In addition to the scourge of fake news, now we also have to worry about fake toys.
Case in point: A “Happy Hour Playset,” featuring a bar, stools and fake beer bottles, that is supposedly being sold by Fisher-Price (surly barkeep not included).
Make no mistake: The product is fake and only exists in a photo posted Monday on Instagram by Adam Padilla, the owner of a New York branding agency.
Padilla was inspired by seeing his 2-year-old daughter sitting at his kitchen counter like it was a bar.
“It seemed like something someone might do,” Padilla told The Huffington Post.
The photo didn’t take off virally until Amiri King, a YouTube comedian based in Kentucky, posted it on Facebook with Padilla’s watermark cropped out.
HuffPost reached out to King, who declined to comment.
King’s post of Padilla’s image has been shared more than 40,000 times, mostly by people who understand it’s a joke.
But some people who believe it is real are accusing Fisher-Price of making an age-inappropriate product.
According to ABC Action News, at least one disgruntled consumer went to Facebook to gripe at Fisher-Price, saying: “Saw this and had to write. What the heck are you thinking? I hope to heaven that nobody buys this for their children it’s sick.”
Whoever handles the Fisher-Price social media account has to have the patience of Job.
According to NBC Connecticut, the company has responded to repeated complaints about King’s image on its Facebook page by saying, “Please know that this product is not endorsed, produced or approved by Fisher-Price.” (Even calling it a “product” seems like a stretch, since, again, no one has actually made one of these things.)
Padilla thinks it’s hilarious that some people really believe Fisher-Price created a “Happy Hour Playset.”
“The mischief maker in me is thrilled,” he said.
This is actually the second Fisher-Price spoof in recent days. Over the weekend, “Saturday Night Live” presented a parody commercial for a fake line of Fisher-Price toys catering to sensitive boys, including a plastic well for staring.
The toy company has since released a statement about the recent spoof products:
In the last few weeks some comical, yet fictional, Fisher-Price products have been introduced ― perhaps the result of adult writers, designers and comedians that were Fisher-Price kids themselves. As a premiere childhood development company focused on helping families get the best possible start in life, we take our role in developing toys and products very seriously, but can appreciate the recent product-development suggestions as obvious love of the brand.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed Padilla’s image to King. In fact, King only reposted Padilla’s image on Facebook. This article has been updated with Padilla’s comments.