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Toys Will Be … Toys?

I don't think I will ever walk down a toy aisle in a big box store and not feel angry.

Because, in Archer's words, "Why isn't there an aisle for … everyone?"

Hal sent me this article earlier this week about a mom who started a petition to get "Breaking Bad" action figures out of her local Toys "R" Us and it got to me to thinking about toy aisles in general and why all of us aren't unanimously pissed off.

And then I read this piece in Variety about parents being desensitized when it comes to sex and violence in films. I feel like parents hold the media responsible for sexually explicit content MUCH FASTER than they do violence.

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"When it comes to sex and violence, the more parents see, the less they care," the article states. Is that why we're so lax in our reactions? We're so desensitized to violence that we don't even notice it anymore?

I signed the petition, of course, and I will sign 78,787 more petitions against toys being asinine because I have a real problem with the way toys are marketed to our children, REGARDLESS of how old they are. (The "Breaking Bad" toys are for "teenagers 15 and up." Because teenagers recognize that drug use … is … not ideal?)

And, yes. It's just a show and while I didn't personally watch it, I know that it was amazing television and that's great. But toy aisles selling dolls that make meth is just … yeah, I am fully on board with concerned mothers everyone on that one.

If I can't purchase cold medicine in my local drug store because of meth-making then my kid shouldn't be able to buy a meth-making doll from a toy store.

I read so many pieces about shorts being too short and T-shirts saying the wrong things, which, yeah, I mean, I would never buy my kid an "I'm a princess and love money" T-shirt or whatever stores sell these days, and I would never buy my infant Daisy Dukes either. But I feel like everyone loves to fight that battle and everyone's totally cool about toy aisles being the absolute worst. Toys are just as bad as the terrible clothing! They are just as sexist and demoralizing and awful.

I would rather pay top dollar in a store that respects children and their ability to think outside of what is force-fed to them.

I mean, can you even imagine what a toy store would look like if, as Archer said, there was a toy aisle for everyone? Toy aisles for infants are for everyone. No guns! No transforming bombs! No drug dealing dolls! What a concept, right?

And this isn't just a toy travesty. Violence is so pervasive in our culture that we don't even recognize it any more. It doesn't even register.

"The rise of violence and gun violence in PG-13 movies means that lots of kids are able to go into movie theaters and see explicit violence," said Dan Romer, associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the study's lead author. "We wanted to find out why parents didn't show more concern. Why was this happening without pushback?"

Good question.

If the more we see, the less we care, shouldn't we, as a community, be questioning our complacency? Or at the very least, having a real conversation about why we don't?

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As long as toy aisles in major chain stores are the way they are, I will continue to shop elsewhere for my kids' toys. I would rather pay top dollar in a store that respects children and their ability to think outside of what is force-fed to them. And I will continue to sign petitions and support parents who agree that toys are much more than just toys when they come with beakers and blue crystals in their boxes.

Films are much more than just films when they cause parents, children and the toy stores to cater to them, to become desensitized to violence, hard drugs and violent lifestyles.

What about you guys? What are your thoughts on this? Would you buy your kid/teenager a Walter White doll? Do you think these dolls should be sold in toy stores across America? How do you explain gender stereotypes when you peruse toy aisles with your kids? Do you feel that you/your kids are desensitized to violence, sex and hard drug use? Do you vet PG-13 movies before you show them to your kids? I'd love to hear from you.

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