The SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll is being pulled from production. Mattel’s new toy met with outcry from animal rights activists following the SeaWorld trainer death in 2010.
This isn’t the only thing Mattel is in trouble for lately. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the party game Apples to Apples sparked outrage from the Polish embassy after the words “Nazi Poland” appeared in the description for the movie Schindler’s List.
Mattel spokesman Alex Clark announced Friday that the company is canceling and stopping production of all merchandise related to SeaWorld. He didn’t give any solid reasons why, however.
“We’re not making the doll anymore. Consumers may find it on retail shelves but we are not shipping and not producing the doll.
“A number of factors go into a decision like that. Their licensing deal expired and we’ve elected not to renew it.”
Recent news surrounding the park’s treatment of its orcas seemed to have a lot to do with the removal of the SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll from Mattel’s line of toys. The connection between the toy’s discontinuation and the infamous 2013 documentary Blackfish hasn’t been confirmed, but animal rights activists are calling it a victory.
The film insinuates that SeaWorld keeps its animals in captivity and that it drove an orca named Tilikum to kill a veteran trainer in a fit of insanity.
PETA spokeswoman Stephanie Shaw sees the removal of the doll as a positive.
“It is very fitting that Mattel would dump Sea World Trainer Barbie. She’s now able to maintain her animal-friendly image.”
Others such as Taco Bell, AAA Motor Club, and Southwest Airlines have similarly cut their ties with the resort. SeaWorld has attempted to repair its image with a video disproving the accusations of animal abuse, says CNN, but that hasn’t stopped various sponsors from pulling their funding from the aquatic park.
Among the other toys that Mattel won’t be selling anymore are the Barbie Baby Animal Rescuer Playset and the Barbie Antarctica Penguin Fun Playset. All of the playsets in question feature Barbie in a SeaWorld trainer outfit.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 25, 2015
The SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll set includes the doll dressed appropriately, a baby Shamu orca, a dolphin, and a training wand. There is nothing technically upsetting about the toy set itself, except for its ties with the park’s image, which has suffered horribly following the 2013 documentary.
This could also be good news for collectors, who might grab all Mattel merchandise bearing the SeaWorld logo and sell it on eBay for a premium after it’s no longer found in stores.
What do you think of Mattel pulling the SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll and other merchandise from production?
[Image via Yathin S Krishnappa / Wikimedia Commons]