Here’s to hoping Hello Barbie has cleared off a spot in the Dream Home’s trophy case for a dubious honor: the eavesdropping doll that got privacy advocates talking — and not in a good way — has topped all other nominees for Worst Toy of The Year and will be taking home the win.
The folks at Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood have crowned Hello Barbie the worst of all on their annual list of TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children) Award nominees, an award handed out to the year’s most crass and questionable toys.
Hello Barbie came under fire for not only talking with your child, but for recording what your young one would then say back to it, and passing those recordings on to a third party “to perform, test or improve speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, or for other research and development and data analysis purposes.”
“In a year full of jaw-droppingly bad toys, Hello Barbie deserves the TOADY as worst of the worst,” said CCFC’s Executive Director Josh Golin. “It’s the perfect storm of a terrible toy, and threatens children’s privacy, wellbeing, and creativity.”
Hello Barbie dominated the competition, said CCFC, receiving more votes than the other five nominees (more on them here). Final results:
• Hello Barbie, 57% of votes
• Brands We Know book series, 14.5%
• Bratz #Selfie Stick with Doll, 13.6%
• Nerf Rebelle Charmed Dauntless Blaster, 8.6%
• Sky Viper Video Drone by Skyrocket Toys 3.8%
• Tube Heroes Collector Pack, 2.2%
Last year’s winner was a co-branded Baby First/AT&T U-Verse iPad app that introduced infants to the whole “stare at the glowing screen” concept as early as possible.