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A Christmas toy intended to spread the peace and love of the holiday apparently spews hatred.
As first reported by The Columbian, a Vancouver, Wash., family discovered that the toy they unsuspectingly attached to their son’s crib utters the words “I hate you” amid the rhythmic ocean sounds designed to lull the baby asleep.
Blanche Skelton told WorldNetDaily she was giving her 6-month-old, Alex, his medicine the other night when she heard the soft voice of a woman or little kid repeating the nasty message over and over.
“The voice has a softness to it. It sounds hypnotizing. … I think it’s creepy,” Skelton said. “My husband thought I was crazy until he heard it.” Skelton’s in-laws and everyone who has visited the house since have heard it.
Skelton describes the toy as being shaped like a boat, blue and white with a big red anchor on the side where you push a button to make it play either music or the ocean sounds. The front has pictures of fish and water.
Blanche does not remember the name of the toy, but said the box bears the Wal-Mart brand label Kid Connection.
She said the toy appears to be a Wal-Mart version of a similar “Ocean Wonders Aquarium” toy made by Fisher-Price and sold by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart’s website ranks the Fisher-Price toy as its third best-selling product among toys for infants age 0 to 6 months.
The box indicates Wal-Mart’s Kid Connection toy was made in China.
“You know China is not friends with us,” Skelton said, speculating about the explanation for what she fears is a subliminal message hidden in the toy. “They’re trying to get back at us. What’s the best way? Teach kids when they’re young to hate. It’s scary.”
“How many kids are lying in their crib listening to that?” Skelton’s father-in-law, Gary Skelton, posed to The Columbian.
Blanche Skelton said she and her husband went to the local Wal-Mart in Hazel Dell the next day to report the bizarre phenomenon. Finding four or five identical toys on a clearance shelf, Blanche said she played the toy for an assistant manager who, she says, “could hear something,” but wasn’t sure the phrase was “I hate you.”
Still, he pledged the toys would be removed from the shelf and said if the couple would bring in their toy, they could receive a full refund.
The store manager declined to comment for WorldNetDaily.
The Columbian reports the toys were gone from the shelves the next day, but Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karen Burk said no toys were pulled from the shelves in Hazel Dell.
Burk said this was the first time she’d heard complaints about the toy and said she was having difficulty investigating the Skeltons’ claim due to lack of information.
“I have relayed this information to our merchandise team,” Burk told WorldNetDaily. “We’re looking into it to the best of our ability. This is an important situation. Any product that is not performing properly is important.”
“We are always sorry that a customer is not happy with a product they purchased at our stores, and we encourage the customer to come back for a full refund,” she added.
The Skeltons don’t plan on taking Wal-Mart up on the refund offer.
“It still plays music,” said Blanche, “and if we take it back we lose our proof.”