Toys ‘R’ Us has withdrawn Breaking Bad figurines after a petition received over 9000 signatures.
One of the figurines depicts Breaking Bad character Walter White, a chemistry teacher who turns into a drug dealer, and includes a bag of crystal meth. Three other figurines showed characters with bags of cash and even guns.
The petition stated that Toys ‘R’ Us 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... 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.”
A rival petition was also set up to keep the figurines on the store shelf claiming that Toys ‘R’ Us also cater for adult toys but hasn’t received as many signatures.
Although the figures are noted for ages 15 and up, the popular toy store chain has removed the figures announcing that “the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical”.
We think that they have made the right decision by removing these figurines and are unsure how they made it onto the shelf in the first place. We have seen a number of brands making mistakes with their designs recently including ASDA who had a crisis during the World Cup after their wearable flags resembled the KKK outfit and the supermarket chain also had to remove a ‘mental patient’ Halloween costume. These examples show that brands should remember who their key target markets are and should think more about the reaction their products are going to receive before hitting the store shelf.