Little Kids Just LOVE “Call of Duty”!

And, as if on cue, Activision once again shows its utter tone deafness by releasing children’s toys based on Call of Duty.

The sets feature locations, figures, weapons, and vehicles from the games, which should not be played by anyone under age 17. These aren’t collectible action figures, which might be said to have an adult audience, but Mega Bloks, the Lego knockoff squarely and solely marketed to children.

Mega Bloks already had Halo, Warcraft, and Skylanders sets, but each of those games has a somewhat younger audience. Even though Halo has moved into M-rated territory, it’s nowhere near the hyper-violent experience of Call of Duty.

Those denials that the game industry doesn’t market mature product to kids are getting less and less convincing.

Right now, with headlines blaming CoD for the shooting, Mega Bloks has taken down their CoD website and scrubbed their site of references to the product line.

Smart move, but too late.

Can someone put the adults back in charge, please?


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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • victor

    “THIS is for getting on my BAD side. YOUR next, John Connor!”

    Unfortunately, this is nothing new. As long as parents keep giving their kids access to age-inapporpriate media, there will continue to be a demand for toy tie-ins.

  • victor

    Er, but putting myself in the midset of an 8-year-old watching that commercial back in 1991 I can see how it’d create demand for that 8-year-old to want to see the violent rated-R movie that wouldn’t have been there before… So I don’t blame the parents in this case, but Fox or whomever for licensing the property to a toy company. It’s totally irresponsible.

  • Jakeithus

    Hey, I had those toys back in 1991! At the time it never occurred to me to want to go see the movie, and my parents would have never taken me even if I did. But I agree, it’s completely irresponsible.

    What will always stick in my mind is the mom with her 9 year old kid sitting ahead of me at the opening night showing of the Watchmen. I’ve always wondered what was going through her mind, whether she didn’t care about the rape, violence and numerous blue wangs, or whether it was all a huge mistake, but if so, why they didn’t walk out when it became apparent this is not a comic book movie for kids.

  • victor

    I don’t want to speculate on what is going on in someone else’s mind, but my guess would be that it was her weekend with her son, she’d promised him The Watchmen, she didn’t want to be seen as the “un-cool” parent, and all that combined with a heapin’ helpin’ of guilt was probably enough to keep here there and expose her children to that (a movie I won’t even myself see).

  • Jakeithus

    You’re very likely correct about not wanting to appear un-cool by saying no to her son. I feel for parents put in that situation partly because of age inappropriate marketing, and I’m not looking forward to that part of parenting myself.

  • victor

    Nah — it’s really nothing to worry about, parenting wise. Learn how to say “no” early on and you’ll be all set. Also — stick to just Nintendo consoles. If you raise your children as Nintendo fanboys (and girls) from birth, they’ll never look at an Xbox with anything but contempt.

  • Jakeithus

    Wouldn’t say I’m worried about it, just thinking it won’t be the most “fun” part of parenting. It certainly beats the alternative however.

    I’m a bit of an Xbox fan myself, but at least while my kids are younger we will most likely be a Nintendo house. I’ll just have to give up Xbox exclusives for a while (pretty much only Halo these days) and stick to my PC.

  • Kristen inDallas

    slightly related – the other night on hulu or FB or somewhere, I came across a video ad for Grand Theft Auto 5. One of the main characters was driving around in a tow truck that looked EXACTLY like disney’s Tow-Mater (minus the face). It’s not like brown trucks from that era or style are exactly common on the current streets of LA. So this wasn’t just 5 year olds are playing our game anyway, so let’s make toys… but more of a let’s make a substantial portion of our ad look as though it might be part of a 5-year olds favorite movie.