Buyers of a children's toy plane from Amazon were shocked when it played an Islamic chant rather than realistic jet engine noises when switched on. The Christmas gift bought by Bjorn Thorpe for his three-year-old nephew in Washington, US became the centre of controversy after it was found the 'bizarre' noises being played was a prayer used on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The plastic F-16 plane, complete with flashing colourful lights, is an unlikely object to hear Islamic chants coming from and Mr Thorpe was just as surprised: "We put the batteries in and didn't get what we expected," he told King-TV. "It sounds like an Arabic chanting, which is pretty unusual. It's just not the right situation to have on a children's toy."
"This is a prayer you're supposed to say when you're performing Hajj," said Nadeem Israr, president of the Islamic Society in the local area.
WolVol, the toy company behind the $30 (£20) Bump & Go F-16 plane, has blamed its manufacturers, claiming they were shipped a "bad batch of toys" after several other owners took to Amazon with the same complaint.
A number of reviewers stated it played "bizarre" chanting, with one writing: "Someone I know has a child who got this plane as a gift and it plays some weird middle-eastern chanting noise. THAT is crazy and the company needs to look into this issue. We saw that other families have also experienced the same phenomenon. What is up with that?" However, there are 4-star reviews that do not mention this defect.
As to exactly how the audio of a Muslim prayer found its way into a children's toy is still unknown, but Amazon.com does say the product is currently unavailable. Perhaps all is not lost for Mr Thorpe and his three-year-old nephew, as we'd imagine these defected planes might actually fetch a decent price on eBay due to their infamy.