Opinion Brief

Is Mattel's 'Little Mommy' the most 'terrifying' doll ever?

A robotic doll that demands kisses and snacks is supposed to train little girls to be mothers, but it's giving some parents the creeps

The video: Mattel's "Little Mommy" doll is a demanding little robo-child that asks for kisses, her teddy bear, and even tells you when she needs to pee, with the aid of a treacly robo-voice, motion detector sensors, and colored lights that signal boo-boos and wee-wees. Unveiled earlier this week at the New York Toy Fair, it's already weirding out parents. (Watch a demonstration of the doll below, or another one here.)
The reaction: Not only does this "possessed sounding automaton" enforce "stringent gender norms" — let's train little girls to be mothers while boys play with trucks — it's also just plain "terrifying," says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. Yeah, this doll gives me "chills," says Rebecca at Babble. Funny how Toy Fair is supposed to be a "showcase of the newest, most forward thinking innovations in play," but "Mother Training Toys" like this one are decidedly old-fashioned. Still, you have to admit that the tech here is very innovative, says DeWayne Strickland at NewYorkStateNews , even if she "does remind me of the horror movie Chucky." See for yourself, below.

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