A woman who bought an “educational” singing cactus toy for her 15-month-old granddaughter was shocked when she got it home and tried it out.
The Chinese-made toy played a bleak song about drug abuse by Polish rapper Cypis. While most English-speaking buyers might not have understood the lyrics, Ontario grandmother Ania Tanner was born in Poland and was shocked by what she heard.
"It just so happens that I am Polish and when I started to listen to the songs and I heard the words," she told CTV News. "I was in shock. I thought what is this some kind of joke?"
"This toy uses swear words and talking about cocaine use," she told CTV News Toronto, adding "It's about taking five grams of cocaine and being alone … It's a very depressing song”.
She got in touch with Walmart and demanded a refund.
As well as being on sale on Walmart’s website in Canada, the toy is sold throughout Europe and a similar item is currently available on Amazon’s UK site for between £15 and £25.
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One Amazon reviewer wrote in March this year: “So one song is in Polish ( I think ) and one in Spanish. I Googled the lyrics to one of the songs and to say it's not kid friendly is an understatement. My kid might never actually figure that out but this thing will be going nowhere near him”.
Two other UK Amazon reviewers understood the song’s lyrics. One wrote: “this toy sings about cocaine in Polish language” and another added “Do not buy this for children, the second song is in Polish and contains swear words and about drugs”.
According to CTV, the Polish singer was not aware that his song was being used in this way and is reportedly considering legal action against the toy manufacturer.
In response to enquiries about the product, a Walmart spokesperson said: "These items are sold by a third-party seller on our marketplace website.
"We are removing the items while we look into this complaint further”.
Ania says she’s glad the item has been withdrawn: “I just don't want anybody before Christmas to think this is a great toy and go online and have the same thing happen, that happened to me."
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