They were an ill-advised concept to begin with, and now they are done for: the Weinstein Company ordered that the toy company responsible for making the controversial Django Unchained action figures stop making them immediately, TMZ reports. Per TMZ the company agreed and halted production, after only about 1,000 figures had been released.
The figures drew protest and calls for boycott from groups including Al Sharpton's National Action Network. "Selling slaves as action figures is a slap in the face of our ancestors," Project Islamic Hope's Najee Ali said, according to EURweb.
In September, when the company NECA announced the line, it explained:
Similar to the retro toy lines that helped define the licensed action figure market in the 1970s this collection will include poseable 8” action figures with tailored western clothing, authentic weapons and accessories, as well as a full apparel and accessories line.
The toys' critics saw the action figures not as Western-hero playthings but as representations of slaves that can be bought and sold. (Not all the toys that were available depicted characters who, at some point in the story, were slaves. Leonardo DiCaprio's villainous plantation owner is also represented.)
Here are images of some of the figures, available on Amazon:
The film itself has proven controversial for it's use of the N-word (among other things), and with an Oscar nomination for Best Picture under its belt, it appears as if the Weinstein Company did not want any more controversy on its plate.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.