The Sock Monkey is an iconic children’s toy that dates back to Victorian days, and still today, is a favorite amongst kids and their parents. From handmade treasures by Grandma to an innocent old toy store find, many sock monkeys will find their way under the Christmas tree or as stocking stuffers this year. However, one company has added a twist to the traditional sock monkey, and if you read between the lines, it actually sends out and supports a rather disturbing message with one of its characters.
The very sight of Magenta Beetsch is troublesome. Geared towards ages 8 and up, Magenta is one of the dolled-up sock monkeys in the line of Planet Sock Monkeys. From her physical appearance to the description detailing her persona, this ‘ tough-as-nails punk band drummer who is passionate about her tattoo art’ is a far cry from the sock monkeys most of us grew up with. Even her last name (‘Beetsch’) poses a problem – how does one even pronounce it without it sounding like a curse word?
According to the Patch Products website, Magenta is wearing a ‘punk-style’ skirt and boots with tattoo and piercings…and carrying a ‘scary cute skull purse.’ Her attire basically falls in line with the kind of styles associated with the line of Monster High and Ever After Dolls – really short skirts and high boots (or heels).
If you take a closer look at the packaging, you will also see the message ‘You Only Live Once’ being advertised. What does such a message even mean to an 8-year-old, or how will they perceive it? All it does is encourage reckless behavior and promote rebellion against parents and other authorities. It may have been an unintentional blunder on the part of marketing execs, but when you combine everything together – the Magenta Beetsch Sock Monkey doesn’t send a good message out to the younger crowd.
Some of the statements used to describe Magenta are too mature for the younger audience that this doll may appeal to , such as making references to adult matters, like glorifying having ‘the wildest, best time’. Magenta boasts that she plays at ‘wild scenes’ with her band. When she’s not ‘rockin,’ she has a day job that ‘involves lotsa skin…’ She inks and pierces anything a client wants. She likes to draw on skin, ‘where it’s like immortal.’ Does this sound like the language that a toy company should use when marketing a sock monkey to 8-year-olds?
What exactly are the intentions of a toy company that markets a doll by saying ‘for rebels wanting to do their own thing?’ If that doesn’t send a red flag, not sure what does. Seems that the company should have designed this doll for an older crowd…
The other characters and personas in the Planet Sock Monkey line are not as disturbing as Magenta Beetsch. Long Sock Silver wears an eye patch with two monkey-like skull features on his belt and bandana. Star Harmonkey resembles a country singer – complete with her own pink guitar. M.O.N.K. is described as a ‘rough-edged, loud-mouthed rapper keeping it real for his fans.’ Ima Bananerd takes on the ‘nerdy’ persona. Lastly, Eaton Dedd portrays the undead zombie with blood dripping from his mouth and displaying a squinty one eye.
But as for Magenta Beetsch…she promotes wild scenes, tattoos, and piercings – all three things that an 8-year-old should have no business thinking about at their age.