Over 70 percent of businesses fail ten years post their genesis. This soon may be the case for the toy manufacturer Hasbro. The uncertainty of the business’s future stems from concerns that one of its new toys, the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy”, promotes child abuse. The troll toy has a button placed in a private area, causing outrage from parents. The toys have since been recalled, but they offer an interesting insight into how successful businesses can make one fatal mistake and moreover raises important questions about protecting children amidst child and sex trafficking.
Business markets are often volatile with booms and busts that can wipe out even the most seemingly successful companies. However, an important problem to investigate is specific ill decisions that can bring down an entire company. In the case of the troll doll, the improper placement of a button will likely have a drastic impact on the company’s future and reputation. This is not the first encounter Hasbro has had with bad toys either. In 2007 their Easy Bake Oven was recalled after it gave numerous children burns and other ailments. However, the company was able to recover, but their recent mistake was more than just a stumble, so it is unclear as to whether they will recover. Other toy companies should learn from Hasbro’s mistake and be far more careful about the products they release. Hasbro very well could have ruined their brand reputation and could potentially experience brand slaughter. Brand slaughter describes the tarnishing of a brand’s reputation to the point where it lacks all integrity, as described by WSJ bestseller David Corbin.
An additional concern that has been raised with the release of the Troll’s toy is its relevancy to predators and child sex trafficking. A petition was created by concerned parents which stated “When you push this button on the doll’s privates she gasps and giggles. This is not okay for a child’s toy! This toy needs to be removed from our stores,” the online petition states. “It’s not ok! It’s not fun!” The petition continues to say that the toy is “conditioning our children to think pedophilia is OK.” Given the rise of child trafficking, it is of utmost importance that children are protected and not be made out to become victims.
Overall, the future of the toy manufacturer Hasbro is uncertain. The release of the Trolls doll was more than just a minor slip up and will likely have a multitude of ramifications. This error makes you question the safeguards the company has in place. In order to recover Hasbro must implement many measures to ensure they do not release similar products in the future.