Shank Found Inside Mattel Polly Pocket Toy

Here’s a story that makes you wonder what sort of tools the workers at Mattel’s factories use. A “shank” (a blade wrapped in electrical tape, to be exact) was found inside a sealed Polly Pocket toy purchased at Walmart.

Mattel apologized for the incident, saying:

“We apologize to the family that they found that in the toy. No matter how it got there, or what the cause of the placement of that object in the toy was. So we apologize to the family, and we’d also like to send a replacement toy to make her Christmas happy and bright.”

The family that bought the toy was sufficiently horrified that they declined a replacement.


Edit Your Comment

  1. MercuryPDX says:

    ROFL…. I liked it better when I misread that as “Skank”.

  2. AlisonAshleigh says:

    @mercurypdx: It’s polly pocket, not barbie.

  3. darkened says:

    @AlisonAshleigh: polly poke-it?

  4. ratnerstar says:

    Polly’s known as the pocket for her habit of picking them, and she got that shank during her nickel at Sing Sing.

  5. Toof_75_75 says:

    I would have called and thanked them for the “prison tool”…Never know when you might need it!

  6. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Prisoners make Mattel toys?

  7. homerjay says:

    Looks like Polly was planning on landing herself in the cooler, the klink, the big house. Thats right, prison.

  8. statnut says:

    Clearly, the toy was supposed to go to Bubba in Cell Block D.

  9. Szin says:

    The Doll carries, with it, a terrible curse. But it comes with a free Frogurt. The Frogurt is also cursed.

  10. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    @Szin: The cake is a lie, as well.

  11. hubris says:

    @ratnerstar: Nicely done. You too, HomerJay.

    Seriously, who names a toy Polly Pocket? …really?

  12. snoop-blog says:

    @mercurypdx: that does make for a funnier headline.

  13. MercuryPDX says:

    @AlisonAshleigh: When you have Barbie and Bratz, is it hard to imagine sweet and innocent Polly Pocket not befriending a girl with looser morals?

  14. smitty1123 says:

    Kids get all the good toys nowadays…

  15. Dibbler says:

    Her parents don’t want a toy or a refund…they want a big check from Mattel. Jerks in my opinion.

  16. mikesfree says:

    Shank you very much for the extra goodies!

  17. m4ximusprim3 says:

    lol @ “paris hilton edition” polly pocket.

  18. MercuryPDX says:

    @omerhi: Seriously, who names a toy Polly Pocket?

    When this toy was introduced way back when the doll, playset, and accessories all folded up neatly into a case small enough to fit in your pocket. The “boys version” was called Mighty Max.

  19. snoop-blog says:

    @mercurypdx: and i had a mighty max!! i thought they were the shiz-nit! but alas, mine never came with an action shank. i always get screwed!

  20. snoop-blog says:

    good news though, the shank was found to be lead free!

  21. UpsetPanda says:

    Duh…it’s to protect yourself when all the other little girl want to steal it.

  22. dgcaste says:

    A free replacement??? how nice of them.

  23. HalOfBorg says:

    We had Mighty Max and Polly – still have her.

    Those early little sets were tough to close. Had to have everything in it JUST so.

  24. Bay State Darren says:

    This explains why Adebesi try to stab another inmate with a tiny plastic purse in the M-city cellblock today. Warden Glynn’s gonna be pissed!

  25. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Yes, along with a lot of other things in China.

  26. icruise says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if it was a returned item, and that the shank was put in there by someone who had bought it previously. Walmart basically does nothing to make sure that the returned products are intact (or even that the correct product is in the box).

  27. rmeehan17 says:

    it’s not a shank, it’s a shiv. Shanking is the actual act of stabbing someone with a shiv. Like the comcast ad says, Shank is a verb as in an action. they found a shiv in a polly pocket toy. not a shank.

  28. Toof_75_75 says:

    @ Ryan

  29. Bay State Darren says:

    @ryan: I believe they are generally considered interchangeable as nouns, although shiv is to my knowlege not commonly used as a verb.

  30. frankadelic says:

    I wonder if it was a tool used in the manufacturing process that was accidentally dropped into the box.

  31. @statnut: What did the toy that went to Bubba contain?

  32. Bay State Darren says:

    I smell a shakedown.

  33. MercuryPDX says:

    Actually I think the water is so muddy that they’re synonyms however they are applied.

    Shiv: []
    Shank: []

    Shank: []
    Shiv: []

  34. Bay State Darren says:

    I suppose prison inmates can’t be expected to provide a consistent grammatical set of rules. I’m pretty much just going off of how they used these words on Oz [awesome show].

  35. LiC says:

    So it’s not like a box cutter who’s sheath disappeared leaving the owner with a naked blade which he chose to wrap in electric tape and omg it was such a piece of crap that one day he misplaced it?

    “Sufficiently horrified”? Yeeeeesh, my daddy brought home box cutters and I used to use them to cut my barbies’ hair.

  36. AndrewDB says:

    @mercurypdx: Well it is a Polly Pocket toy.. :D

  37. Project Thanatos says:

    Polly Pocket is gangsta all of a sudden?

  38. slowinthefastlane says:

    “Here’s something the other prison tour guides won’t tell you: In this very cell block, Machine Gun Kelly had, what we call in the prison system, a ‘bitch’. One day, if a fit of jealous rage, Kelly took a makeshift knife, or ‘shiv’, and cut the…”

  39. floydianslip6 says:

    I guess I’m not sure what a satisfactory answer is. A shank ended up in there, if Matel knew exactly HOW it probably wouldn’t have happened!?

    What are they looking for?
    8AM Billy “the Box” Boxcowski punched in
    812AM Billy “the Box” packs shank in what will eventualy become your child’s toy
    9PM the toy leaves the facotry


  40. gmark2000 says:

    Little kids are looking like “prosti-tots” if the emulate their Bratz toys.

  41. jacknval says:

    The only thing that disturbed me in that video was that the father’s hair is longer than the mother’s!

  42. Celticlady says:

    I want to know if the shank was made in China???

  43. Spamwich says:

    It’s hard to tell from the small photo, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a utility knife blade with tape on it. They’re frequently used when you misplace your last boxcutter and all you can find are spare blades. Granted, that still doesn’t make it a good children’s toy…

  44. machete_bear says:

    @Szin: But you get your choice of topping!

    The toppings contain potassium benzoate…

    That’s bad.

  45. Tzepish says:

    @Dibbler: They are jerks because they received a toy with a razor blade in it?! Holy crap, man! Their reaction to this situation is perfectly reasonable!

  46. girly says:

    @snoop-blog: Maybe a shank would have been packaged with a “Norman” figure.

  47. D.B. Cooper-Nichol says:

    @Tzepish: Well, a toy package with a utility knife in it, but even so – what should the appropriate offer be?

    I am mostly comfortable speculating that Mom & Dad were halfway dreaming of some sort of payday, but fortunately, the law doesn’t normally compensate for things that might have happened.

  48. Upsilon says:

    Actually, [/smugassholishtone] a shank is a blade made out of a metal shoe shank.
    A shiv is an improvised blade made out of anything else.
    You “shank” with a shank.
    To attack with a shiv is called “shifting.”

    Now, unless that thing was made from a shoe shank, these people did not, in fact, find a shank in their toy. They found a shiv. If they wish to sue, and use the word “shank,” then Mattel could win by claiming that it is not a shank.

    Also Mighty Max FTW!!! I had all three playsets from series II and the scorpion from series I.

    Master of the wire shiv,

  49. WraithSama says:

    Mattel is taking the incident seriously.

  50. lovelygirl says:

    OMG! What if that little girl had poked her finger on the blade and the blade was rusty or contaminated?! That’s just horrible!

  51. trujunglist says:

    Good comments people, you make engadget look like early 1900s slapstick.

  52. polly’s been around the block once or twice eh

  53. cothebadger says:

    Didn’t this story break on Christmas day?

  54. mikeluisortega says:

    Polly Pocket : jihad edition

  55. ChaosMotor says:


    Vidoes? C’mon.

  56. captainproton says:

    Welcome to made in China. This is kinda a nonstory – a tool got left in a toy by an overworked, tired and stressed worker on an assembly line. The fact that it is a shiv means little. Even if the factory had proper tools for use, workers many times will construct or buy their own to help them get the job done.
    If they were smart, they would have ebayed the shiv. Just my opinion.

  57. Chronusmcgee says:

    A large percentage of toys are manufactured by captive workers. Prison labor is big business. Many countries which provide cheap labor for the global economy use camp and prison labor to lower the total labor costs. Other countries capture religious or political dissidents for this purpose. Other countries import drugs and then incarcerate the users to fill their prison labor programs. The sneakers you wear, the toys your children play with, and the clothes you wear have a 78% chance of having been manufactured by captive labor.