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​Mum Slams WWE Toy That 'Encourages Violence Against NHS Workers'

​Mum Slams WWE Toy That 'Encourages Violence Against NHS Workers'

The WWE 'Wrekkin Slambulance Vehicle’ is being sold on the Smyths Toys website for £39.99

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

A mum has blasted a retailer for selling a WWE toy that she says carries 'a message of violence' towards NHS vehicles and workers.

Sabrina Fitzsimmons, 41, spotted Smyths Toys advertising the WWE 'Wrekkin Slambulance Vehicle' during an ad break on TV on 22 June.

She'd been sat with partner Chrissie, 56, who is an NHS healthcare assistant, when the advert came on.

It showed WWE star Drew McIntyre saying kids should 'tear the slambulance apart for the ultimate brawl', with a stretcher seen smashing through the vehicle's back doors.

Characters also kick through the ambulance's side panel and rip lights, windows and doors off before using the fixtures to attack others.

Kennedy News and Media

The Mattel product is listed on the Smyths Toys website for £39.99, and is suitable for children aged six and upwards.

The description lists 'breakaway' pieces that can be used to 'crush the hood to uncover the engine' and 'smash figures' through the roof.

Kennedy News and Media

Mum-of-three Fitzsimmons, from Bournemouth, Dorset, said: "This toy is massively inappropriate.

"I wouldn't purchase that for my child and I certainly wouldn't get behind advertising it, I just think you're crossing a line of ethics and morals.

"Toys are supposed to teach our children, not only be fun. When I saw it I just thought 'what a time to be advertising a toy like this to children'.

Kennedy News and Media

"These people in the health care sector saved our lives.

"To advocate for a toy that perpetuates the message of violence towards the vehicles and the people that help us, I just think 'what kind of message are you sending to children here?' How is that ok?"

"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 wasn't trying to be a 'Karen' but I just found it really offensive given the pressure I know the services have been under and the sacrifices that they've made. I could see that the advert really upset my partner.

Kennedy News and Media

"I work in retail and you use some degree of common sense. If that fell on my desk and I was told 'we're going to advertise this' I would be asking questions.

"Is this good at any time, not just after a pandemic, to advocate violence against emergency workers? It's never a good thing."

After seeing the advert, Fitzsimmons wrote a complaint email to Smyths Toys, and posted on social media.

However, she feels she was 'fobbed off' with identical apologies from the retailer, saying its staff had 'missed her point'.

In her Facebook post, Fitzsimmons asked 'what the logic is in advertising a toy which encourages the destruction of an ambulance', at a time 'when there are active campaigns to reduce violence towards essential workers'.

Kennedy News and Media

In a reply to Fitzsimmons, which was also 'exactly the same' as the email response, Smyths Toys said: "Hi there! Thanks for [sic] in touch.

"Apologies for any disappointment caused by this. I can see from our system that you have been in touch with an agent regarding this issue.

"Apologies again for any upset or disappointment caused. Best wishes!"

But Fitzsimmons wants to receive acknowledgement that she makes a 'valid point', and hear that Smyths Toys may reconsider selling the toy.

Kennedy News and Media

She continued: "Instead it was 'sorry it offended you', I think they completely missed the message.

"It won't just have offended me, it offended my partner who goes to work everyday to help other people in the emergency services.

"A lot of her friends work there, she's witnessed and been party to having violence against her and her friends and her colleagues like I myself have in retail.

"We're trying to curb that and get that message across that it's not acceptable and they're perpetuating a toy that is telling kids that it is at a very young and impressionable age.

"I think it's so wrong."

WWE stated that the toy is made by Mattel and sold by Smyths.

LADbible has contacted Smyths and Mattel for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Toys, UK News, News, WWE, NHS