Just got a note from the company who was hired to prototype the sock obama doll (a story Joseph first broke here at PB). It appears Binkley Toys is taking the right step in not making the doll. Good on them! Full note is below:
My name is Rob Bishop, I am the owner of Binkley Toys Inc. and this is my website.
My company, Binkley Toys Inc. has not manufactured the SockObama in production. (more then one toy)
My company was involved in prototyping the SockObama doll as a “work for hire” manufacturer.
Before the publics reaction to The SockObama doll myself and my staff did not make the racist connection that has been made. Our job day in and day out is to make safe, high quality and fun toys. The idea of making a nostalgic sock monkey brought back fond memories of toys from the past.
After the publics reaction I personally was very surprised at that connection (yes, you can accuse me of being naive) but when viewing the toy again, I could see how people could make that connection. That is sad really but that is the way the world works.
The update is, that myself and Binkley Toys Inc. will not be proceeding with manufacturing the SockObama toy. As I wrote to several people over email, my company is not just about ‘dollars’ and Binkley Toys Inc. prides itself on it’s social responsibility. Again, we have not manufactured any quantity in production of this toy idea.
Through the past couple of days I was hoping to find the ‘mistake’ my company made and I believe the only mistake would have been to keep going. There was no ill will, or negative intent in helping to design this toy. To proceed in to manufacturing this toy and to cause harm would have been the
error. I personally apologize to anyone who found this toy idea offensive and I am sorry I did not make the negative connection myself.
A THANK YOU
Thank you to everyone who emailed well thought out messages stating in a logical manner your displeasure with this toy. I tried to respond to each and everyone of you personally. Thank you for not sending vulgar messages on a first attempt to contact me. To those who decided that my company was guilty before your inquiry, well I wish you strength in your life.
Binkley Toys Inc.
The statement is also posted at their website.