The latest outrage in the parental world has been set off after a mother in Florida came across a Breaking Bad character doll at Toys"R"Us. This doll was holding his character appropriate prop... a bag of meth.
*This image was grabbed from Barnes and Noble's website which sells the Breaking Bad character doll. *
Sit down for a second, and let's have a talk about dolls. I don't find anything wrong with a major toy retailer carrying this character doll; it isn't meant for kids and it's not a big deal. Doesn't Toys R Us also sell "Mature Rated" Video Games which are behind lock and key? So why are we even discussing this silly plastic toy?
And more to the point... why is your child watching Breaking Bad anyway?
And if you child is not watching Breaking Bad, did you throw a fit in the aisles of Toys"R"Us -- right there between the Barbies and the Legos -- to point out that the little thing he's carrying isn't his lunch... but a bag of meth?
And then did you proceed to explain what a bag of meth was to your young child who is or isn't watching Breaking Bad?
Did you get all that?
I was at Target yesterday and came across a Game of Thrones figure. No meth bag, but Tyrion Lannister did have some sharp weapons of destruction. I grabbed the toy and excitedly showed it to my 9-year-old. She looked at it, shrugged and we moved on. See, my 9-year-old is not watching Game of Thrones, so this figure meant nothing to her. But to me, an obsessed fan of the show, this action figure would be a pretty cool gift in my stocking this year.
You see, toys are not just for kids, toys are for everyone and I think it's the parents' responsibility to censor this stuff in their homes. We parents make these decisions -- like not watching a meth show with your kids -- and so a Breaking Bad character doll holding a bag of meth is the least of our problems. I could hop onto my soapbox for hours but I think you get it.
Just so I wasn't alone in opinion I called up my friend and toy industry expert, Chris Bryne from TTPM.com -- a leading toy review website. Chris has written books about toys and knows the toy industry like no other. I wanted to see what his thoughts were on this whole debacle.
These figures have been on the market for more than two years, so it's a little late to suddenly be upset about this. They are sold in very small quantities and are clearly marked for older consumers. They are not, and never have been, intended for children.
He goes to talk to about the wild cult-like purchasing network of these dolls online:
"They are completely sold out, and they are now being sold by third-party vendors for many multiples of their original price. From a business standpoint, I would say that this has backfired. Fans of the series--who are the target audience for these products -- are now snapping them. Because they never knew they existed before."
Meanwhile, Toys 'R' Us has since taken this toy off the shelves.
So tell me folks... where do you stand on this? Do you think the whole outrage was silly or is there something I'm missing in my point of view?