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Toys ‘R’ Us comes under fire for selling ‘Breaking Bad’ figures

🕐 2 min read

Lauren Coleman-Lochner (c) 2014, Bloomberg News

Just say no.

That’s a Florida mother’s response to a new line of “Breaking Bad” action figures selling at Toys “R” Us. She’s gathered more than 7,500 signatures for a petition to remove the toys, which come with gun and drug accessories.

The product line, made by Mezco Toyz, features characters from the popular show, a drama about a chemistry teacher who turns into a drug kingpin that aired on AMC until last year. It includes a $30 figure of Walter White, the main character, holding a gun and a bag of cash and crystal meth.

The chain’s decision to sell the action figures alongside children’s toys “is a dangerous deviation from their family friendly values,” said Susan Schrivjer, who posted the petition on Change.org under the name Susan Myers of Fort Myers, Florida.

As the petition gains supporters, the “Breaking Bad” figures have disappeared from the Toys “R” Us website. A customer-service representative said the toys are still available at stores, though. Kathleen Waugh, a spokeswoman for the Wayne, New Jersey-based retailer, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Mezco, based in Queens, New York, sells other figures from popular TV shows, including “South Park” and “Family Guy.” The closely held company was founded in 2000 by Michael “Mez” Markowitz.

“Always expect the unexpected from Mezco Toyz,” the company says on its website. Mezco declined to comment on the “Breaking Bad” controversy.

The petition drew a range of responses from outraged parents.

“You have a choice of what to sell and a responsibility to families and children since your primary target is children,” Carol Mordi of Snohomish, Washington, wrote on the petition website.

“Come on, DRUGS aren’t something you PLAY with,” said Robert Malloy of Buffalo, New York.

Bryan Cranston, the star of the series, also weighed in on the controversy.

“I’m so mad,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest.”

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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