Lego 'window licker' toy criticised for 'insulting the learning disabled'

New character described as an 'experiment that's gone very, very wrong'

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The Independent Online

A new Lego toy initially advertised as a "window licker" called "Turg" has come under fire from campaigners for "making fun of the learning disabled".

The figurine was released at the start of the month on the firm's official website, as part of the toy company's Mixels range.

The official description which originally accompanied the product said that Turg "looks like an experiment that’s gone very, very wrong!"

It then added: "Part frog, part chicken, part back-of-the-bus window-licker, this Mixel has the longest tongue of them all" - but the phrase has now been removed from the website.

An updated version reads: "This Mixel has the longest tongue of them all."

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Disability charities said they were "shocked" by the use of the term, which was voted the 'third most offensive' in a poll run for the BBC’s Ouch! disability talk show in 2003, the Daily Mirror reported.

Lorraine Bellamy, who has a learning disability and acts as a spokeswoman at Mencap, told The Independent: “I have a learning disability and I know that it makes me feel different. 

"Hate crime and bullying are a daily reality for many disabled people and the use of language like this only makes it worse."

Daniel Mazliah, head of campaigns and communications at SCOPE, said it was "outdated and offensive".

“There is no doubt that many customers with disabled children will be appalled," he told the Mirror.

“Lego is a huge brand, loved by millions of young people who might think that this word is acceptable to use."

In response, Lego vice president Fiona Wright for the UK and Ireland told The Independent: "We have very high expectations of our products. This also includes the text we use to describe them towards consumers. 

"We are sorry that wording which could be considered offensive has been used, as this has not been our intention at all.

"As an immediate result of the input we have received,  the product description for the Mixels character Turg has been changed on our website. We have looked at our processes to make sure this does not happen again."