Forky is officially unsafe for children. To be fair, Disney always had a bit of an uphill battle on their hands trying to make a disposable all-purpose eating utensil with googly eyes into a lovable child’s toy, but Forky is a character that, even by his own admission, shouldn’t exist as a toy. Both lovable and vaguely terrifying, Forky forces us to consider the post-Cartesian subjectivities of quasi-agent material assemblages apparently at work in the Toy Story universe. But here on Earth-One, Forky was never really supposed to be a toy. Not in the real world. At best, Forky was an opportunity to celebrate the voice work of Tony Hale, to reevaluate our relationship with our own waste, and to do more crafting.
Alas, Disney would stop at nothing to thrust Forky firmly into toy form and began reproducing him on a mass scale as a line of “ready to play” sporks described as a “plush rendering” of a “craft project” with “poseable arms, rolling googly eyes and embroidered features.” Without considering the consequences, the House of Mouse would churn out over 80,000 units of an 11-inch Forky, stuffed and plushed, to be sold nationwide at Disney stores in malls, theme parks, and online. Until Monday. Disney has joined the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) in issuing a voluntary recall on all 11-inch Forky plush toys. The reason? Googly eyes.
According to the USCPSC, “the ‘googly’ plastic eyes on the toy can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.” Who could have predicted that Forky might endanger your children with retinal detachment of his googly eyes? To be clear, Forky’s googly eyes are an essential part of who and what “Forky” is—and they are also incredibly dangerous choking hazards for small children. Forky told us that he was not a toy, and yet we did not listen.
While there have been no injuries reported yet, Disney warns that all 11-inch Forky plush toys should be considered potentially hazardous to young children. If you or anyone you know happen to own a Forky 11-inch plush toy, you may return it to Disney for a full refund and take solace that at least one Forky is one step closer to the warm embrace of oblivion. Of course, if you desperately want a Forky plush in your life there are less hazardous alternatives. And if you want a Forky in his most pure, least toy-like form, just send $40 to Slate’s own Marissa Martinelli and she’ll be happy to make one for you. It’s still probably just as unsafe for children, but much more useful if you run out of flatware.