Toys 'R' Us Pulls 'Breaking Bad' Action Figures22 Oct, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
National retailer responds to online petition that characterized the cult TV/streaming show’s collectibles as opposing family values
Toys "R" Us has yanked dolls associated with AMC Networks’ popular series “Breaking Bad” from store shelves and online in response to an online petition that deemed the action figures a “dangerous deviation” from the chain’s family values.
The dolls, which included characters based on Walter White, the high school chemistry teacher who becomes a crystal meth dealer along with former pupil Jesse Pinkman, included such accessories as bags of cash and drugs.
An online petition at change.org started by a Fort Myers, Fla., mom calling for Toys "R" Us to pull the dolls reportedly generated 8,000 signatures.
“Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical,” Toys "R" Us said in a statement released to The Associated Press.
The mom, identified in the media as Susan Schrivjer, said the “Breaking Bad” dolls had no place in a store catering to children.
"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," Schrivjer wrote.
In response, Bryan Cranston, who portrayed White on the show, reportedly tweeted, “I’m so mad. I’m burning my Florida mom action figure in protest.”
The "Breaking Bad" figures are marked as appropriate for ages 15 and older and were stocked in aisles containing items tailored for adult collectors, alongside action figures for "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead." The figures have been available for a few years.
“Bad,” which ended its broadcast run in 2013 and won 113 industry honors, including two Golden Globes and myriad Primetime Emmy Awards, has been a packaged-media mainstay, in addition to coveted title on Netflix.
The complete collection of acclaimed TV series “Breaking Bad” earned the top prize at the fourth annual Home Media Magazine Awards, which honored the best DVDs and Blu-ray Discs of 2013. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Breaking Bad: The Complete Series not only won Title of the Year but also Best TV Series Megaset.
This year, “Bad” entered the Guinness World Records as the highest-rated TV show of all time.
Walmart continues to sell a Jesse Pinkman doll manufactured by Mezco Toyz, with online third-party links to White’s character.