An Aussie mum says she was left in shock after opening up her little boy's Kinder Surprise to find a 'racist' toy.
Mum Kimberley, from Victoria, said she picked up the egg for her 15-month old son Alexander last weekend, but when she opened it up, she found a white Kinder Egg figure holding three balloons, collectively bearing the letters 'KKK' - the same initials as white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.
The mum said she was in 'shock' after seeing the toy. Credit: Madeline Cox
Kimberley told Kidspot: "Initially we laughed in shock. It was kind of like, 'Are we seeing and reading this right?'"
However, once the initial shock wore off, Kimberley said she 'felt sick' at the thought her son could have played with the toy.
She continued: "As soon as you open the package the toy comes in two parts.
"One is the egg and the other is the balloons with 'KKK' written on them.
"As soon as you see them - you notice it."
I mean, you do have to wonder who on Earth would sign off on this? Yes, of course K is also the initial of Kinder, but it does seem faintly ridiculous anyone could have opted for three balloons, all with K on them, without anyone else flagging up that it could be problematic.
"This is a massive oversight that anyone could have seen," Kimberley added.
"It's also hard to find something to say as the initials of Kinder Surprise aren't 'KKK'."
"It raises questions as to what the company supports and if this is subliminal marketing."
So, Kimberley decided to write to Kinder Eggs' parent company Ferrero Rocher to ask about the meaning behind the toy.
She was told that the toy was part of a limited-edition run to celebrate 50 years of Kinder Eggs, which had since been 'withheld from the market' and 'destroyed'.
A statement from the company read: "We sincerely apologise for any offence caused due to the inference of how the three Ks read together on this toy.
"As detailed in the note to our consumer, initially it was designed with one balloon with a 'K' on it.
"However, two more were added to provide a more robust structure, as the safety and quality of our toys is of the utmost importance.
"We had absolutely no intention to make associations with the Ku Klux Klan and we truly apologise to our consumers for any unintentional offence caused.
"We do not support this organisation in any way. The K on the balloons was solely meant to represent Kinder. We can inform you this toy, which was part of a limited edition for Kinder's 50th birthday, has been discontinued.
"Stock from this toy range has also been withheld from the market and destroyed.
"Rest assured, we are revisiting our internal processes to ensure something like this cannot happen again. It was never intended for this toy to be offensive, and we would like to extend our sincerest apologies again.
"In addition, any consumer who has received the toy in question can contact our consumer services to arrange a replacement, if they wish."
Featured Image Credit: Madeline Cox/Kinder