By Zack Smith
The Weinstein Company has requested that NECA’s Mego-style dolls of Quentin Tarantino’s "Django Unchained" be discontinued in light of protests – and collectors are snapping them up.
The toy line featured a variety of 8-inch dolls based on the characters portrayed by Jamie Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and others in Tarantino’s violent Western about a former slave (Fox) seeking vengeance and the woman he loves.
Though the toys, as pointed out by the Weinstein Company, were intended for collectors aged 17 and up, the movie is hardly kiddie fare – and critics were not kind to the idea of collectors “buying” toys of slave characters, or violent racists.
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network called for a boycott of the toys, with the network’s president in Los Angeles (who hadn’t seen the film) saying they made “a mockery of slavery.” Najee Ali from Project Islamic Hope supported this statement, though he admitted he’d seen the film twice and liked it.
Needless to say, the news caused those who had the toys to put them on eBay at vastly inflated prices – and people seem to be buying. A perusal of auctions saw bids of around $100 for individual "Django Unchained" dolls. As of Jan.23, one auction sold a set of figures for more than $4,500.
It appears Sharpton and others have failed to learn one of the major lessons of toys – telling people they shouldn’t have something will only make them want it all the more.
We’re curious as to what you think – was it wrong to make toys of a movie dealing with slavery and racial issues in the style of kids’ dolls, or are Sharpton and friends overreacting? For that matter, is are the people paying $4,000 for a set on eBay overreacting as well?