Recently a petition urging Toys R Us to stop selling Breaking Bad action figures in it’s stores made the news. The petition garnered fair bit of support (9298 signatures to be exact), and in the end, Toys R Us did take the items in question off their shelves.
The problem people had with one of the action figures was the fact that one of them was holding a bag of Crystal Meth. That is something a lot of parents don’t want their children knowing about.
The product was aimed at people fifteen and above, not necessarily young children. So, the product was more so aimed towards collectors rather than children that are going to play with them.
Now, as a parent, you have a choice when it comes to what you buy for your child. Nothing is saying you have to buy that action figure, and the box even indicates that it isn’t intended for young children. So, personally, I just wouldn’t buy the thing.
I don’t think the store should have to stop selling a certain product because someone found it offensive. Sure an action figure holding drugs isn’t appropriate for young children, but the product wasn’t intended for young children. The way I understand it, the product is more so directed to collectors, not children.
Simply walk away from it. You have a choice in what you buy, and so does the next person that comes along. As far as I’m concerned, a petition calling for Toys R Us to stop selling a certain product because someone didn’t like it seems a little outrageous. If you don’t like a product, and don’t feel that your child shouldn’t have said product, don’t buy it. End of story.
It’s just like watching TV. See something you don’t like? Change the channel. Find something offensive, change the channel. Don’t start a petition simply because it was offending.
According to a press release, the product was located in a part of the store more so directed towards adults. The packaging itself also indicated that the product was meant for people 15 and above.
I’d 100% support this petition if the product was intended for children, and was being sold in the same part of the store that the rest of the children’s toys were being sold in. Then, yes, its inappropriate. But, I’d also argue this: How long are you going to shield your child from the real world? When they see something like an action figure holding a bag of drugs in a store, instead of trying to shield your child from it, why not just educate them on what it is? Sure, drugs are horrible in many ways, but wouldn’t it make more sense to educate your child early on when it comes to the real world, other then shielding them for however long?
At some point or another, the child is going to encounter these things. Why shield the child from the real world? Paint an accurate picture of the world for the child, make damn sure they know right from wrong, make sure they know the dangers of drugs instead of trying to shield the child from an action figure that is holding drugs. When the kid inquires about that odd looking bag the action figure is holding, maybe explain what that bag is, why its wrong, etc.
I’d say, a child that is raised knowing what the real world is all about is probably more apt to make better decisions later on in life. That way, they’re not growing up in a fantasy world. If they know what drugs are, later on in life, they may be far less tempted to try them, since they know the dangers, and the legality of them. If they know the dangers of the world, hopefully they’ll be able to handle them better.
Sure, many people instinctively shield their children from certain things. They believe they are simply to young to know of such things. At some point or another, they are going to encounter these taboo things that everyone wants to shield their child from. Education is the key. Shielding the child from these things may do more harm then good in the long run.
In the end, it’s up to the parent whether they want to inform their child of what the world is really like, or let them grow up in a fantasy world where none of the horrible things that make up reality exist. It’s also up to the parent what things he or she purchases for the child. Fair enough.
The bottom line is, this product was clearly not meant for children. Neither was the television show. Nothing says you have to buy it. Just put it back on the shelf, and carry on with your day. It’s very much like watching the TV or listening to the radio. Don’t like something? Change the channel or station.
Something worth adding is, while the petition to remove these breaking bad action figures got 9,298 signatures, another petition urging Toys R Us to put the products back on their shelves has gotten 63,236 signatures at the time of writing.