The American toy shop Toys “R” Us has been criticised by parents for selling a range of drug dealer dolls based on the television series Breaking Bad, reports the Telegraph.co.uk.
One of the six-inch figures, which sell for $17.99 (£11.16), even portrays a dealer clutching a gun, with a detachable bag of cash and blue rocks of the drug crystal meth.
Others are dressed in Hazmat protective suits, with a description reading: “as [the] Breaking Bad action figure stares at you from inside his collector friendly clamshell package, he dares you to make your move.”
Breaking Bad is based on the character of high school chemistry teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, who goes into business with a former student, Jesse Pinkham, portrayed by Aaron Paul, producing and selling crystal meth in order to make money for his family before he dies from terminal cancer.
The series, which ended last year to many fans’ distress, has won a slew of Emmys and other awards but is known for its violent scenes and high drama.
The dolls are sold as part of a deal with Sony Pictures Television, which distributes the show, in Toys “R” Us’s “collectable” selection, and are aimed at adults and children older than 14.
However, parents took to the toy giant’s Facebook page to say that they did not want their teenagers to be exposed to drug dealing even at the age of 15.
One wrote: “Nothing says toys for kids like an action figure with a bag of crystal meth. I can’t wait for my 15 year to grow up like that.”
Another added: “A new low … Breaking Bad toys? Come on! Pull them and be done with this nonsense and have just a morsel of common sense and decency.”
Mother Susan Schrivjer, from Fort Myers, Florida, has now launched an online petition urging Toys “R” Us to remove the dolls from its shelves.
The petition says: “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 a bag of meth, alongside children’s toys is a dangerous deviation from their family friendly values.
“That’s why I’m calling on Toys “R” Us to immediately stop selling theBreaking Bad doll collection in their stores and on their website.”
The petition on the website Change.org, called “Remove Breaking Baddolls from their shelves”, has already received more than 2,300 signatures.
Mrs Schrivjer went on: “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.”
Toys R Us did not comment to The Telegraph. A spokesman told NBC News: “The product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up. The toys are located in the adult action figure area of our stores.”
Sony Pictures Television did not comment.