It had all the makings of a great Hong Kong promotion. With every six bottles of Coke, you could buy a popular robot toy for just a few extra bucks. There were just two tiny little problems.... The Swastika breast plate nipples. As Ananova reports "the Coca-Cola promotion in Hong Kong featuring a robot adorned with 'swastikas' has been condemned."
Rabbi Yakkov Kermaier, of Ohel Leah Synagogue, says it is probably an honest mistake, but he's called toy sets featuring the "Robocon" characters unacceptable.
One character, the robot-like "Robowaru," has two swastikas on its chest and can be bought in the UK for around £2.60 with any purchase of six bottles of Coke.
The figurines stand on small plastic pedestals with Coca-Cola logos on them.
"It's not simply a politically incorrect symbol," Rabbi Kermaier said. "It's an emblem that represents the wholesale slaughter of six million Jews."
Rabbi Kermaier acknowledged the Nazi swastika can easily be confused with Buddhist swastikas that are common in Asia. The two symbols are close to being reverse images of one another, with the arms pointing in opposite directions.
Coca-Cola says the figurines were made according to the original Robowaru design, but a spokeswoman declined any other immediate comment.
Animation International, which sells rights for Robocon and worked with Coca-Cola on the toys, says the symbols were designed by the creator and "did not have anything to do with any organisation or religion."
(updated - large image if you read more...)