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Walmart pulls children's toy that swears and sings in Polish about doing cocaine (ctvnews.ca)
228 points by miki123211 3 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 115 comments

"These items are sold by a third-party seller on our marketplace website"

That's really the essence of the story here. Walmart, Amazon, and others sell almost anything via their 3rd party seller functionality. With little oversight on product safety, counterfeits, issues like this one, etc. And not really enough visual cues and explanation to the buyer about what a 3rd party marketplace is. People seem to understand, for example, that their eBay purchase is something of a crapshoot. They don't always get that idea on Amazon and WalMart.

Not enough cues? Hell, more like actively pushing and misleading you to buy from third-party sellers even when you explicitly filter by first-party only. Why would they leave potential sales on the table?

Amazon was bad when they removed the option to filter shipped and sold by Amazon many years ago. I thought Walmart was better, and it is because they let you filter for retailer as Walmart only, but recently they made it so it resets the filter every time you search.

I cannot blame them, since retail profit margins are so low. But as a buyer, I try to direct my purchases to the retailers that make it easy for me to not deal with resellers. So I try to use Home Depot/Lowes/staples/Best Buy more often. Target is decent, but they also have more and more third party sellers now and do the same thing as Walmart.

I solved this problem by filtering for "Prime" shipping, until one day I noticed that I was getting free Prime shipping on a third-party sale that shipped from China and would arrive in 30-45 days.

If it's gonna take over a month to deliver and it's not a car, it better damn well be free shipping.

Now I solve the problem by only ordering from more local companies; Best Buy is surely not local, but the local best buy is a lot more local than Chinese third-party sellers of counterfeit goods.

Oh, and let's not forget that Amazon allows you to ship counterfeits and claim they're real, and then Amazon will mix them all together and sell your counterfeits to their customers and their legitimate products to your customers.

I wonder about exactly this though. What if some counterfeit device/toy is so toxic/dangerous as to kill someone?

Who’s liable? I’m sure the store’s lawyers have pretty strong opinions but how would a jury view that if the brand of the store is plastered all over the checkout page?

(Has this ever happened/been tested in court?)

If China Export logo cloning the European Community logo go with it unscathed, the perspectives of doing somebody about that aren't bright. People buy at their own risk in such big companies.

There is no such thing as a "China Export" logo. The familiar CE logo is a voluntary mark and manufacturers determine whether the item qualifies to use it or not. There has never been an organization enforcing the use of this mark.

That is incorrect for most product categories: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/ce-marking/manufac...

As of this year, there are even stricter requirements to have an in-region Authorized Representative to back up any claims of compliance: https://blog.clevercompliance.io/ce-marking/responsibilities...

I’m actually surprised that nobody has been caught using Amazon or Walmart to sell drugs. Package up some sort of expensive “soap flakes” or overpriced oregano.

"mark this item as a gift" plus "include a note for the recipient?" with the right passphrase would allow a shady seller to filter requests for their illicit goods vs packing up an actual bottle of oregano.

It would be really impressive if they were able to manage this while Fulfilled by Amazon.

With same-day delivery to boot!

I've never heard of any drug delivery, whether old school bike network in the 90s to now, that was not same delivery. That and free shipping are table stakes for selling drugs.

oh come on, you've never had your "guy" be unavailable where you have to call up that other person you only call up in a pinch? they know that too, so they aren't exactly excited to snap to either. it's really annoying, at least that's what a friend has told me.

Could be interesting if Amazon mix up inventory...

"Man this organic flour is the best! I've never been so excited about baking!"

Not the same SKU in the same pickface from different POs/ASNs.

wait, are you actually arguing in defense of amazon that this wouldn't happen? you're suggesting content would not be co-mingled?

They only co-mingle the same item. Usually we hear about co-mingling when someone lists their counterfeits as real items, but if you create your own "product" with its own SKU and UPC code that isn't the same as existing products, it won't get co-mingled.

thanks for the idea.

Actually, someone was caught a few days ago:


Check out the "frequently bought together" for iron oxide[1]. It's entirely legal, but I wonder if it comes with a free ATF visit.

[1] https://smile.amazon.com/Red-Iron-Oxide-Natural-Pounds/dp/B0...

Back when Amazon sold West Systems powdered aluminum (for making epoxy wear resistant) the “bought with” was always powdered iron oxide. I wonder if that’s why they don’t carry it any more?

It doesn't. There are plenty of legit uses for thermite, and manufacturing explosives for personal use is perfectly legal. It's a lot of fun to make too (as long as you are careful!)

"and manufacturing explosives for personal use is perfectly legal. "

But you probably should check your local legislation, as there are a lot of (most?) places where messing with explosives is indeed very illegal.

Is thermite an explosive? It's more of an incendiary.

that's a good warning, thanks for including that - I was thinking narrowly about what laws the ATF enforces.

Legitimate use: welding

and anti-bacterial paint.

And melting holes through engine blocks.

One very common use for thermite is bonding grounding connectors together underground for telecom tower construction, before a foundation excavation is filled in. Most any serious tower erection crew will have a set of molds and thermite kit.

You mean like the people using both Amazon and Walmart to sell a form of GHB? https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/dangerous-party-drug...

Amazon takes a too big cut.

Walmart's website is trying to be Amazon in the worst ways. Usually when I go to the website of a brick-and-mortar business I'm trying to get an idea of what they might have in stock, and about how much I should expect to pay for it. Other stores (Target, Home Depot, etc.) manage this very well with clear indications of whether an item is sold in stores or will need to be ordered. Walmart's site is useless for this.

They seem to be more concerned with selling the third-party stuff online than getting me into their store to pick something up today. My guess is, they've calculated that they can make more money off of third-party stuff online than impulse extras from in-store pickup. I'm certainly no ecommerce expert though.

I keep hearing people saying “yes there are third party sellers but if you buy ‘shipped and sold by amazon’ then you’re good”

These people don’t realize that commingling is a thing and that shipped and sold by amazon just means that the same random third party seller simply paid amazon a bit more and sent their items to an amazon warehouse to use their logistics. It doesn’t guarantee anything. And except amazon basics items, amazon doesn’t sell or source any of the items directly. Nor do they feel like they’re responsible for them in any way.


There are kinda popular video(s) called "Polish Cow" which's basically animated cow dancing with this "hard song" in the background that people are not familiar with.

I bet it has something to do with this.

Probably those chinese manufacturers weren't aware or didn't care what does this song actually mean, but they just wanted to use something popular (maybe at that time)


even top comment on youtube says

>guy: puts his heart into a song about addiction and depression

>the internet: hehe funny cow go brrr



DISCLAIMER: I'm living in Poland.

That song went viral during lockdowns, as it was a part of the deepfake video with the Minister of Health of that time, who had eyes with dark rings around them at the tv conferences (probably makeup), indicating he is working day and night to fight the pandemic. The healthcare quality decreased and the successes were only visible in state-controlled media, while multiple accusations of corruption in buying the medical equipment. Before he resigned, he complained that he can't stop himself reading multiple jokes and memes about him appearing online every day.

The lyrics translation: "It's the only thing in my mind, 5g of cocaine..."

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COzSF-7_6Dc

It is a pretty good song, and I like the juxtaposition of the lyrics being about fighting depression vs the upbeat catchy tune.

Does Poland still have state-controlled media? I'm Polish (living in the US, though have visited 2x) but wasn't aware that still existed there.

The problem isn't that they are state controlled. They were pretty good for a while (between 1989 and 2015). Maybe biased, but the rules about equal time for each party etc. were respected and journalists from both sides of the political spectrum had their programs there no matter who was in power at the time (for example very anti-PO Ziemkiewicz and Wildstein during PO terms).

The problem is that the current government took over prosecutors, judges, media oversight institutions, constitutional court, basically all institutions that were supposed to protect media neutrality and rule of law - and openly ignores the rules. Since 2015 it goes worse and worse and by now it's basically North Korea level.

I'm not joking, this was in the state media before presidential elections: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9O3tc21cU0

Whenever they show Donald Tusk (one of leaders of opposition) in TVP they put his voice through distortion so he sounds like Darth Vader. And they cut to him saying stuff in German every few minutes as it has bad associations in Polish :)

It would be good to hear somebody from the other side of the spectrum so the reader who does not live in Poland can develop unbiased opinion.

From my observations supporters of current government was saying exactly the same thing before this government was elected.

You'll have a hard time finding their supporters on English-speaking internet, especially now when they lost young people after the abortion scandal.

At any rate I was stating falsifiable facts. For example the law says that all political parties should have time on state TV according to their percentage of votes from previous elections. Here is the charts of TV time when previous government (PO) were controlling media and when current government (PIS) does:


PIS had about 37% support in 2018, PO had about 30% support in 2014. This is not cherry-picked btw, the percentage gets worse with time, here's data from 2019: https://twitter.com/szczesniak__a/status/1228076766998278144...

Regarding breaking the rule of law - EU courts ruled that the changes PIS made were breaking the rule of law. Even PIS lawyers agree with that (for example Krystyna Pawłowicz admited the changes were "obviously unconstitutional, but we agreed with President Duda that we will vote for them"). She got nominated by President Duda for the next judge at constutitional tribunal after that. You can find video of the quote, it's not manipulated.

They basically changed the law shortening the retirement age for judges so that judges older than X were immediately fired so they can replace all of them at once - making the highest Polish court fully staffed with their people. Constitution says the judges cannot be replaced before term and PIS doesn't have 66% required to change the constitution, but they just introduce the law anyway and as they have their people in courts - whatever they say goes. And their people got to the courts by breaking the constitution in the first place. So now we have 2 legal systems in Poland - the government one and the legal one. And we pay fines to EU because of that.

It's a mess.

I feel sorry to see people so fixated on this political theater, both sides are worth of each other. And thanks for down-voting too. Peace.

I have hundreds of comments on hn, 99% of them about programming and stuff.

You have 6 comments on hn, 5 of them defending Polish government.

Yet I am the one fixated on "political theater" :)

TVP is practically owned by a leading party, it’s a propaganda tube by now. And it’s not even subtle, it’s North Korea level now.

Yes, and they spew north korea-level propaganda.

Pretty much every mainstream media in Poland are "North Korea style propaganda" (as another commenter named it), just depending on which political camp people are they will call the other part of mainstream propaganda. People who voted for this government would call TVN propaganda, people who hate this government call TVP propaganda. This extends to radio and press. And people who don't vote because there is no political option with sensible program in many cases don't watch TV or listen to the radio..

There's no comparison between PiS and any other government that was before. They are on wholly different level. Trying to muddle things by saying the other side it also bad is just disingenuous.

>And people who don't vote because there is no political option with sensible program

You say that as if not voting was some virtue, it's not, and one of the reasons for the situation we are currently in.

Both camps say exactly what you said, blaming politicians glorified by other camp. Not voting is not a virtue, especially when nobody comes up with sensible program. Easiest way to disconnect mentally from this hate race is not to watch TV :)

Yeah, better to bury your head in the sand and wait until we're in autocratic country de facto outside the EU.

This is not a contest for perfect politician where opposing sides have different loud opinions but ultimately all would do acceptable job governing the country. PiS is not playing by the democratic rules, they are consistently taking over all the institutions and filling them with own pawns, and it's of critical importance to stop them.

I don't vote for "less evil" and I do remember what most of these politicians were saying and voting 20-25 years ago. Based on that experience I came to conclusion that life is too short to worry about any political party or agendas they proclaim. In the same time I respect your opinion. Peace.

> You say that as if not voting was some virtue, it's not

It absolutely can be.

Every politician desperately wants you to vote. It’s, obviously, what gives them power and either an implicit or explicit endorsement of their policies and behaviors.

If you hate politicians, don’t do what they desperately want you to do.

> Every politician desperately wants you to vote.

Not true. Depending on the voters demographics politicians want you to vote or to stay at home. You can see this clearly in USA where one side wants immigrants to have voting rights and easy way to vote and the other side wants to make it as hard as possible for them to vote, preferably to ban it altogether.

In Poland it's the same, but the divisions are different - mostly city vs countryside and old vs young. So for example PIS moved the presidential elections to holidays (when most young people from cities are away from home and have to deal with more bureaoucracy to vote) and sponsored special prizes for villages with the highest voting percentage.

Other examples is voting abroad - when PIS had majority there - it made it easier to vote from abroad; now that most people abroad vote opposition - PIS made it very hard to vote from abroad and hundreds of thousands of votes from abroad weren't counted for formal reasons.

Another thing is - in a very polarized society it's almost impossible to make person switch voting from one side to the other. But it's possible to persuade your opponent voters to stay at home. Hence targeted PR campaigns in social media.

Politicians want to get and keep power, that's universal, but some politicians will break the rules to achieve that goal and others won't. It's counterproductive to treat them all the same just because you think being cynical is cool.

I don't believe, that TVN is an objective TV station, but they are on a different level, than TVP. Even if we would say for the sake of argument, that they are about similar level of propaganda the state run television is financed by taxes [1] and TVN is a private station, that lately had to put up with more obstacles. Also it is a well known fact how time allocation by party in the state TV got severely skewed under the current rule towards the ruling party.

[1] and they increase the amount of money put there - https://www.nik.gov.pl/aktualnosci/gospodarka-majatkowa-i-fi...

I dont know anything about the stations, but it's always possible that both stations are propaganda.

a search for cactus toy on taobao returns many sellers of the same product (for as cheap as 5USD). Looks like it's quite popular in China.

One seller from beijing even uses the same Polish song in its ads:


And in the cactus playlist there goes a song titled "Dancing Polish Cow" =)


The first entry of the song list is 生日快乐恶搞版 (happy birthday prank version) and the fifth is 尼玛情歌 (Nima love song, where Nima is a homophone of 你妈, your mother). I suspect whoever selected the songs for that cactus was well aware of what they were doing when including the Polish song, and they were having great fun.

If anyone really wants it, it's available on AliExpress for around 5-7 USD including shipping to pretty much anywhere in the world


Oh I remember it was popular during the lockdown, people were doing "remixes" with different celebrities, politicians etc.:


They used this platform:


Edit: This one is my favorite:


- they got all popular (=hated) Polish politicians and even the late Polish pope.

Wow, the deep fake is so weird. It's like being on acid* with the weird distortion on the faces. Very trippy.

*According to a "friend"

Probably those chinese manufacturers weren't aware or didn't care what does this song actually mean, but they just wanted to use something popular (maybe at that time)

Definitely. It's a catchy song for sure. That's how Gangnam Style ended up in quite a few toys too (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYSD9XWzfH4 ). Before that, it seems various EDM was popular.

Ebay sells out of popular toy that swears and sings in Polish about doing cocaine

"This year's hit toy was late in coming, and the few remaining are going fast, some for incredible prices."

I've never heard of Cypis, and now I absolutely want this toy. Learning to swear in Polish is a form of education. The happy accidents coming from Asian production can be really awesome. There are lots of negatives from this kind of production; we should be happy for the few positive ones. This is almost as great as getting a Barbie Liberation Army GI Joe or Barbie.

> Learning to swear in Polish is a form of education.

Highly recommend Furious Pete's educational video about Kurwa! (nsfw): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdWlspF3B2M

His entire Polish language lessons series is pretty fun and tongue-in-cheek yet educational. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=furious+pete+po...

Seems similar to "fuck", "fuck off", "fuck up", etc; but admittedly taken to a next level. This seems a general property of the Polish language, I recall an image with showing similar behaviour with another Polish swearword: https://i.redd.it/zw28vjrtkbc41.png

It's basically c*nt in Polish but is adaptable to any situation.

This is the weirdest Easter egg I have come across in a toy ever. Something tells me that this will become a collectors item like the upside down stamp Inverted Jenny.


From the article:

The cactus was sold on Walmart’s website as an educational toy for about $26 and sings songs in English, Spanish and Polish.

But Tanner, who is Polish, said when she listened to the Polish lyrics, the cactus was singing about doing cocaine, drug abuse, suicide, depression and used profanities.

"It just so happens that I am Polish and when I started to listen to the songs and I heard the words," she said. "I was in shock. I thought what is this some kind of joke?"

The song is by Polish Rapper Cypis, who is reportedly unaware his song was used by the Chinese manufacturer of the children's toy.

The "Troll" dolls with the under-the-skirt giggle button was somewhat memorable.


Kind of silly how that article doesn't show the actual button.

Ahh. One that does: https://www.ksat.com/news/national/2020/08/07/trolls-doll-pu...

And it's definitely curious placement for a button that makes the doll giggle and gasp.

Actually seems like a good idea executed wrong. The placing of the button will make the doll giggle when it sits, probably that was the intention.

Remember the Harry Potter vibrating Nimbus 2000 flying broom toys which became a tiny bit too popular with the girls for all the wrong reasons [1], thus ironically mimicking the original reason witches were depicted riding brooms[2]?


[1] https://themorningnews.org/article/behind-the-scenes-the-har...

[2] https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/why-d...

All the right reasons, you mean. Girls want to enjoy their lives, too.

Which parts are NSFW? (As long as you don't play the text of the first one through some text-to-speech algorithm.)

If you search for these things on Amazon, you will find about a zillion sellers. Seems like somebody could use this to map out a whole set of dubious marketing companies.

But my favorite bit is the product Q&A here: https://www.amazon.com/GOBOOMAN-Dancing-Childhood-Education-...

It's full of would be scam accomplices who bought the product on the promise of getting the money refunded if they gave a 5-star review. E.g.:

Q: Is this product easy to use?

A: No, the seller is a liar and deceived me. Let me buy it and give it a five-star review and give me a refund. Then the fact is that I did not receive a refund from the seller.

Delicious. More scamming of scammers, please!

I don't know, I kinda like the product to be fair: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGW2eVmzaEc

It has pretty good entertainment value.

Oh, I'm definitely tempted to order one. I love dodgy electronic knick-knacks. But that's not going to keep me from some schadenfreuede around people getting upset that the fraudster they signed up to help also scammed them.

This was noticed by a Polish mother in Taiwan and reported last July: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhiZmWTwMZU&t=202s

Here is the cactus playing the song in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54MxIrPvFME

This is hilarious

Though, i think it all boils down to fee Chinese being proficient in Polish, or any foreign languages to begin with https://external-preview.redd.it/Axh-na6HlrKEKyLjRONPMrQZQNn...

A Chinese company stole a Polish song, put it into kids toys and is selling them in the U.S, without the marketplace realizing it (though the last part is hard to believe)

All serious issues aside, that is true globalization, lol. Copyright issues, quality control issues, ignorance (willful?) ...

They should have waited a month or two. I would have actually bought one. Probably a hot item on the eBay.

I always feel weird listening to songs in a language I don't understand. I feel I should find out what it means so I know whether to approve of it or not!

I prefer listening to songs in a language I don't understand, it makes me able to appreciate the sound of the voice, the rhythm and musical quality, without being biased by the content of the lyrics, which are often unimpressive to say the least.

Well, i'd suggest listen to songs written by musicians with great lyrical talent ;) Listening to Nas (i call him the black shakespeare) at the moment, start with the first album Illmatic [0]. The other luminary would be Chuck Shuldiner for me, IMO the most complete musician after Bach. Damn, 4_412_591 views! [1]. Whole album [2]. Or Anthony Rother, who needs only one sentence [3]

[0] https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL01DA7137241FC16D

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8256VJ4hkJU [2] https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwbDtBfx5bnPEgadOHQYE...

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBjB3o6M6Jw

For anyone who hasn't seen it before, here's a song by an Italian composer made to sound like American English, but since it only uses nonsense even English speakers can get a bit of a feel for what we sound like to others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VsmF9m_Nt8

"Anything too stupid to be said is sung." - Voltaire (supposedly)

Even people who understand the words of a song frequently miss the meaning of the song, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

"Which machine did you think they have been raging against? The washing machine?"

Words mean whatever meaning the person listening to them ascribes. If you do not ascribe anything, then they mean nothing.

Still available from Amazon.

While there is a reference to the Polish language problem, most of the negative reviews are about the low quality, lack of volume control, and general failures.

Do you have a link to the one that definitely sings the song in Polish? There are hundreds of dancing cactuses.

I know a Polish language learner who would really “benefit” from this item but I’d like the right one.

Link? Would love to pick a handful up as gag gifts.

The one listed as a "best seller": https://www.amazon.com/MIAODAM-Dancing-Electric-Speaking-Cre...

Though searching for "dancing cactus toy" shows lots of other sellers.

From the ad: "Even if there is something in your heart you dare not say, I'll help you say it."

I'm dying here. And to think I was worried that things like Google Translate would kill all the good Engrish.

From my (pretty good quality, fwiw) LeeHoo Coffee Maker box:

"On a comfortable weekend afternoon, sinking into the red-and white check chair to watch others pass by, you can relish on the leisure time, relaxing with freshly brewed coffee by using the commercial coffee maker and the gentle humming of a girl singer."

Thank you!

This may be regarded as a low value comment so I apologize in advance.

While reviewing the story ( and listening to the song ) my first thought was of Krusty from the Simpsons and how little he cared about the stuff he records on dolls bearing his likeness. In an odd way, it sounds exactly what happened here.

'This is how pros do it' - prolly Krusty

edit: I know that the actual rapper may actually go legally after the company using his song.

"My spidey sense is tingling."


Walmart and friends only advantage is that I can go to the store and buy things. But they make searching for items I have to go to the store for really hard.

Many times I just want to know if this is in stock 30 mins from me. Any longer and I will just have it shipped on Amazon.

But instead Walmart is a shitty Amazon and I never use it.

No! As an adult I really want that! seriously though, doesn’t belong in the kids section, can they move it to novelties?

It's all over Tiktok and IG, a Polish person I follow posted an IG story saying "For once I'm proud of my country".

I'm guessing the news story will make this toy the must-buy item for Polish (and others) meme followers this Christmas.

I’m already looking for it. Just the hilarity of it and the storytelling that can be done with it.


In fact, thinking about it - we have a signing toy for our kid, it has several songs in English, Polish and Chinese. The songs in Chinese definitely sound nice, they have a good rhythm to them, but they could be about literally anything. The Polish songs are good though(I speak Polish).

I am Polish.

I have seen the toy many months ago, if not the previous year. It has been internet sensation for a long time.

I fail to understand how this is any news.

My younger son (4 1/2) has learned this by accident (yeah, a moment of unrestricted youtube access) and now I am trying to get him to unlearn the song.

I used to work in translation industry, so I think I've got a pretty good idea why this could have happened. The toy manufacturer or local distributor hired some audio company to do polish recording. They then outsourced to someone and probably screwed up with payments,so ended up getting 'alternative' recordings. The company was cheap,so no QA was done either. Boom, the cactus is now on the shelves. Our company picked up some major airlines in Asia to translate their inflight film catalog,as the last provider did it in a way that 'Titanic' became 'Drowning dicks' and etc.. The languages involved were quite exotic but still spoken by millions.

Maybe you should have read the article, which mentions that the Chinese company producing the toy just shipped a song from a Polish rapper without permission and is probably going to get sued for copyright infringement.

My reasoning remains the same: someone in the whole chain got screwed and did it on purpose.

I googled for this toy and listened to the song (around 1 minute long), there is not a single swear word sung by this toy. The song itself is definitely not for children, but the title is a bit misleading in my opinion..

I wonder if somewhere there's one bored Polish electrical engineer who's laughing his ass off right now.

I'm Indian and my 4 year old niece is very fond of Barbie Girl, which is a popular kids song for generations. Very few notice its about a woman's submission fantasy.

I'm not sure how the Indian part is relevant, but I do think the Barbie girl song is a little different. I was very young when this song came out and so it was popular when I was a kid. Barbie girl is just an innocent innuendo in a way, because any one young just interprets it completely differently to an adult.

I believe thats why the English lyrics didnt raise eyebrows here, its just catchy music.

Wonder if they will also pull all the cheap laser/UV safety goggles that actually offer no protection at all.


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