So you have probably heard the story about the mom in Florida who started a petition on Change.org
trying to get national toy retailer Toys R' Us
to quit selling Mezco's
action figures based on the adult-oriented AMC
show Breaking Bad
because of its connection with drug dealers and drugs. Now as most of you probably know, these figures are sold in their "Adult Collector" action figure aisle
, the same aisle with figures featuring fictional mass murderers like Freddy Krueger
and Jason Voorhee's
. I guess mom doesn't have a problem with those.
After the story about this Florida mom's petition caught the attention of the national media, specifically on NBC's The Today Show
, it would seem that the national retailer buckled under pressure and has begun removing those figures from their shelves. I haven't actually been into my local store to see if this is true, but I did check their online website and it does appear those figures have been pulled from there.
First, let me say I have no personal love for the Breaking Bad
figures and could really care less if I can buy one or not. Here is my problem with this whole situation. This is a non-issue story that has only become an issue because our national media, without seemingly bothering to even thoroughly investigate the story, decided to make it an issue. In the Today
segment which you can watch here
, one of the ladies states incorrectly that the figures can be found next to Thomas The Train
products which obviously is something that would enrage any responsible parent. Of course Toys R' Us
isn't selling Breaking Bad
figures and the like right next to toys made for toddlers, but that didn't stop this lady on the Today show from making such an outrageous comment without bothering to really check any facts. Or how about this story Time
ran on their website with the headline "Toys R Us ‘Breaks Bad’ with New Crystal Meth Toys"
. A misleading headline with what seems to be the sole intent to enrage people in order to get them to click on their story. As if Toys R' Us was selling toys of actual drug paraphernalia as opposed to an action figure of a bald white guy in every day clothes.
I really don't understand how this story was even worthy of national attention to begin with. The lady's petition had a measly 2,200 signatures
on it which out of all the millions of people who live in this country doesn't seem like a lot to me. Even after the outrageous national media coverage today, at the time of my posting this story, her petition
only had 5,203 signatures
If the national media really feels this is a newsworthy story, then how about covering it fairly and from both sides like mentioning that many retailers such as Toys R' Us, Wal-Mart
carry a variety of adult-focused products near areas targeted to kids. Many K-mart and Wal-Mart stores I've visited have their toy sections right next to their outdoor and hunting sections. No one bats an eye when Wal-Mart sells hunting gear near children's toys. They might also bother doing some research to see that a rather large demographic of adult action figure collectors are among Toys R' Us shoppers just as much as young children. At the very least, they can be responsible and not make false statements or use inflammatory headlines for what seems to be the sole purpose of enraging people to boost their own ratings or webviews.
If this whole ordeal outrages you, even if you specifically aren't a Breaking Bad
fan or a fan of Mezco's
figures, I urge you to sign another petition asking Toys R' Us to keep these and other "Adult Collector" oriented figures on their shelves
. You can find that petition HERE
. As of the posting of this story that petition currently has 1,974
signatures. Who knows what someone might want removed next, maybe Star Wars
figures because they include laser guns and lightsabers that are seen killing people in the movies???