Photo by: Toys R Us

Breaking Bad Action Figures? What Were They Thinking?!?

by Stacey of "One Funny Motha"
Photo by: Toys R Us

I don’t want to break bad all over your Breaking Bad action figures, but who came up with the idea of meth lab action figures?

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of the Florida woman who launched a Change.org petition challenging the sale of Breaking Bad dolls at Toy ‘R’ Us. By last Thursday morning, she succeeded in convincing the toy store chain to pull from the shelves what was bound to be the hot Christmas item of the year.

From what I gathered on Facebook, my primary news source, people seemed to think the woman’s actions were a little extreme. I mean, I wouldn’t have worked up a petition (because I just don’t care enough), but I can’t say I entirely disagree with her either.

Listen, I love Breaking Bad as much as the next Netflix streamer, but selling drug-dealing dolls complete with mini meth strikes me as a little odd. What really got me were the accessories. I can almost see a toy company manufacturing Walter White and Jesse Pinkman dolls because, really, who doesn’t want those lovable characters? I might even stock up on them before the Black Friday stampede on the toys. But something about a toy store selling a bag of mini crystal meth and a wad of cash – even though they are completely adorable – seems to be in bad taste.

That’s one boardroom meeting I would have liked to sat in on. I can hear the marketing team now, “Oh, I know! Let’s package it with little, miniature meth crystals. That’ll be cute!”

The president’s eyes would widen, “Yeah, and a tiny gas mask to go with it because you can’t make meth without a mask? Safety first! And kids can take it on and off for more realistic play.”

“Maybe we can even do a tie-in with Mattel for girls. You know, like Meth-head Barbie.” The marketing exec replies, now seeing the drug-dealing toy market coming together. Sweeping an arm in front of her to paint a picture, “She’s all strung out and has to prostitute herself to get a fix. Her name is Crystal and she’s the perfect blend of Business Barbie and Bratz Doll.” She places both hands on the glass-top table and looks back at the president, “We don’t want anyone saying the toy is sexist because it excludes girls. This is a toy for every child.”

To be fair the toy chain, along with some others, have argued the product’s packaging “clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up.” So not to worry parents. Except that I’m a bit confused. That’s good because…?

I hate to point this out but isn’t that about the age parents might want to refrain from buying their kids drug-related toys? I’m no expert, but I believe it’s around that age when kids get curious and rebellious and arrogant and dumb and might be interested in pushing the limits and experimenting with illegal substances. I’m not sure that packaging information indicating that it’s intended for ages 15 and up – on a toy which glamorizes drug and criminal activity – really bolsters their case.

The store (and others) further argue the toys were “located in the adult action figure area.” This only creates another problem. Mainly, that there is an “adult action figure area” in the store. I don’t know which is more disturbing, the drug-dealing dolls or the adult market for action figures?

I understand Toy R Us may sell items to anyone, man or child, willing to pay the money, but I’m going to give Toys ‘R’ Us a little tip. If you have “Toys” in your name, don’t sell meth dolls. Ok?

Stacey is an award-winning writer and blogger who, without any guidance or advanced degrees in child psychology, single-handedly founded the Detached Parenting Movement. She writes about modern motherhood, providing incisive cultural commentary (otherwise known as common sense) on her blog, One Funny Motha.

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