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The Dirty Dozen
12 Toys To Avoid

For 2000 - 2001

Wrestling Figures

Goldberg Smash & Bash Game,  Tiger/Hasbro
Recommended age: 
Description: An electronic talking action figure based on a World Championship Wresting figure.
Why we chose it:  The packaging suggests that preschoolers act out  wrestling moves with this toy.  You must quickly react by smashing his head,  bashing his chest or twisting his arm before he comes at you with his next move, the package says.  Children learn by imitation.

Bone Crunchin Buddies, Jakks Pacific
Recommended age: 3+
Description: A large plush doll depicting an angry World Wrestling Federation figure. 
Why we chose it:  This figure suggests that children crunch the figures elbows and knees, to hear bone crunching action.  There have been incidents where young children have accidentally injured or even killed their friends while imitating such moves.

ACTION Figures

Metal Gear Solid, Revolver Ocelot, McFarlane Toys
Recommended age:  5+
Description:  An action figures that comes with two Colt single-action Army revolvers, two ammo belts and a torture table.
Why we chose it: This action figure introduces pre-schoolers to an adult-rated violent video game, although the packaging does not reveal this link.  The adult video game includes moves such as snapping a guards neck from behind, shooting an enemys back with a silencer, and sniping craniums from far away, according to The industry trade group Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB) rated the game M for Mature, citing animated blood & gore, animated violence, and mature sexual themes.

Turok Primagen, Omniversal Annihilator, Playmates
Recommended age:  4+
Description:  An action figure that seeks total domination of both the Lost Land and Earth.
Why we chose it:  This action figure, labeled as appropriate for children four and up, is based on an ultra-violent adult video game.  The packaging does not warn parents of the link to an adult game, but it entices children to play the video game by offering a cheat sheet inside the package.  Join the blood battle with Turok in Turok 2:  Seeds of Evil for N64, the package reads.

Hollywood-based FIGURES

Wolverine Battlin Bop Bag, Toy Biz
Recommended age: 5+
Description:  A four-foot tall punching bag figure that talks when hit, based on X-Men the Movie.
Why we chose it:  This figure, based on a PG-13 movie, is marketed to pre-schoolers.  When punched, it says the following: Try to hit me & in the gut!  and Hit my head & again & if you dare!


Pokemon Battle Stadium, Hasbro
Recommended age: 6+
Description:  A high tech mini-stadium to let you create the ultimate battle!
Why we chose it:  Pokemon figures generally look cute and appeal to young children, but they promote violent play.  The packaging suggests that strategy is involved, but the strategy is related to fighting.  Figures get stronger by winning battles!  the packaging reads.  Win by choosing the right attack and timing it just right!

Dragonball Z, Action Figures, Irwin Toy
Recommended age: 4+
Description:  Plastic action figures based on the Cartoon Network program.
Why we chose it:  Dragonball Z is one of the most violent of the childrens cartoon programs, and these action figures invite preschoolers to re-enact the violence they see on TV.  Recreate the exciting battles of Dragonbal Z with these detailed action figures! says the packaging.  Each figure comes with a Blasting Energy Weapon!


Laser Challenge, Gotcha Extreme!, Toymax
Recommended age:  8+
Description:  A laser gun and sensor vest with aggressive styling and a 350 firing distance.
Why we chose it:  This laser gun urges children to put down your game controller and step into a video game! This gun attempts to make the virtual violence of video games real through actual play. The packaging says:  Its you against your opponents! 10 hits equal elimination!

Nerf WildFire, Hasbro
Recommended age:  8+
Description:  An automatic blaster with full or semi-automatic trigger and darts which are referred to as ammo.
Why we chose it:  This automatic blaster with massive 20 dart firepower!   simulates an automatic weapon.  It requires children to shoot at each other as a form of play.

Video Game

Bionic Commando Elite Forces (for Color Game Boy), Capcom
Recommended age:  Everyone (ESRB rating)
Description:  A hand-held video game where you are the ultimate weapon.  The game includes a sniper mode for both the male and female commandos.  The male commando goes charging through enemies with barrels blazing and leaves only destruction in his wake.
Why we chose it: This game requires both boys and girls to become virtual snipers in order to take out enemies.


Turok3, Shadow of Oblivion, (for Color Game Boy), Acclaim
Recommended age:  Everyone (ESRB rating)
Description:  This fighting game features virtual weapons such as a basic semi-automatic pistol with extra ammo clips, a shot gun, an Uzi, blade launcher (bouncing blades mean some nasty cuts), a missile launcher, and more.  Children start out with a knife and a bow, but earn more weapons as they become more proficient killers.  The hints for this game suggest that children use many weapons, dont become dependent on one of them and get your hands on long-range weapons as soon as you can.
Why we chose it: This adult-rated video game is marketed to children through both a Game Boy version and action figures.  The packaging does not mention the link to an adult game.

Metal Gear Solid (for Color Game Boy), Konami
Recommended age:  Everyone (ESRB rating)
Description:  A Game Boy video game that invites children to build up an arsenal of weaponry and  take out the enemy. 
Why we chose it:   This game is marketed to children,  but is based on an adult-rated, violent video game of the same name.  Neither the packaging nor the directions acknowledge this connection.  While most children know Joe Camel-style what they are playing with, most parents are unaware of the marketing connections. 

If you believe that violence is not child's play, and would like to make your feelings known, please visit our listing of the toy companies who produce the Dirty Dozen.

If you have any suggestions for toys for our next list, please
contact us here at The Lion and Lamb Project via any of the methods listed
at the top of the screen - or use our easy online Toy Recommendation Form!

If you send us a toy recommendation, please include all the relevant details
of the toy, including those seen above.

If we pick your recommendation to be included in one of our lists,
you'll receive a free Parent Action Kit!

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The Lion & Lamb Project

The Lion & Lamb Project is an initiative of the Tides Center.