NECA toys on Conan

(That's talkshow host Conan O'Brien, not this Conan.)

In case you hadn't heard, black leaders are calling for a boycott of NECA. Here's a story from the Associated Press:

Slavery-era action figures tied to Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained are raising questions about whether they're appropriate.

A line of figures of the movie's main characters are on sale online, manufactured by toymaker NECA in partnership with the Weinstein Co.

Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, plans a news conference Tuesday with other Los Angeles black community leaders calling for the removal of the toys from the market.

Ali called the action figures "a slap in the face of our ancestors."

"We were outraged," said Ali, upon learning of the figures. "We feel that it trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African Americans experienced."

The action figures are collectibles recommended for people older than 17. Tarantino has had such figures made for all of his films, including his last, Inglourious Basterds. That film, too, reveled in a revenge fantasy set in history - Nazi Germany.

The Weinstein Co. and NECA didn't immediately comment Tuesday.

Ali made clear his objections were not with the film Django Unchained, which he said he liked and had seen twice.

Though controversial in its unusual melding of historical atrocity and movie mayhem, Django Unchained has proven a hit at the box office, where it has earned $106.3 million since opening Christmas. It's also been nominated for five Golden Globes.

Now, if you're as startlingly white as we are, you may not see the problem with the toys - especially from a spokesman who clearly said that he liked the movie. But last night on Conan, writer Deon Cole helped lay it out for us:

Now, we don't like about the Django toys because they're Mego dolls, but otherwise we saw no problem with them. This, though, makes things a little bit clearer.

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12 Responses to NECA toys on Conan

  1. yo go re says:

    I can't get the video to play - had to take the link to the Conan site to see it. Any chance someone's put it on YouTube or something?

  2. PrfktTear says:

    And here I was hoping NECA had made some announcement about doing new Conan the Barbarian figures...

  3. monkey boy says:

    i agree that slavery themed action figures for children to play with are skeevy, but these aren't really for children to play with. they're a collectible line, styled after mego figures that were popular in the 70s, based on a hard R rated movie. i think it's clear they're not for kids.

  4. Jay says:

    Soooo...they're OK with the movie - they liked it! - but, draw the line at the toys & are calling for a boycott? I'm guessing it's easier to call for a boycott of a (relatively speaking) small toy company than it is to hold Hollywood responsible for making money off of the history of slavery. I mean, is the movie not "trivializ[ing] the horrors, etc." by telling a story whose sole purpose of making a bajillion dollars?

    • monkey boy says:

      yeah, this is pretty much where i'm at. if you're okay with the movie deriving entertainment from slavery, why are toys any different? the only answer is that toys would appeal to children. but we live in a world now where there are entire collector oriented "toys" that are made for adults. why, if you'll take a look at the package, you'll see "Ages 17 & Up" printed on them.

      • PrfktTear says:

        This is LAAAAAAAAME!

        We've come so far, but we still live in a world where the "GROWN-UPS" (i.e. the Joe Bidens, Hillary Clintons, Jesse Jacksons, and Tipper Gores) don't realize that, ERMERGERD... comics, cartoons, video games, and toys, yes, TOYS are made for ADULTS.

  5. DaveyDaken89 says:

    this just seems like another case of the boy who cried racism. any oppurtunity and they'll seize it. surely, if the film (Which i have yet to see) is about Django Fighting for his freedom, killing all the "crackers" and "Honkeys", and as its a Tarantino film i'm sure that he is amazingly cool and kicks all kinds of ass, then you could argue that this is the first line of toys aimed Exclusively at the black Collector.

  6. BufferUnderrun says:

    I do not care. I am, however, enraged about Thinkway Toys' clear and obvious sexism because they do not offer an action figure for Sergeant Calhoun.

    • Ronnie says:

      This. Just, this. The WiR merchandise as a whole neglects her. The only ways to get her are either a $15 Disney Store exclusive PVC set or a $100 Disney Store exclusive high-end doll.

  7. yo go re says:

    According to TMZ, NECA's pulling the line...

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