AMC's Breaking Bad is one of the greatest TV shows of all time. So, it's no surprise that there are Breaking Bad action figures. Adults (geeks in particular) love collectibles that commemorate their favorite works of fiction.
The Breaking Bad line of action figures is cool, highly-detailed, and definitely NOT for children. One Walter White/Heisenberg toy comes with a gun, a duffel of money, and a small bag of his signature blue meth. No, I wouldn't want to see a child playing with this toy. That said, some parents have taken their disdain too far.
A Florida Mom named Susan Myers started a petition to get Breaking Bad pulled from Toys R Us shelves. The petition now has a "Victory!" symbol next to it, because Toys R Us listened to the over 9,000 signatures. The action figures in question are now on "sabbatical." They cannot be found in stores or on the Toys R Us website.
"Victory?" Not really.
First of all, the action figures are now more coveted than ever. Check out the Amazon listings! Pricey. The petition has also caught the attention of Breaking Bad's award-winning stars, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Cranston has been pretty funny on Twitter. Paul went so far as to share a counter-petition, which is crushing the original in support. What now, Toys R Us?
While I agree that the Breaking Bad toys are for adults, I feel the original petition by Susan Myers was misguided and under-informed. It claims Toys R Us is a "family-focused atmosphere." It praises Barbies and Disney for their, er, positive contributions. The petition removes parental responsibility by claiming parents "should not be forced to explain" Heisenberg's drugs. Worst of all, the petition calls Breaking Bad's "violent content" a problem.
Back it up, Florida Mom. Have you looked around a Toys R Us lately? I have. I visited the Roscoe Village Toys R Us on Western just 2 nights ago. I wanted to see if Breaking Bad had disappeared (it had,) and what comparable merchandise I could find. I don't have any problem with Breaking Bad being pulled- if the results are consistent. Let's see what I found...
Violence, cultural insensitivity, sexual content, criminal activity, and merchandise for adults are all over Toys R Us. Why aren't any of these products raising the same level of concern? Is it that Breaking Bad is just more popular? Is it because society has decided that some types of crime and violence are more excusable than others? Who gets to decide what's appropriate at all? Where does the store's responsibility end, and the parents' begin?
Toys R Us- if you want to pull Breaking Bad, fine. Parents, if you want to high five and celebrate that you got rid of Breaking Bad, fine. Just know that the current result is hypocritical, and shows just how poorly thought-out such campaigns can be.
What do you think? Post your thoughts below. Personally, I like that I can buy my collectibles at Toys R Us. They are toys, after all.
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