Today, with 20/20’s David Muir as my inspiration, I visited the Toys “R” Us down the street from where I work, equipped with my camera.
I wanted to find out what other potentially offensive and/or inappropriate toys can currently be found there.
Of course, the reason this is relevant is because headlines are revolving around concerned parents who do not approve of Breaking Bad action figures being sold at Toys “R” Us: Over 7,000 parents signed a petition to get the store to stop selling those toys.
They believe that the characters, like Walter White, who began selling meth to provide for his family after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, should have no place in a “kids’” toy store.
Appropriately, or should I say inappropriately, the Walter White action figure comes with a bag of meth as one of his accessories.
I get it that that’s not something I would want my nearly 4 year-old son playing with.
However, I wanted to explore the situation to make sure there’s not a double standard in place here…
In other words, if certain parents are concerned over Breaking Bad action figures, does that mean they’re okay with other toys that are currently being sold there and have been being sold there?
Let’s take a look at what I found…
Near the front of the store are the video games. As you can see, several of them have the “M for Mature” rating, containing profanity, sexual content, nudity, alcohol, drugs, gore, and violence.
As far as other action figures, Toys “R” Us also sells The Walking Dead (which is another popular show from AMC) in which you can run over a zombie with a motorcycle, Game of Thrones (which I hear is full of nudity), Chucky (a violent, possessed doll) and Friday the 13th (featuring the popular serial killer, Jason Voorhies).
Notice all the weapons here too; all currently for sale at Toys “R” Us. Granted, there is an indicator on each of these packages to tell you what age is appropriate for a child to have the toy.
But still, if we are to find these toys offensive anyway, I suppose the age indicator is slightly irrelevant.
Please note that these toys are in the same aisle as WWE wrestling action figures and Ninja Turtles.
Which, speaking of…
I quickly saw the slippery slope here…
The age indicator tells me that Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and GI Joe are all appropriate for children under the age of 10.
So I suppose the weapons are excusable because they are used to fight the bad guys… though you can just as easily buy them too, along with their weapons.
I feel like I’m definitely seeing some double standards here. This is my understanding:
There are people who are upset about Breaking Bad action figures being carried at Toys “R” Us because that glorifies drugs and violence.
However, Toys “R” Us has been selling video games that contain profanity, sexual content, nudity, alcohol, drugs and violence that is easily arguably much worse that what is featured in the series Breaking Bad.
An action figure is just a representation; whereas a video game actually shows the content on the TV screen.
You can’t buy the Breaking Bad DVD series at Toys “R” Us, but you can buy these video games show here.
Not to mention, our society quickly dismisses the toy weapons of characters which cater towards children, in the name of self-defense and military.
If we should be offended Breaking Bad, shouldn’t we also be offended by the other stuff too, to some degree? Where do we cross the line? Apparently, with a bag of meth as an accessory… but not all this other stuff.