn to for our ridiculous, fake kitchen and cleaning items, needs.

So until you can find the children’s toy bar at a Toys R Us nearest you, maybe it’s best to stick to Nordstrom’s $85 rock for your pointless Christmas gifts this year. Next year, check back in with Fisher-Price and see how they’re coming along.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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