Parents upset with toy's hair tangling potential

SMITHFIELD N.C. -- Olivia Duchesne's parents were upset to discover their 5-year-old's hair was stuck in a giant tangle that would take them an hour and half to comb through when their daughter accidentally got Bunchems toys stuck in her hair.

Bunchems are little rubber balls with hooks all-over designed to connect to one another so kids can make color creatures. Recently, several parents have taken to social media saying the hooks are grabbing hold of their kid's hair creating a giant tangle.

The Duchesne's were able to get some of the Bunchems out using spray conditioner, but had to cut the rest of the Bunchems out, leaving the 5-year-old with an unintended new set of bangs.

The hair tangling is so widespread that Spin Masters, the company behind Bunchems, released an instructional video showing people how to help remove them from hair.

Watch the instructional video on removing Bunchems here.

Donna Frederick is the owner of "The Play House Toy Shop," an independent local toy shop in Durham. Frederick says although her store doesn't carry Bunchems, she thinks they're a great, creative toy.

"I first encountered these probably about a month, or so, ago, "Frederick said. " I thought they were a fun building toy. I really like the idea that they were made in the U.S."

Frederick said she thinks parents need to be aware of what their kid's toys are capable of.

"We buy lots of toys and sometimes, you know, people put little balls in their ears, or you know, you've heard marbles up your nose," She said.

"It's not what they're made for, but there are consequences - just sometimes it takes an unfortunate trial and error to happen."

ABC11 reached out to Spin Masters, the company behind Bunchems. They told us in a statement:

"Bunchems are colorful, soft, tactile balls that make endless creations, however, they are intended only to be adhered to other Bunchems. This is particularly important for parents and caregivers to understand. The Bunchems packaging and directions clearly state: "Caution: Keep away from hair. May become entangled." We recently changed the color of the warning to make it even more identifiable when opening the packaging.

After hearing from a few consumers about hair tangles, we quickly developed instructional videos for our YouTube channel and website as a way to proactively educate people on how to play with the product and how to remove Bunchems from hair if they do get tangled."

Check out that website here.

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