Play-Doh bungles suggestive 'extruder' tool redesign
Play-Doh's replacement extruder tool for its Cake Mountain toy is shown. (Suzi Winterstein)
Is it another bungled design, or are parents overanalyzing their kids' toys?
Hasbro's oddly-shaped Play-Doh 'extruder tool' continues to raise eyebrows, as the redesign of the original phallus-shaped object is now being compared to a more intrusive sex toy.
Multiple parents have likened the latest yellow extruder tool to a butt plug sex toy – a decidedly odd replacement for the original phallic tool that prompted the redesign.
The original extruder tool sparked controversy late last year when many claimed it resembled a penis. The two-part syringe tool includes a clear, tapered cylinder with spiraling ridges running up to a tapered dome with a small hole in the top. Two plastic flaps stick out to either side at the base of the cylinder.
The replacement extruder tool is shorter than the original with a bulbous design that tapers slightly at either end. Hasbro has described it as lemon-shaped, but that's not how everyone sees it.
Suzi Winterstein of Thornhill, Ont. received the new extruder tool in late November after telling Hasbro that the old tool looked "like a penis." She says she could only laugh when she saw the new design.
"It's hilarious," Winterstein told CTVNews.ca by phone on Thursday. "They've replaced it with a lemon butt plug."
Both tools are meant to push out decorative cake frosting for Play-Doh's Cake Mountain toy.
Winterstein was among several thousand parents who complained to Play-Doh and its parent company, Hasbro, late last year. Winterstein says she's not angry about the suggestive designs. She simply finds them funny, and felt it was important to inform Hasbro of their mistakes.
"Only the people at Hasbro don't see what they've fashioned these toys after," Winterstein said. She added that her four-year-old son saw the original extruder and immediately called it a penis.
Winterstein says Hasbro apologized for the original design and promised to send her a replacement tool. Two weeks later, a smaller version of the same extruder arrived by courier at Winterstein's front door.
"They sent me the exact same thing but it's two inches shorter," Winterstein said. She called Hasbro back to inform them again of the mistake, which led to them sending the lemon-shaped extruder at the end of November.
The original extruder design went viral a month later when thousands of kids received Cake Mountain playsets at Christmas with the original phallic tool included.
In a Facebook post on Dec. 30, Hasbro promised to replace the controversial toy for anyone disturbed by the design.
The Hasbro Facebook post has more than 6,000 likes and 5,000 shares.
One commenter on the post included a photo of the lemon-shaped extruder with a cheeky caption.
"So… this is the replacement!" Tanya Bouchard wrote. "We go from the 'Extruder' to the butt plug? Is this the 'Intruder'?"
Winterstein says she's not going to bother asking Hasbro for another extruder replacement.