In the fall of 1993, a group of parents, feminists, anti-violence activists, and artists got together to swap out the voice boxes in approximately 300 Teen Talk Barbies and Talking Duke G.I. Joe's.
Yes, G.I. Joe and Barbie swapped scripts. These modified Barbie's said things like, "Attack!" and "Vengeance is mine!" while the modified G.I. Joe's asked, "Will we ever have enough clothes?" The voice box swapped dolls were then repackaged and put back on shelves in toy stores across 43 U.S. states.
Barbie Liberation Organisation www.youtube.com
The Barbie Liberation Organization (the BLO) formed following a 1992 release of the same doll that the BLO later modified. That version of the Teen Talk Barbie said a typical collection of Barbie phrases about clothes, shopping, and weddings...along with one that outraged parents and educational groups.
"Math class is tough."
The BLO decided to change out the voice boxes with G.I. Joe's the next year, opting to send out two messages:
1. Stop enforcing gender stereotypes on children.
2. Stop teaching children to be violent.
The voice box switch made news stories across the country, landed an article in the New York Times, and ruined a few parents' Christmas mornings when their children unwrapped "defective" toys.