UK
09/10/2015 06:33 BST | Updated 09/10/2015 06:59 BST

Playmobil Pirate Ship Includes 'Racist' Black Figurine With Slave Shackle

A toy pirate ship featuring a figurine resembling an African American wearing a slave collar is causing controversy.

Ida Lockett’s five-year-old son received the toy as a birthday present and she was helping him put it together when she noted the instructions advised placing the shackle around the figure’s neck.

She told CBS Sacratmento: “It’s definitely racist. You cannot have this specific accessory and call it anything else.

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The instructions appear to advise placing a shackle around the figure's neck

“The fact you can Google it, look it up, say what it is – it’s a slave collar.

“[The toy] told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character’s neck, and then to play with the toy.”

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A Playmobil spokesman told The Huffington Post the pirate play set it meant to depict life on a 17th-century pirate ship.

He said: “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 any way.”

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But offence has been caused.

Aimee Norman, who gifted the toy, wrote on Facebook she was “mortified”.

She added: “Newsflash, Playmobil: This is the 21st century. People of African descent have contributed to mankind in a myriad of ways that existed outside of the disgusting institution of the slave trade.

“Selling children’s toys that are suggestive of slavery in play is obscene, even more so given the market absence of diversity in your entire toy line.

“Slavery is not a game.”