The manufacturer has issued a recall, saying it is equally surprised by the toy’s “disturbing message.”
The Huffington Post
Manufacturers are recalling plush truck toys sold at Monster Jam motor sport events after the disturbing discovery that they feature a symbol linked to pedophilia.
“I’m absolutely sick. I bought this for my 2-year-old little girl. This toy was made for little girls. I wanted answers,” Nicole O’Kelly told NBC affiliate WFLA after she purchased the hot pink toy at a monster truck rally in Syracuse, New York, earlier this month.
The toy features an emblem of a heart connected to a smaller heart inside of it. According to an FBI bulletin published by WikiLeaks, it’s the symbol for a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor girl. The FBI did not immediately confirm the bulletin’s authenticity to The Huffington Post on Monday.
O’Kelly’s oldest daughter reportedly recognized the symbol after watching an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” In the episode, detectives investigate symbols for pedophilia that are printed on jewelry and coins.
The Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester, New York, confirmed the symbol’s double meaning to local NBC affiliate WHEC News.
“When I see that heart inside the heart, it’s pedophile,” said Anna Potter, the associate executive director of the center. “It’s that underground culture that they use to communicate.”
Feld Entertainment, which manufactured the monster truck toy, says it immediately pulled the item from its inventory after learning of the symbol’s apparent hidden meaning.
“The company was not aware of the disturbing message contained in the truck’s design, nor did we intend to use any design that had a secret or double meaning. We are currently reviewing our merchandise to ensure that it’s appropriate for our customers,” said Stephen Payne, vice president of corporate communication, in an emailed statement on Monday.
According to sold at several events across the country in January and February, including in New York and Florida., the toy was
The individual who designed the product no longer works for Feld Entertainment, the Florida-based company told WHEC.
Anyone who has purchased the toy is eligible for a full refund, the company said.