Via E! Online:
One mother was outraged when she realized that a birthday gift for her son included a “racist” toy.
Ida Lockett told Sacramento’s local CBS station that a Playmobil pirate toy set given to her 5-year-old boy by his aunt included instructions that showed how to shackle one of the dark-skinned figures, who happens to be wearing tattered clothing and a metal collar and is shoeless.
“He was excited when he got it,” she said. “I spent the weekend putting it together,” and that’s when she realized what the toy came with. “You cannot have this specific accessory and call it anything else,” she said. “The fact that you can Google it, look it up, say what it is—it’s a slave collar.”
There is also a cargo cell below the deck of the ship, which Lockett believes is reminiscent of a slave hold. “It’s definitely racist,” she said. “It told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character’s neck, and then to play with the toy.”
A Playmobil spokesperson tells E! News in a statement that the toy set was made to have historical context, and was not meant to offend anyone.
“This piece is from a PLAYMOBIL pirate playset that is designed to depict life on a 17th-century pirate ship on the high seas. If you look at the box, you can see that the pirate figure is clearly a crew member on the pirate ship and not a captive. The figure was meant to represent a pirate who was a former slave in a historical context. It was not our intention to offend anyone in anyway”