The action figures come clad in meth-making plastic raincoats and goggles. Toys ‘R Us, in its defense, claims that the Breaking Bad dolls are only sold in the adult action figure section of its stores. This perked my interest. The next time I go to that store, I am going to see what other adult action figures are sold there. In fact, I’m not writing another word until I do a professional journalistic investigation by ripping on over to Toys ‘R Us...
I don't follow the exploits of the Axe Cop, so I can't really be sure that Dr. Doo Doo is his arch enemy. He could be his sidekick. Sidekicks usually don't have advanced degrees though, while the ranks of super villains are lousy with PhD's, so I'll stick with my first guess rather than going off on any wild tangents about the anti-intellectual bias of American popular culture.
I had plenty of time to study the wall because the giant toy guy hung around watching me inscrutably, as if he suspected I had no real interest in purchasing an adult action figure. I didn't want him to turn into an action figure himself by telling me I couldn't take pictures in his store, so I waited until he finally wandered off before whipping out the cellie and taking a few clandestine shots like any proper Internet journalist should.
I can report that there was no separate adult action figure section in the store I investigated, at least not in the sense that the video stores we used to have to go to rent movies had a separate adult movie section behind a filthy curtain or a swinging door that made you feel like a shadowy pervert when you pulled it aside. The adult action figures at my Toys 'R Us just blended into the Scooby-Doo and Batman dolls.
Note that these adult toys are pricey. Once you add sales tax, it's going to cost you over twenty bucks to own Jessie, and you haven't even bought Walter and Gus to play with him yet . For the economy-minded among you, they are also available in Lego's. I am not making this up. Not that Lego's are really cheap. Couple that with the fact they hadn't been invented yet, and that's why I never had any when I was a kid. My parents strove to discourage me and my six brothers and sisters from wanting any toys that cost over two dollars. I didn't even have a GI Joe, which was the only action figure available then, apart from Barbie, who was for girls. GI Joe's flaw was that he had no opponent. All you could do was dress him and undress him, or stick a cheap plastic gun in his hands or a helmet on his head. He was basically an armed Barbie. And Barbie at least had Ken. GI Joe lacked an opposite-sex companion, though back in those days she would probably have to have been named Saigon Hooker with Secret Cong Sympathies.
All we had were big bags of inch-high plastic soldiers that came in two varieties—Americans vs. Nazis and North vs. South. Usually we conducted battles outside in the dirt, but when it was really freezing or raining we were allowed to array our soldiers on the living room couch. The casualties would plunge like lemmings onto the rug, until Dad would step on one in his bare feet and the plastic fighters would be ordered to beat a retreat back into the toy box. Some mingling of the armies was inevitable in there. As the older brother, I always was the Americans or the North and won; my younger brothers would have to be the Nazis or the South and lose. This was the natural order of things, but they resented it. Sometimes when we were playing Gettysburg, I would notice Pickett's Charge being led by a couple of Panzer tanks. This screwing with history would deeply offend me, and the game would break down into accusations and recriminations that echoed around the house until we were told to shut up, then continued in bitter whispers until the fragile peace of bedtime.
Or else I would just borrow a friend's GI Joe and use his outlandish size compared to the rest of the combatants to squash those Confederate tanks like bugs.
That was pure imaginative fun, but what about this? Are kids really into pretending they are cancer-ridden drug dealers and their half-witted accomplices? There's a Joe Namath doll. Do your boys fantasize about being drunken old men who slur sweetly into attractive female sideline reporter's ears?
Well, no. These action figures are being bought by adults. Now that Breaking Bad is over, BB addicts must be using the dolls to make up their own episodes. I've only seen a couple Breaking Bads myself, but from all the wistful postmortems at the series' end in the pages of the New Yorker and Slate, two publications I read regularly, it's easy to see the show had many followers of a literary bent. This just goes to show you that even urban intellectuals stay at home and watch TV like the rest of us nowadays, instead of going out to bars every night and picking fistfights with other members of the intelligentsia like they used to.
What a world, what a world, to quote the dying words of one of the clearer thinkers of our age, the Wicked Witch of the West. So play with adult action figures, if you need that to get you through the night. But if you come upon some guy who owns the Joe Namath doll, keep your women away from him is my advice.