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Costco yanks dolls after customer complaints


ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco Wholesale announced that it will no longer sell a toy collection, following complaints that some of the products were ethnically insensitive.

The collection in question is the "Cuddle with Me, Doll with Plush Monkey." The line includes three ethnic doll representations, Caucasian, African American and Hispanic, each holding a plush monkey. A similar line features a plush panda.

Costco reported that shortly after the toys were offered for sale in Costco's locations on the East Coast, it received a complaint from a member in North Carolina, concerning the version of the doll showing an African American baby in conjunction with plush monkeys. Based upon that complaint, Costco immediately made the decision to pull from its shelves and discontinue all three of the versions of the collection that included the plush monkey. The discontinued items were carried only in the company's Northeast and Southeast operating regions of the United States, and through Costco's Web site.

The three versions of the item sold with the plush panda are still carried by the company and can be viewed or purchased on

Jim Sinegal, Costco CEO, stated, "We are sensitive to any complaint that a product we carry would cause discomfort to any segment of our membership. As soon as it became clear to us that this toy item was offensive to some of our members, we decided to remove it from our warehouses. We don't believe there is room for argument in matters of this type, even though it was an honest mistake, made while we were attempting to do the right thing."

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