Monday, October 20, 2014

Breaking Bad: Toys R Us Petition

UPDATE, October 21, 2014: Toys 'R' Us pulling 'Breaking Bad' dolls from stores, website

Toys R Us is pulling its four collectible dolls based on characters from AMC's hit series "Breaking Bad" after taking heat from a Florida mom who launched a petition campaign last week.

The dolls are based on the series about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who turns into a crystal meth dealer, and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman. The figures have a detachable bag of cash and a bag of methamphetamines.

Toys R Us, which is based in Wayne, New Jersey, told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the dolls are being removed immediately from its website and shelves.

"Let's just say, the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical," Toys R Us said in a statement. The retailer had maintained that the figures were sold in limited quantities in the adult-action-figure area of its stores.
I think this is a smart decision.

Toys R Us has a 6 action inch figure of Walter White, aka Heisenberg. Sale price: $13.99, originally 17.99.

Product Description

Mezco Toyz would like to introduce Walter White: chemistry genius turned science teacher turned kingpin; the central character of Sony Picture Television's critically acclaimed, award-winning, hit series Breaking Bad, is now immortalized as a collectible action figure.

This unforgettable variant edition figure features Walter as his alter ego of Heisenberg. He comes complete with removable hat, removable glasses, a sack of cash, and a bag of blue crystals.

Relive the tense, edge of your seat excitement as Mezco's Breaking Bad action figure stares at you from inside his collector friendly clamshell package, he dares you to make your move.

Figure stands approx 6 inches tall.

All Hail The King!
"All Hail The King!"???

Online review from a purchaser:

The 6 inch figure is great with great details , just looks like the actor from the show comes with a gym bag full of cash and a small blue bag of his famous blue stuff from the show over all great buy if you liked show pick up the figure wish they had Jesse

Should Breaking Bad action figures, complete with guns, bags of crystal meth, and sacks of cash, be on the shelves at Toys R Us alongside children's toys?

Some parents don't think so.

There is an effort via an online petition to have these "toys" removed.

From TIME:

Susan Schrivjer, a mom from Fort Myers, Fla., was a fan of the award-winning AMC show Breaking Bad. “I thought it was a great show,” she told a local TV station recently. “It was riveting!”

Even so, she thinks it’s not such a great idea to sell action figures based on the show’s notorious crystal meth dealers Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in a store where the customer base is families with young children. So last week Schrivjer launched a petition criticizing Toys R Us for selling “a Breaking Bad doll, complete with a detachable sack of cash and a bag of meth, alongside children’s toys [as] a dangerous deviation from the [company's] family friendly values.”

The petition, which asks Toys R Us to stop selling the dolls, had attracted signatures from more than 2,200 supporters as of Monday morning. The “Breaking Bad”-Toys R Us protest picked up extra steam after Schrivjer appeared on The Today Show this weekend, making her case that “anything to do with drugs” should not be sold in a toy store. She has no problem with the figures being sold by e-retailers and shops that are less likely to be frequented by children, such as adult novelty stores. (For what it’s worth, Breaking Bad figures are also sold by Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and other major retailers. Walmart even sells a pink Breaking Bad teddy bear.)
Why would anyone want a Breaking Bad action figure?

Are adults supposed to play with these things or just collect them?

I don't know. That's more than a little weird to me, but whatever.

I understand the whole collectible thing. Certainly, Toys R Us has stocked and sold plenty of "bad guy" action figures, but the fact that these collectibles refer to the manufacturing and distribution of an illicit drug I think would make them inappropriate for Toys R Us to have on their shelves near kids' toys. Some could see it as a "gateway" action figure.

You have to think about Toys R Us customers - families and children.

Of course, young kids probably wouldn't be attracted to the Breaking Bad toys. Little ones would be clueless, but the older kids, those more susceptible to cultural references regarding drug use, could be influenced negatively.

We are so hypersensitive when it comes to exposing children to things like smoking or other "bad" things. Good grief, sugary treats have been banned in schools! Sugar! Michelle Obama is leading a personal crusade against Happy Meals. Yet, it's OK for children to brouse a Toys R Us aisle that includes a "toy" that celebrates a character who makes exceptionally pure crystal meth?

No. That makes no sense. There's no consistency.

Walmart sells a pink Breaking Bad teddy bear?

Why would anyone want that? Does it come with the detached eyeball?


If there's a market for that stuff, and apparently there is, the "toys" shouldn't be promoted anywhere near a kid-friendly place.

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