HomeChinese AmericanUPDATE: Target Removes from Shelves a Game Accused of Stereotypical Packaging

UPDATE: Target Removes from Shelves a Game Accused of Stereotypical Packaging

The Noodle Game

(Updated: 3 p.m. Pacific/6 Eastern Time)

An Asian American graphic designer and author has succeeded in getting Target to remove from its store shelves a game she considered riddled with stereotypes.

The packaging of The Noodle Game features two White kids surrounded by chopstick lettering and posing as martial artists, apparently depicting ninjas.

The game challenges players to pick up noodles with chopsticks, thus the “Asian” theming.

“This is not creative celebration of Asian cultures but a mockery that Asian children will internalize and non-Asian children will mimic,” wrote JS Lee, a graphic designer and author who writes about race, trauma and identity. “When I came across The Noodle Game at Target, I was appalled.”
Late this afternoon, Lee told AsAmNews she was encouraged by Target’s decision.
“Seeing Target’s decision to pull the game gives me some much needed faith that our voices matter and if we work together, we can make real change,” Lee said. “It reminded me of all the times White kids who didn’t know better, mocked Asian accents and karate chops in my face. I learned just how damaging the cumulative effects were. This packaging encourages racial mockery. I feel we owe it to the kids now to do better.”

The game is distributed by Bananagrams, a family run company, based in both the U.S. and U.K. It was created by UK-based company ,The Fantastic Factory.

This afternoon AsAmNews received word from Target that it would no longer sell The Noodle Game.

“We’re aware of the petition, and will be sharing the feedback with the manufacturer of the game and are pulling the product from Target.com and Target stores,” said a Target spokeswoman to AsAmNews.

Bananagrams also responded to questioning from AsAmNews.

“Bananagrams takes all feedback very seriously,” the company told AsAmNews. “We acknowledge and thank you for your comments. We are committed to diversity and inclusion and did not intend to offend anyone. We are working with our partners to address and resolve the issue promptly and completely.”
When the company made the comment, Target had not yet decided to pull the game from its shelves.


The campaign by Lee was launched just yesterday.

A Change.org petition had a modest goal of just 200 signatures.

“Imagine an Asian child being asked to play this game with non-Asian kids who don’t know better than to copy what they see on the box. Asian American children already face prejudice, racial mockery, and sometimes violence due to stereotypical depictions like this. Large corporations such as Target need to do better,” concluded Lee.

The game is also sold by WalMart and Barnes and Nobel. Lee says she hopes WalMart, Barnes & Nobel and other retailers follow Target’s example.

AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.


  1. RE: UPDATE: Target Removes from Shelves a Game Accused of Stereotypical Packaging:1. The panda was ok
    2. The cosplay white kids werent
    3. British company. Raise your hand if you’re surprised ( they are incredibly racist when it comes to East Asians- in fairness because there aren’t enough of us to let them know what’s racist )
    4. Eating noodles with chopsticks a game? Hahaha I feel so sorry for those people who lack basic skills


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