Fight Brews in UK Over Toys Based on the 'X-Rated' Call of Duty Franchise

by on 04/08/2014

Mega Brands is a toy company licensed by Activision to produce some nice-looking Call of Duty Mega Bloks construction sets. The sets themselves are no more violent than, say, a G.I. Joe, and since they are similar to LEGO, probably a little more stimulating to the mind.
But because the sets are branded with the Call of Duty name, one paper in the UK is reacting with outrage, and politicians are playing along.
Here is a hysterical article from the Express, a UK tabloid, that is simply shocked that toys based on the “X-Rated” series where players are “required to massacre passengers in an airport” are being sold alongside Barbie.
Labour MP Keith Vaz, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Committee, has previously raised concerns in Parliament about the “harrowing and gratuitous” nature of the Call of Duty video game.
When told about the new toy products, he said today: “The name Call of Duty brings to mind a violent video game which is only on sale to adults.
“It is totally inappropriate for a company to use this name for play materials for those too young to play the video game.
“They should think again and not promote this brand to children.”
Mega Brands, for its part, said it doesn’t actively promote its Call of Duty line to children, although some of the sets have age recommendations as low as “10-15.” However, a spokesman for Mega Brands maintained that the toys are age-appropriate even if the game they are based on isn’t.
“The sets offer a unique, sophisticated and age-appropriate alternative experience to the Call of Duty video games. Our products give an opportunity for parents to satisfy older children’s interest in the COD property without them being subjected to the more graphic gameplay at a younger age, allowing some of the less desirable attributes to be naturally filtered out,” the spokesman said.
So far the company says only that it will continue monitoring customer feedback, and no action has been taken to censor the toys or pull them off the shelves. It’ll be interesting to see if this tempest boils out of this particular teapot, or if turns out to be just another outrage of the day for the UK media.

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