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Urban Outfitters under fire for sexist Hillary Clinton nutcracker doll

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As gimmicks go, it's hardly intelligent or original - in fact, it's offensive.

So it's not surprising that the US branch of retail chain Urban Outfitters has attracted criticism for its latest gift idea.

The high street store has rolled out a festive Hillary Clinton nutcracker doll, in a nod to the politician's probable presidential bid in 2016.

The $60 (£38) toy comes in form of a plastic model of the former US Secretary of State complete with "stainless steel thighs". 

"Is America ready for this nutcracker?" the packaging cries, with a stamp on the side that reads "Cracks tough nuts". 

The Hillary Clinton nutcracker doll

Urban Outfitters' Hillary Clinton nutcracker doll

Urban Outfitters plugged its novelty present as a "deadstock collector's item only available in a limited supply" - and indeed stocks have already run dry, according to its website

It's no great shock that the move has drawn a storm of criticism, with commentators such as the Guardian's Jessica Valenti accusing the brand of blatant sexism:

Perhaps the only surprise is that Urban Outfitters pulled the same stunt with the same toy back in 2008, when Clinton previously ran for president.

It raised eyebrows back then; so you would have thought that the folks in charge would know better than to try the same cheap marketing ploy twice.

A statement on the manufacturers' website, hillarynutcracker.com, says, "We expect to re-open with the 2016 model upon the official announcement of her next Presidential campaign."

There's been no comment yet from Urban Outfitters on this latest outcry, although the item is no longer for sale on its website (but only, apparently, because it is sold out). 

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton hasn't yet confirmed her 2016 presidential bid

Clinton has not yet indicated whether she is to run in the 2016 presidential race, though she is a hot contender for the democratic ticket. This landmark development would make her America's first female president if she won.

“Look, clearly I’m thinking about it, and I will continue to ponder it, but I’m not going to make any decisions yet," she told Stylist in an interview earlier this year. "I really want to be a grandmother first [to her daughter Chelsea's child Charlotte, born in September]... This decision I have to make politically is going to be driven by what I want to do and what I think I can do for the country. And I’ll get to it when it’s the right time.”

The former First Lady is no stranger to sexism. Having lost out to fellow Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the presidential race of 2008, she told her supporters: "Although we weren’t able to shatter the hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you it’s got about 18 million cracks in it. And the light is shining through like never before."

What do you think of the Hillary Clinton nutcracker doll? Horribly sexist or just a bit of fun? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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