No half-measures, even in the toy game. Toys "R" Us is removing a controversial line of Breaking Bad action figures featuring drug kingpin Walter "Heisenberg" White and sidekick-nemesis Jesse Pinkman armed with bags of cash and meth. This follows a heavily publicized protest led by a Florida mother, who earned over 9,000 signatures with her Change.org petition.
"Let's just say, the action figures have taken an 'indefinite sabbatical,'" Toys "R" Us spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh cleverly told NBC News, referencing a classic line from the acclaimed AMC drama. But this marks a drastic turn from the company's previous stance: On Monday, the retailer noted in a statement that "the product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up" and were stocked in "adult action figure" sections of their stores.
The petition was started last week by Susan Schrijver of Fort Myers, Florida, who – despite being a Breaking Bad fan – felt the toys would be a negative influence on children who happened to find themselves staring down the plastic drug lords. "It's about drugs, you're selling it in a children’s toy store?" Schrivjer told local news affiliate Fox 4. "Kids mimic their action figures, if you will. Do you want your child in an orange jumpsuit?"
Even Bryan Cranston himself got wind of the story and chimed in with a sarcastic tweet on Monday. "I'm so mad," he wrote. "I am burning my Florida mom action figure in protest."