A detective toy that went on a rampage in the United States has returned home after an online petition to have it banned.
The Pikachu plush detective is a little-known toy, but one that captured the imagination of people across the US and around the world, and drew a crowd of thousands to its first visit.
It was brought back to the UK last week after a three-year absence, and the company behind it has been making a profit since its launch in 2015.
The toy is made by American firm Mattel, which said it had not seen the petition but wanted to make sure it was done correctly.
The company said the toy, which had a face and eyes attached, was an attempt to create a better character for young children.
It said the company had not yet decided how to proceed with the petition.
“It is in our hearts that we are making the right choice in this matter and that is why we are bringing it back to our fans,” Mattel said.
“We have seen the passion for this toy that was so evident over the last three years.”
Mattel said it believed the toy had been banned in the US, where it was sold under the brand Pikachu and was banned for use in public places.
“The petition is a complete misunderstanding of the legal and regulatory framework and why the toy was banned,” the company said.
It added that it had “not had a single complaint from a member of the public”.
The toy has been used by parents in the UK for years, but it was brought to the US under the Mattel brand after a lawsuit was filed against the company.
The US petition said the “pika” face and head had “a tendency to make the eyes and ears appear larger than they really are”.
The petition was started on the official Facebook page of the US Marshals Service, where the toy is still available.
It has since gathered more than 8,000 signatures.
In the US petition, the doll’s creator, James Wilson, wrote: “I would like to ask that we ban the Pikachu from your town.”
Mr Wilson added that he was not sure the doll was a good character.
“If you were to ask me to name a character I would say Pikachu,” he wrote.
“That is a character that has been in popular culture for quite some time.”
I do not know if this character is cute or not, but I do know that it is a strong character that is capable of fighting and having fun.
“But, it is clear that it should not be in public and I think the toy should not sell in our country.”
Mattels spokesman told the BBC the company “has not received any complaints from any of our customers”.
“We are confident that the toy will be sold in the markets in which it is sold.”
Mattelman has also received an online complaint from one US user who wanted to sell the toy.
“After watching this and hearing some of the complaints from others, I am very concerned that the Pika will be banned in my community,” the person wrote.
Mattel has also apologised to its UK customers, saying it would “continue to work closely with local authorities to ensure the safety of our fans”.
The company told the Guardian that it was aware of the petition and was “working closely with our customers and the local authorities”.
“Mattel is aware of a petition and is working closely with the UK Government on how we can address the petition as quickly as possible,” a spokesman said.
Mattels was founded in the 1950s by Japanese American businessman Hiroshi Matsumoto, who has since been described as one of the “fathers of modern animation”.
He started making toys and other products for children and for adults in the 1960s.
Mattes original logo is seen in this undated file photo.
Mattellas website said the toys would be discontinued at the end of 2019, and that the company was working with the US marshals service to “continue and expand” the appeal.
“In order to ensure our customers enjoy a great product, we have decided to bring it back and put the toy back on sale, which will begin immediately,” the website said.