Bullied Farmer Destroys Ooshie On Live TV After Trying To Swap It For Water
The latest bizarre instalment in the Ooshie obsession has seen a woman abused online for trying to swap one of the toys for water at her drought-ravaged farm, then her husband cut up the toy with scissors in protest.
The Lion King toy craze reached extraordinary new heights on Friday when farmer Stephen appeared on morning TV, destroying a "one of a kind" furry Simba. If you've been following Ooshie-mania, this is the same type of toy which initially sold for $100,000 on eBay, before eventually being exchanged for $7500, after the seller claimed to have received death threats and relentless abuse.
This story is a little different. Stephen's wife, Melissa, said her toy was stamped 001 -- the number one toy in the line of only 100 produced in the country. She initially wanted to sell it for $5000 but claimed to have copped vicious abuse and criticism.
"People were just disgusted. The abuse started. Just hate and suicidal threats and some really awful things were said,” Melissa told Channel 9.
This led her to post an offer to exchange the furry Simba on a farm equipment Facebook group, but for something other than money.
"I'm wanting to trade it for irrigation water to use on our dying farm," she wrote in the group.
Appearing on Nine on Friday, Stephen said the secondary request was about "getting the message out there, getting heard, that water is such an issue".
Melissa claimed she had received around 4000 messages about the Ooshie and her offers to sell, in just a matter of days, with people pledging between 20 cents and $25,000 for it -- but only one legitimate offer of water, and a lot of "bogus" cash bids.
In an eight-minute interview, the couple spoke of their farming struggles, the difficulty of living on the land in a time of drought, and their disappointment and sadness about how the Ooshie selling saga had played out -- before Stephen pulled out a pair of scissors and the controversial toy.
"This stuff may have pushed one of us over the edge," he said of the bullying.
So we're going to destroy it.
"What is a life worth? Is it worth what money? Is it worth this? It's not. So for the people that bullied us, and they want to buy this thing because they want it, this is what I say to them -- it's done. you can't buy it."
Stephen chopped the toy into pieces live on air, as the camera zoomed in.
"The world's got to stop this stuff. People get hurt," Stephen said.
Host Georgie Gardner looked slightly alarmed and said she hoped it wouldn't lead to further abuse.
The clip was posted to Twitter, where countless people were shocked at the culmination of the strange story.
The Ooshie craze seems to be getting out of control, with parents' groups on Facebook descending into bullying and abuse regularly as people post the toys they want to buy or sell.
One mum told 10 daily she was flooded with hundreds of abusive messages after trying to sell a similar furry Simba.
"I received over 400 messages getting told I was a waste of space, that I take up too much oxygen and that they hope karma will get me," she said.
Other parents have been slammed as a "scammer" or "desperate" for sharing their 'hacks' to get more toys, including buying up mountains of special products that entitle shoppers to extra Ooshies.