The Hunger Games movie is coming to theaters soon, and I am curious to see how the books translate to the big screen. While reading the trilogy, all I could think was that it read like a Hollywood script more than a book. The story is brutal and depicts young kids and teenagers killing each other off, until only one remains alive. That’s some pretty serious stuff, which is why I was a little surprised when this hit my mailbox yesterday…
The new Toys R Us mailer features a spread with toys from Cody Simpson (whoever that is), Justin Bieber (I think he’s sort of popular), Victorious (my young niece is a huge fan), and … The Hunger Games? Whoa, hold on there. Toys R Us is marketing the Hunger Games toys alongside Justin Bieber? Yep, there it is, right above the Nickelodeon logo. Here’s a closer look…
“In the new movie The Hunger Games, Katniss must survive a fight-to-the-death competition. Find out if she’ll make it out alive while rocking our hot t-shirts, games, jewelry, and room decor.”
Just, wow. Now realize, I have absolutely NO problem with these action figures. in fact, I think they’re pretty cool and Neca is one of my favorite action figure makers. Heck, I’ll even promote these with a link below this article. There is a huge collector’s market for adult action figures such as these, and Toys R Us stores usually have a dedicated aisle for these kinds of toys, which I think is great.
What I do have a problem with is that these items are being marketed to young kids, primarily girls. Remember, this movie is about a bunch of kids plucked fom their homes and dropped in an arena of death. Spoiler alert: Little 12-year old Rue dies from a spear thrust through her stomach by an older male tribute.
Do we really want little kids running around the playground playing their own version of The Hunger Games? Okay Interent, I’ve opened myself up to hear the full wrath of the Mockingjay army. Let me have it.
I saw the toys at my TRU today. They’re on an endcap which leads to Princess and Monster High stuff. I guess because the main character is a teenage girl that’s the market they’re shooting for?
When I saw the figures, they were in the collectible aisle, but that was before the flyer arrived. It sounds like they moved them.
No interest in these or the movie to be honest and i find it strange they are trying to sell these in with the more kid friendly toys.
Will West says
I hear ya, but I think it’s just a case of striking while the iron is hot. I mean, is it wrong due to the subject matter or is it wrong because they’re marketing to girls? I’m sure we’re thinking they’re going after 7 year olds, but the books *are* shelved in the young adult section in book stores. So, the Cost Simpson/Bieber demo is the correct group. Like with Harry Potter, people have forgotten that these are kids books that are enjoyed by adults. Sure, the subject matter is a bit much, but so was Twilight’s necrophiliac love story.
My problem is definitely that these toys are being marketed towards the younger kids. I won’t know what to think when I see a girl at the elementary school walking around with one of those tribute numbered backpacks.
The Twilight and Harry Potter movies surely had their own scary and violent deaths, but those were about people with supernatural powers, which makes it a little more “acceptable.” You can pretend to be them, but you can’t really cast an “avada kedavra” spell on your classmate.
I was bombarded by the display at TRU the other day right when I walked in the door (The Dark Knight display right next to it). It was the first thing I saw when I entered the store. A giant black display in a fluorescent lit, brightly colored warehouse space stood there ominously. I admittedly have not read the books and didn’t see the movie (I’m pretty far removed from mainstream media, tg) and was appalled when I found out the movie is about children killing children. TRU should be ashamed of themselves for promoting this in their stores.
It’s fine for adults, but Toys R Us is where kids “go to be a kid,” not to be confronted with merchandise that promotes children being violent with each other.
Thank you for writing about this.