"Breaking Bad" followed Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who after learning he has lung cancer resorts to cooking crystal meth with the help of former student Jesse Pinkman. The figurines feature White, aka Heisenberg, and Pinkman, with White clutching a small revolver and Pinkman wearing a yellow hazmat suit. According to the description, White's figurine includes "a removable hat, removable glasses, a sack of cash, and a bag of blue crystals." Pinkman's figurine includes "a gas mask, chili powder, and a tray of blue crystal." While the descriptions themselves don't note crystal meth directly, the toys' descriptions allude to the specialty drug White and Pinkman were known for creating on the show.
Outrage over the "Breaking Bad" figurines has sparked a petition on Change.org to have them removed from Toys R Us stores. The petition was started by Susan Schrivjer of Fort Myers, Florida, and had nearly 2,500 signatures as of October 20.
"While the show may be compelling viewing for adults, its violent content and celebration of the drug trade make this collection unsuitable to be sold alongside Barbie dolls and Disney characters. Parents and grandparents around the world shop at Toys R Us, online and in stories, with their children and should not be forced to explain why a certain toy comes with a bag of highly dangerous and illegal drugs or why someone who sells those drugs deserves to be made into an action figure." - Susan Schrivjer on Change.org
In a statement released by Toys R Us, the retailer says that the packaging for the "Breaking Bad" figurines "clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up," and that the items were only being sold "in the adult action figure area of our stores." On the Toys R Us website, the Jesse Pinkman figurine is listed as a MFG Age 15 years and up item, while the Heisenberg figure has no MFG Age listed online. Specific suggested ratings of episodes of "Breaking Bad" can range from TV-14 to TV-MA, and the entire series is available uncensored on DVD, Blu-ray, and the streaming service Netflix. As of Monday, the figurines are still for sale on Toy R Us' website.
Actor Bryan Cranston, who played Walter White in the series, responded to the outcry via tweet. "'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," Cranston posted to Twitter Monday morning.
What do you think? Should Toys R Us take the "Breaking Bad" dolls off their shelves?