Monday, February 8, 2010

Pink Ouija Board 'Toy' Targeting Young Girls Sparks Boycott

By Kathleen Gilbert

PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island, February 5, 2010 ( - A boycott has been launched against toymaker giant Hasbro and Toys R Us for making and marketing a pink Ouija board targeting girls as young as eight years old.

The board's Toys R Us webpage - which has evidently been recently removed - boasted: "It has always been mysterious. It has always been mystifying. And now the OUIJA Board is just for you, girl." The board comes with 72 "fun questions" to ask, including: "Who will call/text me next? Will I be a famous actor someday? Who wishes they could trade places with me?"

However, a glow-in-the-dark Ouija board is still available on the Toys R Us website, which is also marketed for ages 8 and older. The product description suggests: "Make up your own questions, and let the OUIJA Board satisfy your curiosity in virtually endless ways. OUIJA Board will answer. It's just a game - or is it?"

The vast majority of online comments, both positive and negative, on the glow-in-the-dark version strongly emphasized that the Ouija board is potentially dangerous and "not a game." Several comments discussed in depth how to treat the "spirits" of the game politely, in order to avoid attack. Only about half a dozen comments out of 123 claimed the game was "just a toy."

"This may be a game to you, but I assure you whomever you are playing with on the 'other side' it is not a game to them," wrote one contributor.

Another user wrote: "Although I love this game, it is very definitley (sic) NOT suited for 8 year olds, considering it works most of the time, and they could be talking to evil spirits."

Yet another user told the following story, which resembled the stories of several others who also posted their comments about the board: "they asked the board my middle name which noone in the room knew. its spelled it out perfectly. i was so freaked out. we all got really into the game but then the lights started flickering, by its self. of course us girls just screamed ang hugged each other and the door opened. omg it was so freaky we stopped playing that night."

John Cain of Ottawa, Canada, launched a boycott of Hasbro and Toys R Us after learning of the Ouija board targeted at young girls, reports Susan Brinkmann of Living His Life Abundantly International.

“Kids wouldn’t even think about Ouija boards unless it was marketed directly toward them,” said Cain.

Brinkmann points to the testimony of New York City policeman Ralph Sarchie, who has routinely assisted at exorcisms, and who says “innocent” board games like the Ouija board are immensely dangerous.

“There ought to be a law against these evil, occult `toys,’” wrote Sarchie in his book "Beware the Night." “I can hear some of you out there saying, ‘Hey, I used a Ouija board and nothing happened.’ Consider yourself lucky, then. It’s like playing Russian roulette. When you put the gun to your head, if you don’t hear a loud noise, you made it. Same thing with the board: The more times you pull the trigger, the more likely that on the next shot, your entire world will go black.”

Stephen Phelan of Human Life International threw his support behind the boycott. Fr. Tom Euteneuer, HLI's president, is an experienced exorcist who has also strongly condemned Ouija boards.

“No responsible parent would want his or her child messing with this, and they need to be thrown out of houses and destroyed if you already have one,” said Phelan. "And tell a priest that someone in your family has been using a ouija board as soon as possible. ... No Christian family should support either of these companies with their money."

Toys R Us spokesman Bob Friedland told (LSN) Friday that the pink ouija board, which the store has sold since 2008, was no longer shown as available "because we're making way for newer products."

Asked whether Toys R Us had received complaints over the ouija board, Friedland responded, "nothing significant that I've been told about," and denied that outside criticism affected the decision to pull the game.

Toys R Us still carries a glow-in-the dark Ouija board marketed to children 8-14 years old.

To sign up for the Hasbro/Toys R Us boycott click here.


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