Mattel has a product called the Mega Rig Shark Ship. This toy contains a large shark, a diver, a diving cage, parts to build different ships and a harpoon gun. The promotional advertising of this toy encourages children to "rescue the diver". The commercial shows a shark coming towards a diver in a cage as the children scream "shark attack" "fire the tranquilizer" as they shoot the harpoon gun into the shark's mouth and load the shark onto the ship. In the commercial, the violence of shooting the harpoon is masked by using the term "tranquilizer".
Teaching children that shooting a harpoon while calling it a tranquilizer is condoning death verses inducing a state of tranquility. This is false advertising. Mattel is teaching children that sharks are fierce killers and deadly force should be used to eradicate them. When in reality, shark attacks are rare and fatalities are minimal. Mattel is also portraying a false perception to children of how divers view sharks. The majority of divers are happy to see a shark while diving, not fearful for their life as the way the children view the diver in Mattel's commercial for the Mega Rig Shark Ship.
Mattel is sending an anti-conservation message despite numerous conservation laws being placed in regards to sharks. It is estimated that over 100,000,000 sharks are killed each year, mainly for their fins. Some shark populations have been depleted by over 90% and many more are rapidly on the decline. This toy is made in China where Hong Kong is the largest trading center for shark fins. Mattel is using the people of China to manufacture a toy that promotes killing sharks while conservation groups around the world, even in China, are pushing for laws to be changed every day to protect sharks.
Mattel is one of the largest manufacturers of toys. Instead of promoting violence and killing of a species that is rapidly on the verge of extinction, they could be influencing children in a way that promotes caring and protecting the world they live in.