Though it may seem that everyone is enamored of Walter White and the other characters from AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” one Florida mother is downright angry that you can purchase their likenesses at Toys R Us.
Susan Schrivjer petitioned the toy store to remove the figurines, which included a Walter White toy complete with duffel bag and a tiny bag of crystal meth (fake, of course). She appeared on the “Today” show and said, “I just think [Toys R Us should] look at their vision and values, as they call them.”
Her Change.org petition, which has more than 7,700 signatures, opens with the following statement:
Toys R Us is well known around the world for their vast selection of toys for children of all ages. However their decision to sell a Breaking Bad doll, complete with a detachable sack of cash and bag of meth, alongside children’s toys is a dangerous deviation from their family friendly values.
According to Time, Toys R Us released a statement that said the packaging “clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up” and are sold “in the adult action figure area of our stores.”
The statement has raised the question: Why is there an “adult” section at Toys R Us?
@atugend There’s an adult section at Toys R Us?
— Lukas Neville (@lukasneville) October 21, 2014
Although the toy brand seemed resolved to carrying the figures, within hours, the toys were not to be found on its website. Mezco Toyz, the makers of the figurines, is staying silent over the controversy.
Time pointed out sales of traditional toys have been in decline, with even Mattel reporting lower sales numbers during 2013’s holiday season.
Citing children’s increasing interest in electronics as the culprit for dismal sales numbers, it’s not surprising that both toymakers and toy stores are reacting to the exodus by carrying collectible toys that appeal to both children and adults.
But will carrying these edgier figures and games help or hurt brands?
The reaction to the figures was split. Schrivjer wasn’t the only one who expressed discontent over the action figures:
idk why they are making #BreakingBad action figures. if your kid knows who Walter White is, you’ve got other issues
— Erica Nealon (@nealon35) October 21, 2014
— Michelle G (@princessmich) October 21, 2014
Though others took to social media to show support for the toys, some even voicing desires to own the figures for themselves (but not their children.)
I’m totally on board with Breaking Bad action figures. If you don’t want your kid to have one, don’t buy one. BB is not the worst figure set
— nate knox (@nateknox) October 21, 2014
I bet this mom protesting the sale of Breaking Bad action figures doesn’t let her son and his friends stay up late at sleepovers
— Matthew Di Zenzo (@mjdizenzo) October 21, 2014
Toys R Us and Mezco Toys haven’t said much about the hubbub, but actor Bryan Cranston, who won a 2014 Golden Globe and several Emmy awards for his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad, couldn’t help chiming in.
“Florida mom petitions against Toys ‘R Us over Breaking Bad action figures.” I’m so mad, I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest
— Bryan Cranston (@BryanCranston) October 20, 2014
Beki Winchel is the co-editor of PR Daily.