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

heisenbergShould 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.

A Florida mom tells WFTX that she liked the TV program “Breaking Bad,” but doesn’t think that action figures of the main characters belong on the shelves of a toy store, because children could follow their example. The toys come with some meth-making equipment, dressed in hazmat suits. “Kids mimic their action figures, if you will. Do you want your child in an orange jumpsuit?” she asked viewers rhetorically.

This may be true: for example, I have Wallace and Gromit action figures, and my dog outsmarts me all of the time. There are endless jokes to be made on that theme, but the core question isn’t whether action figures are role models. It’s really about whose toys should be available in a toy store.

One thing that series did not do was glamorize the drug trade, or provide a happy ending for any of its characters. Still, the woman who started this campaign isn’t alone: an online petition asking Toys ‘R’ Us to remove the figures has more than 3,600 signatures.

This news didn’t come to our attention until series star Bryan Cranston tweeted about it, which is how we prefer to get all of our news.

“The Walking Dead” is not wholesome family entertainment, yet its action figures are also available from Toys ‘R’ Us.

In a statement, Toys ‘R’ Us told the TV station:

The products you reference are carried in very limited quantities and the product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up. Items from this TV series are located in the adult action figure area of our stores.

Yet the figures mysteriously and abruptly disappeared from the Toys ‘R’ Us site this afternoon. Personally, I’m holding out for the Gale Boetticher action figure with push-button karaoke action, but we wrote to Toys ‘R’ Us to find out whether they’ve pulled the figures from their real-life and virtual shelves after all, or perhaps the figures sold out and will never be restocked.

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