Iran official slams smuggling of Barbie, Harry Potter toys

April 29th, 2008 - 12:30 pm ICT by admin  

Tehran, Apr.29 (ANI): Irans Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi has issued a dire warning about the culturally “destructive” consequences of importing Barbies, Harry Potter toys and more from the West.
According to a Daily Telegraph report, Najafabadi has, in a letter to Irans Vice President Parviz Davoudi, said: “The irregular importation of such toys, which unfortunately arrive through unofficial sources and smuggling, is destructive culturally and a social danger.”
“The displays of personalities such as Barbie, Batman, Spider-Man and Harry Potter … as well as … unsanctioned computer games and movies are all warning bells to the officials in the cultural arena,” his letter added.
Najafabadis warning comes almost six years after Tehran launched an unsuccessful campaign to confiscate Barbies.
According to a recent National Public Radio (NPR) report, the world’s number one toymaker Mattel lost over 45 million dollars in the recent quarter. The report said that recalls were a part of the problem, but also, global sales of Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll aren’t growing. In the U.S., Barbie sales even fell by 12 percent.
Barbie faces some tough and sassy competitors, so Mattel is trying to keep their girl in tune with the times. This month, it launched a line of eco-friendly accessories made with scraps left over from the production of Barbie clothes.
Although officials in Iran regularly denounce Western culture, Western toys have been popular there, and affluent parents often indulge their children with them. Najafabadi says these toys, which do not respect the required norms, present dangers for the health of children and affect the survival of toy factories in this country.
In July 2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows went on sale in Tehran. Two years ago the police raided toy shops and put black stickers on the packaging of Barbie dolls to hide their bodies. Barbie contravenes Irans rule that women must cover all bodily contours. Irans rivals to Barbie and her partner, Ken, are Sara and Dara, who respect Islamic rules but do not enjoy Barbies popularity. (ANI)

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