This Year’s Hottest Toy Is a Cocaine-Using Polish Cactus

Quite possibly the strangest toy you'll see this year

The cactus shown is not of the singing variety.
Ugur Akdemir/Unsplash

As the days get shorter and the holiday season approaches, the thoughts of a growing number of people turn to toys. For someone looking for a gift for a young relative, the possibilities are endless — and it’s not hard to see why some gift buyers opt for toys that might have an educational purpose as well. Why not get a gift that can help the younger generation become familiar with a host of languages? It’s a laudable sentiment.

There’s one big caveat to that, however — and that’s making sure you know exactly what phrases in other languages the kids in question might be learning. Harrowing narratives about cocaine use and depression might not be suitable for the same age brackets who would find a dancing cartoon cactus amusing, for instance. And if you’re reading this and thinking, “That’s a very specific description,” you are absolutely correct.

Ontario resident Ania Tanner purchased an educational toy for her granddaughter online through Walmart. As CTV News Toronto reports, the toy was touted for helping kids learn foreign languages, specifically Spanish and Polish. Tanner, who is Polish herself, realized that the Polish audio featured, in her words, “swear words and talking about cocaine use.” Given that Tanner’s granddaughter is 15 months old, Tanner understandably felt that this was inappropriate for her — to say nothing of the song’s allusions to depression and suicide.

The story gets even more complicated from there. The song turned out to be the work of a Polish rapper named Cypis, who had no idea how his music had ended up used in a toy intended for children. He’s gone on to take action against the manufacturer of the toy, a company based in China, due to the copyright violation involved.

Walmart has since taken the toy down. But it’s not hard to imagine that these dancing depressive cacti could easily become the ironic collectibles of tomorrow.

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