Toys ‘R’ Us Removes “Breaking Bad” Action Figures, Now 100% (Toy) Meth-Free

Toys ‘R’ Us Removes “Breaking Bad” Action Figures, Now 100% (Toy) Meth-Free

When a Florida parent learned that there were action figures from the very adult cable drama “Breaking Bad” on the shelf at Toys ‘R’ Us, she was upset. Not because she hates the show or anything, but because she found the toys inappropriate. She began an online petition campaign and spoke to a local TV station, and Toys ‘R’ Us has responded by taking the toys off its virtual and real-life shelves. [More]

(Seer Snively)

What Does “Organic” Mean For Non-Edible Items? Not Much, Necessarily

Way back in 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began certifying food and drinks that meet the federal standards to be called “organic.” Depending on the type of food, organic certification has different requirements. While a wide variety of products are marketed as “organic,” this label doesn’t necessarily mean anything when applied to a product that you can’t eat. [More]

Old Navy Celebrating Birthday By Rendering Selfies In Balloons For Some Reason

Old Navy Celebrating Birthday By Rendering Selfies In Balloons For Some Reason

Twenty years ago, I was impressed with technology that let me print a pixelated version of my own picture on a dot matrix printer in my middle school technology class. I also was impressed with a new Gap brand then in pilot phase, called “The Old Navy Clothing Company.” Now people photograph ourselves daily, and Old Navy is everywhere. The clothing brand is celebrating its 20th anniversary with…pixelated selfies. [More]

Want A Dinner Reservation At A Popular Restaurant? Pay Up

Want A Dinner Reservation At A Popular Restaurant? Pay Up

Earlier this month, we shared with you the news that a delivery-only restaurant in San Francisco added dynamic pricing to its business model: that is, instead of shutting down orders when there is high demand, they simply charge customers more. Similar models are becoming an extra revenue stream for restaurants, removing the risk from reservations and earning them more money when their products are more in demand. [More]

At Hallmark, Get Halloween Ornaments For Your Halloween Tree

At Hallmark, Get Halloween Ornaments For Your Halloween Tree

Here at Consumerist, we pretend to hate holiday mashups while secretly loving them. Still, we have to admit that we were a little confused when we saw that Hallmark now has Halloween ornaments. Yes, it’s a long-established fact that the gift chain puts its Christmas ornament collection out in July, but we thought they were just that. Christmas tree ornaments. Not so. [More]

Sears Inventory Clerk Accused Of Stealing $2.6 Million In Merchandise

Sears Inventory Clerk Accused Of Stealing $2.6 Million In Merchandise

If Sears wants to lose slightly less money in the last quarter of 2014, maybe the company needs to check its employees’ metaphorical pockets. For example, there was the employee in a New Jersey distribution center who was recently arrested and accused of stealing merchandise worth $2.3 million, with a retail value of $3.7 million, and selling or bartering the merchandise to people in multiple states. [More]

Parent Notices Meth-Toting “Breaking Bad” Action Figures At Toys ‘R’ Us, Complains

Parent Notices Meth-Toting “Breaking Bad” Action Figures At Toys ‘R’ Us, Complains

Should a toy store sell only toys for children? Toys ‘R’ Us is our last nationwide toy retailer, and one parent was horrified to see that the chain sells toy versions of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, the antiheroes of the cable drama “Breaking Bad.” They are wonderfully detailed, down to their accessories: beakers, chili powder, a gun, and…oh, yeah, a tiny bag of blue crystal meth. [More]

Pizza Hut Introduces Sausage-Stuffed Crust, Is Probably Just Messing With Us Now

Pizza Hut Introduces Sausage-Stuffed Crust, Is Probably Just Messing With Us Now

Since it first began marketing stuffed-crust pizza, the flavor wizards oer at Pizza Hut have found some very strange things to stuff in there. Marmite? Sure. Fish eggs? Yum. Apple turnovers? Sounds great! Most of the more interesting variations have come out of Pizza Hut’s international branches, and maybe it’s no coincidence that these are doing better. Here’s another example: a pizza surrounded by dough-wrapped fancy sausages, available in Luxembourg. [More]

FCC: 911 Outage Affected 11 Million People, Could Have Been Prevented

FCC: 911 Outage Affected 11 Million People, Could Have Been Prevented

In the software used in a call routing center in Englewood, Colorado, there was a programming error in a single piece of software. Sounds minor, but this error could have had horrible implications: it knocked out 911 service to 11 million people in Washington state, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, and Florida for six hours in April. More than 5,600 calls in affected areas didn’t go through. How did this happen, and can we prevent it from happening again? [More]

Sears Closer To Goal Of Becoming Landlord, Leases Parts Of Seven Stores To Primark

Sears Closer To Goal Of Becoming Landlord, Leases Parts Of Seven Stores To Primark

Back in June, we pointed out something interesting about Sears and Kmart: part of the company’s comeback plan is to rent or sell any stores that it can. Vacant buildings seek new owners or tenants, and stores that will remain in business want to sublet part of their space to a roommate to keep the lights on. Today, Sears announced that they’re renting seven spaces to Irish clothing retailer Primark, closing one of their stores to rent out instead. [More]

(Wayne Gunn)

Outerwear Companies Consider Maybe Sourcing Down From Humanely-Treated Birds

A surprising number of people (more than zero) don’t realize that down, a cozy insulation material used in clothes and bedding, comes from an animal. It does: down consists of the fine, cozy feathers closest to the skin of ducks and geese. The down that we use today mostly comes from birds raised for food in Eastern Europe and in China. How can companies balance eco-conscious customers and the supply chain of feathers? [More]

Fitbit Puts Allergen Warning Labels On Wearables

Fitbit Puts Allergen Warning Labels On Wearables

You may remember the Fitbit Force, a fitness-tracking wristband that went on the market at the end of 2013, then was eventually recalled after Consumerist brought rashes caused by the devices to the world’s attention. We’ve heard reports that the Force’s less intelligent cousin, the Flex, also caused skin irritation in some wearers. Know who else heard that? The Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fortunately for Fitbit, they’re only getting a warning. Label. [More]

(Horacio Riveros)

Rent-To-Own Stores Are Like Blockbusters For Couches

It’s not a good sign for the prospects of the American working class when the president of a rapidly-expanding rent-to-own household goods company observes that items are coming back to his stores so quickly that it’s “like a Blockbuster.” Yes, it could be that a family just wanted to rent a big-screen TV for a special event, but items are more likely to come back because a customer couldn’t make their payments. [More]

Debt Collection Is A Great Line Of Work For Ex-Cons

When a debt collector calls you, there’s a good chance that he or she might be an ex-convict calling you from a strip mall in Buffalo, New York. Buying and collecting debt is a lucrative business, and some people who had a rough upbringing have a real gift for it. Learn about the “Buffalo Talk-Off” and the Excel Spreadsheets of Doom. [NPR] [Planet Money]

Kmart Clarifies Layaway Rules For Closing Stores, No One Tells Kmart Employees

Kmart Clarifies Layaway Rules For Closing Stores, No One Tells Kmart Employees

Earlier this week, we shared with you the complaint of some Kmart customers in Ohio who placed items on layaway before learning that the store they had visited was about to close. This affected their payoff date and payments, but a Sears Holdings representative contacted media outlets sharing this story and explained that this is not Kmart’s policy. Unfortunately, nobody bothered to tell people who work at this Kmart. [More]

Pizza Hut Creates Crusts Stuffed With Jalapeños And With Dessert

Pizza Hut Creates Crusts Stuffed With Jalapeños And With Dessert

In their ongoing quest to stretch the boundaries of pizza crust-stuffing science, Pizza Hut uses their international outlets as test kitchens for new and exciting meals. In the United Arab Emirates and in Korea, the chain is testing two ideas that sound quite appealing. Or maybe I should have eaten lunch today. [More]

These pink and white stripes are not pretty.

Thousands Of MacBooks Made In 2011 Have Self-Immolating Graphics Cards

Models of Apple’s higher-end portable computer, the MacBook Pro, have come to the end of their three-year extended warranties. That leaves their owners at the mercy of Apple when something goes wrong, and at minimum thousands of the computers have had the same computer-killing problem with their graphics processing unit. Apple has not publicly admitted that the machines have a problem. [More]

(Louis Abate)

Cleaning Supply Sales Are Up As Americans Freak Out Over Ebola

Ebola is a terrifying disease affecting parts of Western Africa right now, and some health care workers who cared for an infected visitor to Dallas from Liberia without being provided proper infection control equipment are being treated or quarantined for the disease. Naturally, this means that it is time for a nationwide freakout wherein we stock up on disinfectants and treat everyone with suspicion. [More]