We’re only a few episodes away from completing watching Breaking Bad, the AMC series that ran for five seasons from January, 2008 to September, 2013. We had tried one episode ages ago and quickly dismissed it as not for us: violence and drugs and nothing we could relate to.
Some friends insisted we watch the entire series, all five, from beginning to end, and said we were to promise each other not to watch an episode without the other. There was to be no sneaking around trying to find out what happens, we were instructed to watch every show in order. So we tried again and found ourselves hooked. The characters engaged us; the plots of each episode intrigued us, and usually ended on a cliffhanger, forcing us to stay up too late, watching just one more segment. We found ourselves discussing the show, making predictions and analyzing character motivations. I even managed to knit four matching sweaters for the grandsons while watching.
The content is very adult. Violence, drugs, profanity, and sex. Parents that allow their kids to watch this has something seriously wrong in their approach to childrearing.
So why then, would a toy manufacturer make action figures to represent the stars of Breaking Bad? Bryon Cranston and Aaron Paul are excellent actors yet that doesn’t mean their characters should be reincarnated in doll form. Parent petitions have convinced many Toys R Us chains to remove the figures from shelves, or to put them in the adult collections area. Really? Adults collect these figures too?
I went through a Barbie phase as a child and enjoyed creating scenarios with my friends about Barbie and her friends. I liked collecting the various clothes, even made some myself when I learned to sew, and probably the most extreme activities my Barbie engaged in was making out with Ken.
My sons loved action figures, mostly superheroes and Ninja Turtles. There was a lot of “cowabunga” going on during that phase.
But action figures that produce and distribute crystal methamphetamine as toys for kids?
Of course, as soon as parents complained, the other sides stepped in, saying you don’t have to buy these dolls and that attempts to curtail sales represent censorship.
I’m all for Freedom of Speech. But toy manufacturers need to be responsible citizens too.