Would you buy this for your kid?

by. Henry Meier

Yesterday, a colleague forwarded to me a news report from a Tuscon, AZ television station that was so disturbing at first I thought it was a joke.  Unfortunately, it’s no joke and what it says about the mentality of certain corporations disturbs me.  See for yourself (http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/23964173/2013/11/13/robbery-toy).

Just in time for the holidays, Playmobile released a 126-piece bank robbery toy set, including an armed bank robber, tellers and a crow bar to break the Automated Teller Machine (ATM).  Police are, of course, sold separately.  At least in the Tuscon area, Toys ‘R’ Us thinks the toy is worthy of stocking.  Far from being embarrassed, the company defends their product as helping little tykes everywhere differentiate good guys from bad guys.

Somehow I don’t think the “creators” of this toy would see much educational value, let alone something worthy of being put under the Christmas tree, if they had personally had a gun stuck to their head.  Somehow I don’t think they would have smiling tellers if they heard stories of terrified moms and dads being told to hand over cash as their lives were being threatened.  I don’t know what it says about modern-day business that someone can come up with an idea like this and it actually becomes part of a company’s product line as opposed to a good reason for firing the lunatic before he does some real damage to the company’s reputation.  Last, but not least, what the heck is Toys ‘R’ Us thinking?  The space of major retailers is among the most precious commodity in business.  Who at this Toys ‘R’ Us looked at this toy and said that this is the best they could do?

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