The Netflix show might have taken the world by storm, but the Squid Game attraction at the Trafford Centre in Manchester has proven to be less than popular with some. A three-metre tall reproduction of the animatronic doll used in the notorious Red Light, Green Light episode of the show drew crowds and criticism at the weekend.
Costumed guards were stationed next to the “attraction” which chanted in Korean and rotated its head in keeping with the original used in a game similar to playground favourite What’s the time Mr Wolf?
But in the TV drama’s grisly version, anyone spotted by the doll still moving once her head turns is gunned down dead.
A number of parents voiced their disgust with some calling it “inappropriate” in response to a video of the doll on social media.
Helen Sarah commented: “[I’m] not sure this is appropriate in the middle of a busy shopping centre.
“My five and six-year-old don’t know what Squid Game is, but have asked me because a teacher mentioned at school in assembly that they must not watch it.
“As a teacher and a parent this is not a great move. We are trying to protect our kids from this.”
Other parents criticised the timing of the attraction, with its arrival in the same week centre bosses announced the axing of a popular singing Christmas tree.
Lucy Cox said: “They got rid of the talking Christmas tree because it was too scary and replaced it with this?”
Karen Welsh stated: “This feels massively inappropriate.”
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The giant doll also drew fire from parents in Birmingham when it appeared at the city’s New Street station.
Jane Hunt wrote: “WTF? Seriously! The news tonight is that kids are acting out these games, specifically the honeycomb challenge and have been seriously burnt! Why oh why promote this?”
A spokesperson for the Trafford Centre said: “The Squid Game activation in the centre was a static, one-day selfie opportunity for adult fans of the popular Netflix TV show to enjoy.
“The doll appeared as part of a UK tour, allowing fans aged 16 and over to see the doll close-up and pose alongside for pictures. Anyone aged under 16 had to be accompanied by an adult.”
A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “The Squid Game pop-up at Birmingham New Street is one of several events being held to appeal to a diverse range of passengers and visitors. It is part of our ongoing efforts to welcome people back to the railway and Birmingham city centre after many months of pandemic restrictions.”
The controversial dystopian series sees people in dire need of money invited to play a series of games inspired by Korena children’s favourites.
A total of 456 players from all walks of life are held at a secret location where they play to win billions, but those who do not succeed lose their lives.
The doll began its tour of the UK at London’s Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush at the end of October to mark Halloween.
It has also appeared in Sydney, Australia, and Koreatown in Los Angeles.
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