In what is maybe a sign that we're getting back to some kind of normal, a hysterical mother has accused an objectively silly WWE toy of inspiring children to commit acts of violence against healthcare workers. Yes, you did indeed read that correctly. Some lady has somehow completely overlooked the potential and longtime actual fear of WWE inspiring kids to hurt each other by recreating the action they see on TV and has instead set her heat-seeking missiles on a WWE branded toy, where the wrestlers rip an ambulance apart and fight in it. As The Simpsons character Jasper Beardly said as he stared in disbelief at a package of Moon Pies, "what a time to be alive!"
In an interview with the U.K.'s Daily Star, Sabrina Fitzsimons says she was horrified when she saw local toy store Smyths Toys advertising the "WWE Wrekkin' Slambulance Vehicle", a toy playset from Mattel where kids can use their favorite wrestling figures to have a match inside the ambulance and break pieces off of it, as demonstrated here by the known child-corrupter Drew McIntyre.
Fitzsimons expressed her outrage in the following quote:
"This toy is massively inappropriate. I wouldn't purchase that for my child. I certainly wouldn't get behind advertising it, I just think you're crossing a line of ethics and morals.
These people in the health care sector saved our lives. WWE has a huge following from littles ones right up to adults, including my 13-year-old son, I think it's just such the wrong message.
I just found it really offensive given the pressure I know the services have been under and the sacrifices that they've made. Is this good at any time, not just after a pandemic, to advocate violence against emergency workers? It's never a good thing.
Can I ask what the logic is in advertising a toy which encourages the destruction of an ambulance? (WWE Slambulance). At a time during a pandemic when there are active campaigns to reduce violence towards essential workers?
And considering what the NHS has done for us over the past year I find the toy and the advert for it offensive and inappropriate. I would like to know why your company felt this was a good toy to get behind and advertise?"
Okay, so, her heart is kind of in the right place in that she's defending the healthcare workers around the world who sacrificed so much during the COVID-19 pandemic. That's fine. But this is not the soapbox to stand on to do so.
It seems that no matter the justification, toys are always under attack from silly adults with an agenda, all while the toy in question is harmless and a child would never see any issue with it. Let's not forget lunatic televangelist and hatemonger Jerry Fallwell attacking the purple Teletubbie in 1999, hysterically claiming that Tinky Winky was "corrupting" children into a gay lifestyle.
And this isn't WWE's first rodeo either, as also in 1999 (what the hell was going on that year?!), Al Snow figures that featured his beloved partner Head were pulled off of the shelves of Wal-Marts around the country for allegedly portraying "the brutalization of women". Thank god they never made a toy set of Al Snow, The Big Bossman, and Pepper the dog…
So to wrap it all up, while we should all be more supportive of our healthcare workers around the world, attacking a WWE toy isn't the way to go about it and ultimately just undercuts any actual supportive behavior. Let's all just take a deep breath, get our heads straight, play with our WWE Wrekkin' Slambulances, and realize we are no more likely to beat the crap out of a doctor after.