The Barbie Liberation Organization or BLO, sponsored by RTMark, are a group of artists and activists involved in culture jamming. They gained notoriety in 1993 by switching the voice boxes on talking G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls. The BLO performed “surgery” on a reported 300–500 dolls and then returned them to the shelves of stores, an action they refer to as shopgiving. This action resulted in girls opening their new Teen Talk Barbie to hear it say phrases such as “vengeance is mine” and boys hearing their G.I. Joe say “The beach is the place for summer.
A B.L.O. spokesman, responding to a message left on the group’s answering machine and identifying himself as “G. I. Joe,” said: “Obviously, our goal is to get media attention. We are trying to make a statement about the way toys can encourage negative behavior in children, particularly given rising acts of violence and sexism.”