Facing criticism, Hasbro plans to replace Play-Doh tool that looks like a penis

Associated Press

Facing criticism from some parents over a Play-Doh toy that looks similar to a penis, Hasbro is says it will replace the offending implement with a different tool.

The complaints over the so-called "extruder tool" in Play-Doh's Cake Mountain toy have been going on since at least November, when Tulsa, Oklahoma, TV station KTUL showed the tool to parents and asked them what they thought. The two-piece syringe-like tool — which includes a tube with corkscrew-type ridges around the outside and a dome-shaped top with a hole at the tip — can be used to squeeze Play-Doh to look like decorative cake frosting.

Continue Reading Below

The station blurred the image of the tool during the piece, saying it was due to parents' reactions. One woman told the station it was "a pretty phallic cake-decorating piece."

After Christmas hit, comments started pouring in to Play-Doh's Facebook page. Jennifer Turner, a Rhode Island mother, posted a message saying it had ruined her Christmas.

"Every person I asked, including my two older children, all agreed that it looked way too similar to a penis," Turner said in an email with The Associated Press. Her photo was posted and re-posted online, and Turner said she has since been bashed and made fun of for pointing out the obvious and taking a stand.

Erin Rivers, a mother of two from Melbourne, Florida, thought it was hilarious when she helped her 6-year-old daughter open the box.

"I pulled out this extruder tool and I just started cracking up at it, I couldn't help it. Then I immediately put the Play-Doh in it and took a picture of," she said. Then, she posted it on Facebook. "My friends have just as dirty minds as I do. It was hysterical to me. And then I gave it my daughter to play with."

Her daughter and 4-year-old son do not notice anything strange about the toy, she said.

Pawtucket-based Hasbro Inc. has received thousands of comments on the Play-Doh Facebook page about the toy.

"We are in the process of updating all future Play-Doh products with a different tool," it said in a statement posted on the page Tuesday. It also offered to replace the tool for anyone who has it.

Rivers, 31, who works in a pediatric dental office, says she's not upset at all. But she is flabbergasted that the toy slipped past so many layers of people at Hasbro.

"They have to have someone who creates it, someone who makes the plastic mold, someone who plays with it," she said. "I can't imagine that as many people that probably saw the toy, not one person said 'Does anyone else think this looks like a penis?'"