Breaking Bad: Not Toys for Kids

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.

 

 

 

 

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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12 Responses to Breaking Bad: Not Toys for Kids

  1. gabi138 says:

    Absolutely right. What child would want or need a ‘toy’ like this?

    Like

  2. I agree 100% Lisa! As a mother, now of an adult child, I expect businesses that have children as their target market to be responsible and use common sense.
    Diana xo

    Like

  3. Drjcwash says:

    I did not watch the series after one episode. Between Sherlock Holmes and all the other Masterpiece offering, I have no time to watch this, Homeland, or Scandal. Action figures should be Marvel Comic Characters. That is my opinion. I only purchased Transformers, Batman and the Batmobile, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Many of these are in my garage and in my son’s closet.

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  4. When do resonsibilty and sensatinalism coincide?Or should i say making money?

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  5. Patti Winker says:

    First: My Hubby and I binge watched the entire series – twice – which was a total surprise to my Hubby since I never watch bloody, violent stuff. But there we were, doing the whole; “Just one more episode, THEN we’ll go to bed.” thing. The characters are so intriguing and the development of those characters so finely tuned, we just couldn’t stop watching. I’m glad you gave it a second try. I’ve talked to other friends who did exactly the same thing.

    Second: Yes, I have to say that toy companies are way off the mark with this one. Not only is it a ridiculous idea to sell meth manufacturing figurines to kids, but it can’t be a smart business plan. Why not include the beheaded kingpin while they’re at it, or the dead girl friend? Did the marketing team lose their collective mind?

    As far as the censorship thing goes, there are a lot of things we can’t sell to kids for the sake of their safety. This brings to mind the SNL skit from years and years ago with Chevy Chase playing a sleazy character defending his company’s plan to package and sell broken glass as toys. I rest my case. 😉

    Thanks, Lisa, for bringing this interesting topic to light. I hadn’t heard about the Breaking Bad toys. What next, eh?

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    • Glad to find other BB fans of our generation as it was much younger friends who suggested we stick with it. Nearly at the end and discussing it all the time. Now, what to watch next? Not sure I’m ready to start the entire thing all over for awhile.

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      • Patti Winker says:

        Yes, I rarely trust my younger friends/family to pick out good shows to watch. I’m just not into that drug/violence/death/destruction type stuff. And then I started watching… and the dang show just struck a nerve, or something. The characters just drew me in. The way they changed, too, and how their relationships with each other changed. I suspect you will watch it again, Lisa. 😉

        Like

    • Patti Winker says:

      (Dan Aykroyd, not Chevy Chase. Oops)

      Like

  6. Agreed! I’ve been out of the news loop for awhile, but my first thought was Mrs Gore got warnings put on DVDs and oh my Gawd I’m sooo far behind the times!

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  7. Try it! You may get hooked.

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  8. susanissima says:

    Thanks for this one. We’ve tried to watch BB and have never been able to get through the first episode because of all the reasons you listed. Maybe we’ll give it a go, though, since we’ve just finished the last season of House, M.D.

    The idea of action figures related to BB seems unthinkable! REALLY? How could a parent even think of purchasing such a toy!

    Like

  9. We finished BB and are still talking about it. I’m sure we’ll watch it again. Now looking for something else!

    Like

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