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Hamleys – the world’s most appalling toy store #sHamleys

with 68 comments

I like Hamleys.

Actually, let me rephrase that. I liked Hamleys.

And then there was this…

Hamleys Website

Go see the live stressed out penguins at Hamleys!

Take a look at this website – yes, it’s Hamleys and, yes, you too can go to a central London store, possibly one of the busiest London stores that exists (especially at this time of year), full of excited and loud children, and watch the spectacle of a few petrified penguins as they get stressed and made ill. Oh and there will be reindeer too.

Sadly, these animals can’t ‘magic’ into central London, so they will face a pretty horrendous journey in to the city too – where they will also be stressed. Oh, and having been put through the stress of a day at Hamleys (something I can only normally manage for half an hour) they can then look forward to a lovely trip through London back home.

This is, in my opinion, disgusting. It teaches children that animals are worthless and putting some through this misery for a laugh is acceptable.

There is nothing magical or Christmassy about putting any animal through this. There is no amount of welfare or careful handling that will make this anything other than a terrible experience for the animals.

Hamleys, CHANGE YOUR MIND.

Please share this article around and use the hashtag #sHamleys to shame Hamleys into doing something. You can contact Hamleys through their website or on Twitter where they are @HamleysToys – let them know how you feel. Please. Now. Before it is too late.

UPDATE – We’ve also got a Facebook Group at http://on.fb.me/fyAwPj – please join us there! :)

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Written by James

November 29th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Posted in Animal Welfare

  • http://www.shepy.co.uk Shepy

    Bad form not providing a link to the original source that requests emails to customer services complaining.

    http://www.bornfree.org.uk/blog/2010/fantasy-or-reality/

    ~Shepy

  • http://www.shepy.co.uk Shepy

    Bad form not providing a link to the original source that requests emails to customer services complaining.

    http://www.bornfree.org.uk/blog/2010/fantasy-or-reality/

    ~Shepy

  • Anonymous

    This is absolutely dispicable and cruel hamleys need to know the use and abuse of live animals is not acceptable as a cheap gimmick surely such an esteemed store does not need such tacky and cruel gimmicks!!!

  • Anonymous

    This is absolutely dispicable and cruel hamleys need to know the use and abuse of live animals is not acceptable as a cheap gimmick surely such an esteemed store does not need such tacky and cruel gimmicks!!!

  • MaryEllen

    Email sent registering my disgust and boycotting of their store

  • MaryEllen

    Email sent registering my disgust and boycotting of their store

  • http://www.socialholic.co.uk James Barisic

    That’s not where I got the story from but am happy to have the linky here and thank you for providing it!

  • http://www.socialholic.co.uk James Barisic

    That’s not where I got the story from but am happy to have the linky here and thank you for providing it!

  • Matwetwe

    And what if it is all carefully regulated and controlled by London Zookeepers? How would you feel about it then? Sure it is a sales boosting event, but that does not automatically equate to animal cruelty. Have you actually checked what the conditions will be before posting such an emotive blog using dangerously anthropomorphic language.

  • Matwetwe

    And what if it is all carefully regulated and controlled by London Zookeepers? How would you feel about it then? Sure it is a sales boosting event, but that does not automatically equate to animal cruelty. Have you actually checked what the conditions will be before posting such an emotive blog using dangerously anthropomorphic language.

  • Ruth

    Sorry, this post seems to be missing some info. Where are they getting the penguins from? Why is the journey these penguins will face horrendous? How the environment in Hamleys will be different to the environment the penguins are used to? (They’re presumably captive penguins, right? Even Hamleys can’t afford a trip to South Africa or Argentina for four hours’ display.)

  • Ruth

    Sorry, this post seems to be missing some info. Where are they getting the penguins from? Why is the journey these penguins will face horrendous? How the environment in Hamleys will be different to the environment the penguins are used to? (They’re presumably captive penguins, right? Even Hamleys can’t afford a trip to South Africa or Argentina for four hours’ display.)

  • http://twitter.com/marendallmann Maren Dallmann

    Born Free are certainly not the only charity to report this totally irresponsible and cheap gimmick at the expense of the animals. At this time of year Hamley’s must make so much money already. Why do they feel the need to subject animals to immense stress and suffering. 94% of the population want to see an end to animals in circuses. Why would Hamley’s PR Manager think those same 94% want to see animals subjected to the same stress in a toy store? ANIMALS ARE NOT TOYS!!!

  • http://twitter.com/marendallmann Maren Dallmann

    Born Free are certainly not the only charity to report this totally irresponsible and cheap gimmick at the expense of the animals. At this time of year Hamley’s must make so much money already. Why do they feel the need to subject animals to immense stress and suffering. 94% of the population want to see an end to animals in circuses. Why would Hamley’s PR Manager think those same 94% want to see animals subjected to the same stress in a toy store? ANIMALS ARE NOT TOYS!!!

  • http://twitter.com/marendallmann Maren Dallmann

    Why subject them to the daily journey in the first place???

  • http://twitter.com/marendallmann Maren Dallmann

    Any journey is horrendous for a wild animal because it is something complete unnatural

  • http://twitter.com/marendallmann Maren Dallmann

    Why subject them to the daily journey in the first place???

  • http://twitter.com/marendallmann Maren Dallmann

    Any journey is horrendous for a wild animal because it is something complete unnatural

  • ***m***

    “THESE ARE NOT A TOY” + email sent on product enquiry page! http://www.hamleys.com/Product_Enquiry_%7C_Hamleys_Toys/M116_EDITORIAL_CONTENT_PRODUCT_ENQUIRY,default,pg.html
    - its like we are back in the dark ages, with this and im a celebrity, i weep for this country!

  • ***m***

    “THESE ARE NOT A TOY” + email sent on product enquiry page! http://www.hamleys.com/Product_Enquiry_%7C_Hamleys_Toys/M116_EDITORIAL_CONTENT_PRODUCT_ENQUIRY,default,pg.html
    - its like we are back in the dark ages, with this and im a celebrity, i weep for this country!

  • Pingu

    If you’re going to take the moral high ground, why not go the whole hog and campaign for the closure of all zoos while you’re at it?

    Who knows, maybe they might just be kept in humane conditions, maybe they might be seen by children that would otherwise not have the opportunity to see a penguin, maybe it might inspire some kids to take more of an interest in wildlife.

  • Pingu

    If you’re going to take the moral high ground, why not go the whole hog and campaign for the closure of all zoos while you’re at it?

    Who knows, maybe they might just be kept in humane conditions, maybe they might be seen by children that would otherwise not have the opportunity to see a penguin, maybe it might inspire some kids to take more of an interest in wildlife.

  • Pingu

    Why don’t you just delete the blog comments that do not support your point of view? THIS BLOG IS A ONE SIDED SHAM!

  • Pingu

    Why don’t you just delete the blog comments that do not support your point of view? THIS BLOG IS A ONE SIDED SHAM!

  • Patticockey

    Hamley’s have enough walking, talking, toy animals to entertain children without stressing out live ones. Sends the wrong message to children about respect for animals and I, for one, will be there tomorrow to voice my opinion. Can’t believe in this day and age penguins would be taken out of an even pseudo-natural environment (ie, a zoo) to be put on display in a West End (lunatic) environment.

  • Patticockey

    Hamley’s have enough walking, talking, toy animals to entertain children without stressing out live ones. Sends the wrong message to children about respect for animals and I, for one, will be there tomorrow to voice my opinion. Can’t believe in this day and age penguins would be taken out of an even pseudo-natural environment (ie, a zoo) to be put on display in a West End (lunatic) environment.

  • Annoyed

    Sorry, but how do you know how these animals will be treated? Are you the one doing it? Have you spoke to anyone at hamleys about how things will be organised? No, your jumping to conclusions and being a twat. Come back when you have some real evidence about something.

  • Annoyed

    Sorry, but how do you know how these animals will be treated? Are you the one doing it? Have you spoke to anyone at hamleys about how things will be organised? No, your jumping to conclusions and being a twat. Come back when you have some real evidence about something.

  • Annoyed

    Are you a wild animal?

  • Annoyed

    Are you a wild animal?

  • http://twitter.com/Margybargy Angela la Land

    Good grief, it’s positively Victorian. It’s horrifying in Hamleys at the best of times for us humans, and WHY?

  • http://twitter.com/Margybargy Angela la Land

    Good grief, it’s positively Victorian. It’s horrifying in Hamleys at the best of times for us humans, and WHY?

  • http://www.socialholic.co.uk James Barisic

    LOL! Why? Because you don’t agree? Feel free to set up your own blog and put your views across. I’m sure it will be a great success! :)

  • http://www.socialholic.co.uk James Barisic

    LOL! Why? Because you don’t agree? Feel free to set up your own blog and put your views across. I’m sure it will be a great success! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Glassleg Glass Leg

    Penguin is absolutely delicious

  • http://twitter.com/Glassleg Glass Leg

    Penguin is absolutely delicious

  • Snowy

    I can’t wait. Are they going to BBQ or roast them?

  • Snowy

    I can’t wait. Are they going to BBQ or roast them?

  • Kevan

    Have you spoken to Hamleys about the environment these penguins will be in, or are you just making a guess? I assume they’re working closely with London Zoo (who are only a mile and a half down the road, in Regent’s Park, which is hardly a “horrendous journey”), and that ZSL wouldn’t be leasing out any animals without providing the staff to care for them, and approving their environment first.

    If this isn’t the case, then sure, sign me up for the complaints petition, but I can’t imagine this isn’t a closely-monitored ZSL tie-in.

  • Kevan

    Have you spoken to Hamleys about the environment these penguins will be in, or are you just making a guess? I assume they’re working closely with London Zoo (who are only a mile and a half down the road, in Regent’s Park, which is hardly a “horrendous journey”), and that ZSL wouldn’t be leasing out any animals without providing the staff to care for them, and approving their environment first.

    If this isn’t the case, then sure, sign me up for the complaints petition, but I can’t imagine this isn’t a closely-monitored ZSL tie-in.

  • Also Annoyed

    Well, let me see, they are natural from the southern icy regions of the world, they have their natural environment where they feed and procriate and they have their space.

    Best case scenario, they’ll face a 8000mi journey, on a refrigerated caged and dark environment through the heat of the equator for possibly up to weeks, or they’ll be flown in even more restricted space on the cargo area of a plane. They’ll arrive in London where temperature is too high for them and they’ll have to be kept confined on a refrigerated environment, while they’re not being annoyed by the busy and noisy environment of an Oxford Street shop that is only bearable for short periods of time even for the most metropolitan of us.

    And let me remind you, this is the best case scenario. Now matter how well treated they might be, it doesn’t get better than this.

    So, please, Annoyed, do some thinking before you ask, this is why people are given brains for.

  • Also Annoyed

    Well, let me see, they are natural from the southern icy regions of the world, they have their natural environment where they feed and procriate and they have their space.

    Best case scenario, they’ll face a 8000mi journey, on a refrigerated caged and dark environment through the heat of the equator for possibly up to weeks, or they’ll be flown in even more restricted space on the cargo area of a plane. They’ll arrive in London where temperature is too high for them and they’ll have to be kept confined on a refrigerated environment, while they’re not being annoyed by the busy and noisy environment of an Oxford Street shop that is only bearable for short periods of time even for the most metropolitan of us.

    And let me remind you, this is the best case scenario. Now matter how well treated they might be, it doesn’t get better than this.

    So, please, Annoyed, do some thinking before you ask, this is why people are given brains for.

  • Anonymous

    What Kevan and many others have said: there is simply not enough information provided in this post (or linked to elsewhere) to make a balanced decision.

  • Anonymous

    What Kevan and many others have said: there is simply not enough information provided in this post (or linked to elsewhere) to make a balanced decision.

  • Kevan

    Some thinking for you: London Zoo is a mile and a half from Hamley’s, and has penguins. The best case scenario is that a small number of penguins are shipped down the road from London Zoo in comfortable transport, with trained staff to care for them, into an environment with acceptable temperature and noise levels, with waivers that the keepers can cancel the event if they feel the penguins aren’t happy.

    If you’re genuinely concerned about animal welfare here, you should phone the RSPCA and check that they’re aware of the publicity stunt. You don’t need to “shame Hamleys into doing something” with Twitter hashtags.

  • Kevan

    Some thinking for you: London Zoo is a mile and a half from Hamley’s, and has penguins. The best case scenario is that a small number of penguins are shipped down the road from London Zoo in comfortable transport, with trained staff to care for them, into an environment with acceptable temperature and noise levels, with waivers that the keepers can cancel the event if they feel the penguins aren’t happy.

    If you’re genuinely concerned about animal welfare here, you should phone the RSPCA and check that they’re aware of the publicity stunt. You don’t need to “shame Hamleys into doing something” with Twitter hashtags.

  • Mf

    the cost of getting wild animals in for the stunt would be fairly high, so i think you can rest assured these will be zoo animals.

  • Mf

    the cost of getting wild animals in for the stunt would be fairly high, so i think you can rest assured these will be zoo animals.

  • polar bear

    Penguins like holidays anyway – they spend their entire life migrating – why not take them somewhere in a truck. They’ll probably appreciate it.

  • wise_up

    The point here is that wild animals should never be used as a marketing tool. Especially in a busy shop where they are bound to be distressed. Most people would agree Hamleys is not a calm environment at this time of year so imagine what it will be like for a Penguin. If we don’t let Hamleys know that this is not acceptable, what happens next? Dancing bears in Leicester Square? Anyone with an ounce of sense knows this is wrong.

  • polar bear

    Penguins like holidays anyway – they spend their entire life migrating – why not take them somewhere in a truck. They’ll probably appreciate it.

  • wise_up

    The point here is that wild animals should never be used as a marketing tool. Especially in a busy shop where they are bound to be distressed. Most people would agree Hamleys is not a calm environment at this time of year so imagine what it will be like for a Penguin. If we don’t let Hamleys know that this is not acceptable, what happens next? Dancing bears in Leicester Square? Anyone with an ounce of sense knows this is wrong.

  • wise_up

    The point here is that wild animals should never be used as a marketing tool. Especially in a busy shop where they are bound to be distressed. Most people would agree Hamleys is not a calm environment at this time of year so imagine what it will be like for a Penguin. If we don’t let Hamleys know that this is not acceptable, what happens next? Dancing bears in Leicester Square? Anyone with an ounce of sense knows this is wrong.

  • wise_up

    The point here is that wild animals should never be used as a marketing tool. Especially in a busy shop where they are bound to be distressed. Most people would agree Hamleys is not a calm environment at this time of year so imagine what it will be like for a Penguin. If we don’t let Hamleys know that this is not acceptable, what happens next? Dancing bears in Leicester Square? Anyone with an ounce of sense knows this is wrong.

  • http://thebrainofchris.co.uk Chris Allen

    It didn’t occur to you then that these penguins are likely to be looked after by experts in an adapted environment? As for the stress factor… these penguins will be from a Zoo, it’s not like they aren’t used to humans being nearby!

  • http://thebrainofchris.co.uk Chris Allen

    It didn’t occur to you then that these penguins are likely to be looked after by experts in an adapted environment? As for the stress factor… these penguins will be from a Zoo, it’s not like they aren’t used to humans being nearby!

  • http://twitter.com/mikeashworth Mike Ashworth

    your blog post has stressed me out, i now need to go and lie down, suggest you do the same, ease up a bit, the world’s a lovely place :-)

  • http://twitter.com/mikeashworth Mike Ashworth

    your blog post has stressed me out, i now need to go and lie down, suggest you do the same, ease up a bit, the world’s a lovely place :-)

  • Davefoster2010

    More food for the bloggers vs journalists debate here. This is clearly a poorly-written opinion piece masquerading as news, with not a single fact in it, devoid of any comment from any of the main parties involved.
    Please people, don’t even begin to engage with this until the author bothers to do the research that will back up his assertions.
    I think the penguins could do a better job of writing about this issue…but I’ll ring ZSL to check on their writing capabilities before claiming it as gospel…

  • Davefoster2010

    More food for the bloggers vs journalists debate here. This is clearly a poorly-written opinion piece masquerading as news, with not a single fact in it, devoid of any comment from any of the main parties involved.
    Please people, don’t even begin to engage with this until the author bothers to do the research that will back up his assertions.
    I think the penguins could do a better job of writing about this issue…but I’ll ring ZSL to check on their writing capabilities before claiming it as gospel…

  • Boz

    Looks like Hamleys have withdrawn the event from their site now, after someone took the time to contact the RSPCA. (http://twitter.com/RSPCA_official)

  • Boz

    Looks like Hamleys have withdrawn the event from their site now, after someone took the time to contact the RSPCA. (http://twitter.com/RSPCA_official)

  • http://twitter.com/louisehector Louise Hector

    We don’t know where the penguins are coming from but we do know that it isn’t London Zoo. We have tried to contact Hamleys but they haven’t returned calls or answered emails. Pretty sure that we do need to shame Hamleys into stopping this travesty.

  • http://twitter.com/louisehector Louise Hector

    We don’t know where the penguins are coming from but we do know that it isn’t London Zoo. We have tried to contact Hamleys but they haven’t returned calls or answered emails. Pretty sure that we do need to shame Hamleys into stopping this travesty.

  • Annoyed

    Are you serious? You think they’re going to go to the Antarctic, stick some penguins in a box and kick them all the way to hamleys? Get a grip. Clearly they will be from London Zoo/Somewhere similar – The penguins will never of been in a “wild” environment in their life. I’m not saying it’s right to stress out animals in the name of marketing, but you have no proof at all that they will be stressed. Causing a fuss over nothing then getting a bunch of no brained twats to join in when none of you have a clue about anything is just stupid.

    Seriously, that is the stupidest reply to anything ever. Best case scenario, being flown 8000miles from their natural habitat to go stand in hamleys for a few hours before being sent back. Did you even read that back before you posted it?

  • Annoyed

    Are you serious? You think they’re going to go to the Antarctic, stick some penguins in a box and kick them all the way to hamleys? Get a grip. Clearly they will be from London Zoo/Somewhere similar – The penguins will never of been in a “wild” environment in their life. I’m not saying it’s right to stress out animals in the name of marketing, but you have no proof at all that they will be stressed. Causing a fuss over nothing then getting a bunch of no brained twats to join in when none of you have a clue about anything is just stupid.

    Seriously, that is the stupidest reply to anything ever. Best case scenario, being flown 8000miles from their natural habitat to go stand in hamleys for a few hours before being sent back. Did you even read that back before you posted it?

  • http://www.socialholic.co.uk/?p=442 Hamleys Lockdown – Penguins or No Penguins? #sHamleys at Socialholic

    [...] 6 – Hamleys take any mention of the reindeer and penguins off their site (don’t worry – we have a screenshot!) [...]

  • PolarBear

    Fuck ‘em. they’re only penguins.