Toys R Us have pulled Breaking Bad dolls from their shelves after over 9,000 people signed a petition calling for their removal.
The Walter White figurine was available in the huge toy chain in-store and online, and came with a tiny bag of (fake) crystal meth and another filled with mock bank notes. Jesse Pinkman’s character, Walter White’s partner in meth-cooking crime, sported a gas mask.
The controversy began when Susan Schrijver, a mother from Florida, was outraged to discover that US branches of Toy R Us were stocking the Breaking Bad action figures, and started an online petition.
“I was very shocked and appalled,” Schrivjer told The Today Show on Monday. “I just think they need to look at their vision and values, as they call them. Anything to do with drugs is not doing the right thing.”
Originally, the shop’s representative defended the dolls, saying the action figures were “carried in very limited quantities in the adult action figure area” of its stores, and that the packaging “clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up”.
But the explanation fell on deaf ears and now the toys have been quietly removed from the online store and shop shelves.
“Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical,” Toys R Us said in a statement.
Bryan Cranston, who played Walter White in the AMC series which ended last year, joked about the controversy, attracting 29,000 retweets for his quip: “Florida mom petitions against Toys ‘R Us over Breaking Bad action figures.” I’m so mad, I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest.”