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The Dirty Dozen
12 Toys To Avoid

For 2001 - 2002

Toys Tied to Video Games

Metal Gear Solid 2, Sons of Liberty, Solid Snake, McFarlane Toys
Recommended age: 
Description: An ultra-action figure that comes with a plastic rifle and a pistol.
Why we chose it:  The six toy action figures in this series represent characters from the new Konami video game Metal Gear Solid 2, rated M for Mature by the video game industry. Even though the video game has scenes of graphic violence, according to a review, the toy tie-in is labeled as appropriate for ages 5 and up. The McFarlane website asks: Hey, kids, want to score some Metal Gear Solid 2 action figures signed by Todd McFarlane? Click here.

Rock Em Sock Em Robots, Head Case Robot,  Mattel
Recommended Age: 6+
Description: A plastic robot warrior that comes with a slashing blade.
Why we chose it: Customize and pulverize! suggests the box. These metal maniacs face off in a ferocious fight to the finish. & Only one victor will emerge from the scraps of steel, so let the battles begin!  The toys website notes, This neck wrenching head collector says winning is as easy as taking candy from a baby's intestines. The toy is marketed to first-graders, but the package advertises a Teen-rated video game called Rock Em Sock Em Arena. or

Fighting Robots

Mobile Suit Gundam, MS-06S Zaku II,  Think Way Toys
Recommended Age: 8+
Description: A motorized fighting action figure with sound effects and a recoil action, light-up machine gun!
Why we chose it:
This action figure comes in a try me box that allows children to press a button and watch a narrated slide show punctuated by repeated machine gun fire and the sound of clashing metal weapons. After one such burst of fire, the narrator intones, Now, say goodbye! He promises hyper-realistic combat action! when two figures in this series (sold separately) are joined. Im a Thinking Toy! the tape concludes. or

Commandobot3, MGA Entertainment
Recommended Age: 6+
Description:  A foot-high robot that shoots up to10 missiles at family members and friends while defending a childs room.
Why we chose it: This Room Guard detects intruders and sounds an alarm, according to the package. Its missile command can attack and defend with missiles that really shoot! This high-tech, voice-recognition robot allows children to launch up to 10 weapons in their own home.

Television-Based Action Figures

Dragon Ball Z Striking Z Fighters series, Irwin Toys
Recommended Age: 4+
Description: A series of plastic action figures based on the violent anime cartoon program Dragon Ball Z.
Why we chose it: This figure encourages pre-schoolers to re-enact the fighting they see on the Japanese anime TV show Dragon Ball Zwhich tops the Cartoon Networks ratings. The Goku character comes with a striking wall and features front kicking action! The Trunks figure comes with side kicking action! and Piccolo comes with double punch action! or

Power Rangers Time Force, Virtual Reality World, Manley Toy Quest
Recommended Age: 4+
Description: A virtual reality headpiece, gloves and a leg sensor that allow children to re-enact scenarios from the Time Force Power Ranger television program.
Why we chose it: This toy adds a 21st century, virtual reality twist to the 10-year-old Power Rangers product. You are a member of the Power Rangers, and you are out to defeat the evil Cyclobot. & Punch and kick to control the action, notes the box. The realistic Stereo Sound FX and vibrantly colorful screen puts you in the fight. & It comes down to speed and agility & are you prepared for the fight? or

                                         "Educational" models with weapons

Mech Warrior, Shadow Cat, KNex
Recommended Age: 9+
Description: A KNex construction toy that fires foam missiles.
Why we chose it:  This is a basic construction toya product that is generally open-ended and creativethat children can now use to make weapons of destruction (that) are the future of warfare! In addition to missiles, the toy includes elemental soldiers to shoot.  This product   is being used to introduce children to a popular series of  PC games called Mech Warrior, rated E for Everyone or T for Teen (depending on the version) with an Animated Violence descriptor.

Zoids, Gun Sniper, Hasbro
Recommended Age: 8+
Description: A model kit of a dinosaur-like creature with a gun.
Why we chose it: This toy takes an educational conceptin this case, a dinosaur model that requires some assemblyand turns it into an action figure called a Gun Sniper. The Zoids series also includes a Command Wolf sporting a rocket booster, and a Zaber Fang dog carrying a land missile pod on his back.

     E-rated 'STREET FIGHTER" video GAMES
(for children ages 6 and up)

Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival,  Capcom for the Game Boy Advance
Recommended Age: E for Everyone, with a Violence descriptor.
Description: This is the most respected fighting game of all time, according to the packaging.
Why we chose it: This hand-held game encourages first-graders to wreak havoc on your opponent and become the best street fighter in the world, according to the box. The special moves involved in playing this game have names such as psycho crusher, devil reverse, head press and somersault skull diver, according to the directions. Children who play the game hear characters say things like, My fists will have your blood on them or, You are not a true warrior!  One version, called survival mode, requires children to kill 100 people without stopping.

Final Fight One,  Capcom for the Game Boy Advance
Recommended Age: E for Everyone, with a Violence descriptor.
Description: A classic arcade fighting game, now in a hand-held version.
Why we chose it: This game features a mayor who is an ex-street fighter and calls in the big guns in order to free his kidnapped daughter, according to the package. Each punch and kick does a different amount of damage, the directions instruct. Experiment with different combinations to find out which are the most effective. According to one customer review on,  This is a classic beat um up, punch um, make um fall down and disappear game & No need to think or read. Just hit punch and knock out.

  First Person Shooter Games

Doom,  Activision for the Game Boy Advance
Recommended Age: T for Teen, with Blood and Violence descriptors.
Description: One of the best-known first-person shooter games, now in a hand-held version.
Why we chose it: This Game Boy Advance version is the basically the same game that was rated M for Mature for the PC. Blast your way to freedom through Dooms 24 levels of destruction, the package suggests. Annihilate hell spawned demons with plasma rifles, chain guns and rocket launchers. Team up with a friend & for the ultimate deathmatch. According to a review in,  Doom is a straight shooter, so youll end up firing no matter whats in front of you. & Theres nothing like blasting your friend in the back when hes fighting cacodemons.

Ecks vs. Sever,  Bay Area Multimedia, Inc. for the Game Boy Advance
Recommended Age: T for Teen
Description: Another first-person shooter for teens for the Gameboy, featuring explosive weapons and government conspiracy.
Why we chose it: This hand-held game has a storyline steeped in the hard-boiled crime found in spy films, which, early on in the game, touches on murder, terrorism, and other violent aspects, according to a review in The story almost seems out of place for a handheld system, the reviewer notes. The game offers teens a choice of explosive weapons including the Colt M16A2 rifle, Sig SSG 3000 sniper rifle, and the Heckler & Koch 40 mm grenade launcher.

If you have any suggestions for toys for our next list,
please contact us here at The Lion & 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!



The Lion & Lamb Project

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