Macabre 'dead dolls' test rules on bad taste

 

 Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment officials are checking whether the State has the power to ban sales of children's toys on grounds of poor taste.

The check was prompted by a decision by the Greek government to ban "dead dolls" - children's toy dolls which feature fiery eyes, scarred faces and bloodied mouths, and come complete with their own miniature coffins and death certificates.

The "living dead dolls", cost about €50. They feature Sybill, a doll strapped in a strait-jacket with a collar and chain, and Inferno, who has auburn hair, fiery eyes and bat-like wings. The dolls were produced by the US company Mezco Toys. .

Last night the Minister of State with responsibility for Children, Mr Brian Lenihan, suggested the issue might be looked at under customs legislation and that relating to "public morality". A Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment spokesman said he was unsure if toys "could be banned on the subjective question of poor taste".