The acclaimed American TV drama Breaking Bad follows protagonist and chemistry teacher Walter White, who is diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer with only two years to live. After learning this, White transforms from normal family man into a methamphetamine producer and dealer to secure his family's finances. This popular TV drama, primarily targeting adult viewers, has inspired an enterprising company, Citizen Break, to create a Lego-like toy set for Breaking Bad. This 500-part set including drug paraphernalia has received much scrutiny from commentators on social media deeming it inappropriate for children. However, the sold-out kit, retailing at about $250, has been marketed more so as a collectible rather than a toy kit for children.
It's easy to assume that a kit resembling a Lego toy set must be targeted at children, but the company, Citizen Break, premises itself on its "custom-designed small toy collectibles." Citizen Break is in their rights to release a collectible set imitating a hit TV series, and it should be up to a child's guardian to purchase such a set. A company should not be prohibited from creating innovative products if their target market is of appropriate age for the designated merchandise.
According to Daily Mail, Twitter commentators have expressed their distaste for the product:
Jeff Myers tweeted: 'Made for children raised by parents who should know better.'
Jacques Gonzales added: 'Definitely not for kiddies!'
Indeed it isn't, but it's not meant to be for kiddies.
According to Herald Sun, the kit is called "Super Lab," allowing users to build their own drug dens. The brick set comes with "figurines of the main characters, protective masks, drug paraphernalia, figurines, and a version of the car from the show." The collectible play-set was actually prompted by a Breaking Bad fan who came up with the idea of a Lego video game based on the celebrated TV sitcom.
If you're a concerned parent, remember, you don't have to purchase the product for your child ... and it's pretty unlikely a child has the funds to purchase the set themselves. Companies are in their rights to develop products not suitable for children, as long as they make sure said products are marketed accordingly.
And yes, it is clearly labeled: "This set is a product of Citizen Brick, and is not sponsored, authorized or endorsed by the LEGO Group, owners of the registered LEGO(R) trademark."