So in the past couple of days my news feed has been bombarded with articles on the Breaking Bad, Toys ‘R’ Us scandal. I say scandal; basically a few toys of Walter White and Co went on sale in certain US stores and a woman started a petition to have them removed.
Now I can understand parents being unsettled by these figures, they were after all being sold with gun, cash and drug accessories, but what I don’t understand is the complainer’s and petitioners lack of intelligence towards the issue.
Toys ‘R’ Us is a large, international chain of toy stores and I am sure they have a pretty hefty complaints department. The correct thing this disgruntled woman should have done, after being so shockingly offended by these figures, was to tell the store manager and ring the head office of the company. Rather than go public and tell the media, which in turn gathers more coverage and press for the toys in which she was so horrified by. In drawing more attention to the problem they in turn increased the Breaking Bad figures exposure and sale.
Another issue which arises from this is the blurred lines between what is acceptable to sell within a toy store. I have been to several toys stores in my years and frequently visited Toys ‘R’ Us in my youth and occasionally now as an adult. There are still toys which could be seen as suspect being sold worldwide in ‘family’ toy stores. Swords, guns, war toys are all being sold currently by several different stores. I grew up buying and playing with these types of toys but in the same way in which the small figure of Walter White carrying a gun caused so much protest, why are these toys also not being petitioned against, as well as the questionable moral message toys such as Barbie and Disney princesses dolls send to children. I feel this particular figure was an easy target for a worried society of mothers to petition about, rather than opening their eyes and seeing the wider issues surrounding the susceptibility of children and the media which is guiding their lives.
The figure has since been removed from shelves after the 9,000 strong petition.
I guess I’ll have to order mine online.