10 Things Target Has Pulled From Its Shelves

Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Over the years, Target has had more than a few misfires. In the half century the retail giant has existed, it's moved a lot of product—both online and in its 1800-plus stores across the country. It has also pulled a number of items due to customer outrage, ethical concerns, shifting industry standards, or a combination of all three. Here are 10 goods that missed the mark.

1. GRAND THEFT AUTO V

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iStock

One of the highest-rated and best-selling video games of all time was hardly adored by all when it released in October 2013. Target stores in Australia (and Aussie Kmarts, both owned by the Wesfarmers retail group) decided to remove the game from shelves in late 2014 after nearly 46,000 people signed an online petition arguing that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V “encourages players to murder women for entertainment.” Target's GM of Corporate Affairs, Jim Cooper, issued a statement acknowledging the "significant level of concern" over the game and confirming that the company would remove it from their Australian stores. Cooper added that Target would continue to sell other R-rated games to adult customers, but that the “strong feedback” about GTA V had led to its removal.

2. STORE-BRAND HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS
 

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iStock

Following an investigation into store-brand supplements earlier this year, New York State’s attorney general issued subpoenas to Target, Walgreens, GNC, and Walmart that required the retailers to prove the claims printed on their labels. DNA tests conducted by the attorney general’s office found that most of the products did not contain the ingredients advertised, and while some industry experts argued that the tests were not reliable, Target and others pulled the products when threatened with legal action.

3. CONFEDERATE FLAGS

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iStock

Like Amazon and many others in the wake of the June massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina church, Target pulled all Confederate flags from its online and brick-and-mortar shelves. After an inquiry by CNBC, the chain also removed Confederate costumes from its website.

4. REALISTIC TOY GUNS

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iStock


In the mid 1980s and early 1990s, there were a number of incidents involving the police and civilians (often children) in which cops mistook toy guns for the real thing. To prevent further tragedy, a number of retailers, including Target, stopped selling realistic-looking toy weapons. Cities including New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. have since banned the sale of airsoft guns, and federal law now requires that manufacturers permanently attach a bright orange plug to the barrel of the toys.

5. CIGARETTES

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Target stopped selling cigarettes in its stores in 1996 because, according to The New York Times, “it was costing too much to keep them out of the hands of minors.” 

6. AMAZON KINDLES


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Sergey Galyonkin, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0


The brand put an end to a retail practice known as “showrooming” in 2012. This came after the retailer’s online competitor, Amazon, had encouraged shoppers to scan Kindle barcodes in-store to compare prices and receive a discount on Amazon.com. The news about the end of Amazon and Target's relationship came in the form of a leaked memo, but Target later confirmed the decision. A spokesperson for the company wouldn't elaborate, telling CNN Money that “we typically don't discuss our relationships with vendor partners.”

7. FARMED SALMON


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iStock

Target announced

 in 2010 that, as part of its efforts to become a “responsible steward of the environment,” the company would no longer sell farmed salmon in any of its stores. Instead, the discount chain committed to packaging and selling only wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and even consulted the Monterey Bay Aquarium about how to make more sustainable choices.

8. #MERICA T-SHIRTS



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SandiLake on Etsy

 

In Spring 2015, designer Melissa Lay accused Target of ripping off the #Merica t-shirts that she sold via her small clothing company on Etsy. The story gained traction online, and Target eventually pulled the designs, issuing a statement that said the company was “concerned when this was brought to our attention. We've been in contact with the vendor that produced this tee. We've also reached out directly to the designer.”

9. PAULA DEEN COOKBOOKS


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Aaron Davidson/Getty Images


During her very public fall from grace in 2013, butter enthusiast Paula Deen was dumped by a number of brands looking to distance themselves from the chef, who admitted in a deposition that she had used racist language. Deen's cookware and her books were “phased out” from Target stores and Target.com as she struggled to save her tarnished image.

10. SANDBLASTED JEANS


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Ronald Yudo Adityo, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Citing ethical concerns about the dangers involved in the production process, Target stopped selling sandblasted denim in 2012. “The safety of factory workers should not be compromised for the sake of fashion,” Target's lead fabric engineer said in a statement.

Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Even though Black Friday is still a few days away, Amazon is offering early deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40) 

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse 3.5 Quarts; $180 (save $120)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75) 

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $88 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10) 

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $13 (save $14)

HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- Fairywill Electric Toothbrush with Four Brush Heads; $19 (save $9)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31) 

TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Home Office Shredder; $33 (save $7)

Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30) 

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition for Nintendo Switch; $20 (save $10)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

The Sims 4; $20 (save $20)

God of War for PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

Days Gone for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- Apple MacBook Air 13 inches with 256 GB; $899 (save $100)

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250) 

- Samsung Chromebook 4 Chrome OS 11.6 inches with 32 GB; $210 (save $20) 

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches with 32 GB; $100 (save $50)

Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $379 (save $20)

- Apple iMac 27 inches with 256 GB; $1649 (save $150)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $179 (save $20) 

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera with EF-M 15-45mm Lens; $549 (save $100)

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

You Can Now Buy Your Very Own Baby Yoda Space Macarons

© Lucasfilm
© Lucasfilm

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

When the hit Star Wars series The Mandalorian premiered on Disney+ last fall, executives withheld merchandise to make sure viewers were surprised by the sudden appearance of The Child, a cooing puppet that appears to be of the same species as Jedi master Yoda. Knowing demand for toys and other items for "Baby Yoda" would be high, Disney stood firm.

Those days are over. Now, fans of the series can buy everything from The Child plush dolls to the space macarons the goblin-faced tyke munches on in the fourth episode of the show’s second season. The blue macarons, dubbed Nevarro Nummies after the name of the planet Mando and The Child landed on in the episode, are available at Williams Sonoma for $49.99.

Nevarro Nummies.Williams Sonoma

According to the company’s site, the “ethereal French-style almond macarons” are perfect for “capturing the essence of this scene.” Bear in mind the “essence” of the scene involves The Child throwing a Force tantrum by using his skills to swipe the cookies from a student’s desk while briefly placed at a school.

The precocious creature’s voracious appetite has been a running theme on the series, with some viewers taken aback by a scene in an earlier episode in which he devoured the eggs of a critically endangered frog species. (“Baby Yoda Canceled Amid Accusations of Genocide,” read the Vanity Fair headline.) What will Baby Yoda eat next, and can you buy it? Tune in this week to find out.

[h/t Nerdist]