LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group’s List of Terrible Toys

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has had little to say about video games since joining the 2007 fight against Manhunt 2.

But the Boston-based group has named a popular video game as a finalist in the voting for its first annual TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award.

So, which game has drawn CCFC’s wrath? Grand Theft Auto IV? Left 4 Dead? Saints Row 2? Blitz: The League II?

Actually, none of the above. The CCFC has targeted LEGO Batman. Here’s what the watchdog group says about the E10-rated game on its website:

How do you turn the ultimate creative toy into a symbol of commercialized childhood?  Begin by partnering with media companies to sell that toy in branded kits designed for recreating movies like Star Wars, rather than creative construction. 


Then, dispense with hands-on building altogether by turning your toy into a video game so that instead of deciding what to build next, children choose which cyber weapons to use to beat up their opponent. 


Finally, ignore the fact it was rated suitable for ages 10 & up and partner with McDonald’s for a Happy Meal toy giveaway to simultaneously promote the video game, junk food, and the violent Dark Knight movie series to preschoolers.

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  1. mr_mlk says:

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name            Test
    // @namespace
    // @description     Remove that nastie mr_mlk from GP.
    // @include*
    // ==/UserScript==
    var comments = document.evaluate("//span[@class=’submitted’]/strong[text()=’mr_mlk’]/../../..", document, null, XPathResult.ANY_TYPE,null);
    var comment = comments.iterateNext();
    if(comment) {


    Prob. Sol. 😉

  2. hayabusa75 says:

    No admin is needed.  They decided you can post as many pics as you want, and people like me can criticize you as much as we want.  End of story.

    Frank is apparently some buddy of yours.  That in itself doesn’t make him right.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  3. hayabusa75 says:

    You know him personally?  I’d say you’re a bit biased, then.  The issue for me is not and has never been the pictures.  It’s the total lack of thought beyond that which annoys me.  Over and over again.

    And I don’t even want to know what he did to make a preacher flip him off.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  4. Mattie says:

    We’re expressing our frustration with you. If you can’t handle this without running to a mod then maybe you’re the one who should leave, or reconsider your posting style at the very least.

  5. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I do know that, but it saves the admins the trouble. As for your gripes with me, that’s already reached a point in which we’re going to need an admin. Frank (below) is right, plus he’s not new here. He’s been here for a while.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  6. Frank says:

    I know you’ve let it go on for months.  Shadow was the one who introduced me to Gamepolitics in the first place.  The reason you should go back to silence about it is because like I said it’s his way of expressing his opinions.  It’s like when my preacher flipped off Shadow and I didn’t say anything because I was too busy laughing at the fact that a preacher would do such a thing.  Whether Shadow puts his opinion in words or pictures or gestures (example: *flips off Jack Thompson*) it’s all the same.

  7. JustChris says:

    Maybe we should let kids play with real life Lego boulders. Lego Indiana Jones wasn’t joking when he ran away from that boulder. That **** is dangerous in real life even when it’s made of tiny toy bricks.



  8. MrKlorox says:

    Yeah, wearing those crotch high spandex he’s practically asking for Batman’s embrace. Robin isn’t the problem, it’s the billionaire playboy.

  9. MrKlorox says:

    What is with you? A guy posting scripts to avoid these obnoxious "macros" from this certian repeat offender for those who want to use it, so what? You seem to be bunching your panties over somebody posting a potential solution to an annoying issue.

    Personally, I thank mr_mlk for attempting to provide solitude.

  10. Benjamin_Snow says:

    lol, not really, but like the guy stated, critics used to bash the Batman comics because they claim Bruce and Robin had a homosexual realtionship and it was influcing boys to be gay.


    History Channel mentioned this in a show they had about the history of comic books.


    "We may be human, but we’re still animals" -Steve Vai (World’s greatest guitarist!)

  11. Darmoth says:

    Slash fiction? Alive and well in the ’50s? lol Never heard of that before, but I was born in the ’80s.

  12. Benjamin_Snow says:

    This is more funny and yet, patheic then back in the 50s when they used to say Robin and Batman were having a homosexual realtionship.


    "We may be human, but we’re still animals" -Steve Vai (World’s greatest guitarist!)

  13. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    LEGO Batman, bad for kids?


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  14. sqlrob says:

    Implied can be worse than actual. I’m surprised it didn’t get an R.

    "Let me show you a magic trick…"


  15. BearDogg-X says:

    It’s a shame that President Obama signed an executive order shutting down the prison in Guantanamo, because every member of those three groups belong there.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  16. balmung60 says:

    What the hell?  Is it really that hard to gather up enough brain cells to do/say something that isn’t fucking stupid?

    Also, after checking their wesite, I must say that they truely are horrible, decietful motherfuckers.  They could at least define "Creative Play" (as it stands, it seems to be whatever they want it to mean.)  And Legos? Are they fucking serious?  not only did the company not always make the wonderful interlocking bricks that I build starfleets and such from, but they brick have almost always come in kits.  But worse than anything else, they underestimate the mental capacity of the average ~8+ year old and that the ads allow parents to teach children they can’t have every goddamn thing they want.

    Recommended course of action: travel back in time and abort the founders of the CCFC with a Falcon Punch.  Barring this, decisive action should be taken to eliminate them or by some other means, protect the general population from exposure the the CCFC.

  17. zel says:

    I agree that it can easily be considered violent but for reference I let my 12 yr old boy watch it and it didn’t scare him in the least unlike Ghost Hunters on SciFi which he WILL NOT WATCH hehe 😛

    Most of the violence is strictly implied, we as adults with much more reference material can almost visualize the aftermath of the more violent parts of the movie even though they are not shown, but from a childs perspective with not much material to follow through most of the violence to conclusion it seems no worse than watching violence based cartoons, which is to say, not bad at all.

    Then again i’m just a 29 year old electronics engineering major working for a phone company, what the hell do I know? 😉


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  18. zel says:

    I agree witht the principal of your arguement however disagree on the "I think they’re doing the right thing." part, unless by "right thing" you mean "finally looking at game rated for children" and not "this game shouldn’t be played by children omg evil commercialism!".

    edit: (ignore <sp> mistakes, i’m pretty drunk, moving on… :P)


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  19. King of Fiji says:

    Its a three way tie between the PTC thinking they are responsible for getting obscene television shows off the air when in reality they sucked to begin with and simply had low ratings,

    PETA using the old "We were being tounge in cheek but we got you talking about our cause so suck it and quit complaining you complainers." and this thing with the CCFC>

  20. King of Fiji says:

    The sole reason that organization exists is because they want to put a stop to marketing towards children.

    While I agree that certain things are wrong when it comes to market and children the simple solution to everything that organization makes a big deal about is simply doing one’s parently right as being a parent and "NOT" giving into your kids by buying them what you find objectional as a parent.

    Thats it.  The marketers can market it all they want to the kids.  Guess who won’t buy it because mommy and daddy don’t want to pony up the money for it?  MOMMY AND DADDY!!!!

  21. TBoneTony says:

    This is getting beyond insane.

    I guess someone needs to stand up and try to voice a ban on Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

    Like for the love of God, this is worse than PETA.

  22. Michael Brooks says:

    All children should be made to watch the Dark Knight and be made aware of homocidal maniacs dressed as clowns.

  23. Wolvenmoon says:

    Why don’t these idiots just launch a campaign against mcdonalds? Lego has ALWAYS been comercialized, batman has ALWAYS been violent.


  24. GoodRobotUs says:

    To a certain extent, I’m inclined to agree, previously they’ve complained about things that are obviously not designed for or marketted to children, but are simply not within their own limited ‘moral scope’, the link between the complaint subject and children has been tenuous at best, at least this time there IS an actual link between marketting to children and the subject matter.

  25. gamegod25 says:

    So basically they hate Lego Batman because it’s a toy based on a franchise? And I don’t know about them but I always rearranged and mixed up my legos into other stuff.

  26. Zero Beat says:

    Here’s hoping The Toadies (the awesome band) sue these guys for making people associate the words "Toady" and "Toadies" with something that sucks.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  27. Lazier Than Thou says:

    I’ll probably get slammed for this, but I think they’re doing the right thing.  Now, let me qualify that before you go yelling and screaming.

    The discussion on the topics of games and children has thusfar mostly been "children shouldn’t have X game."  Normally, this game is something outlandishly obvious like "Gears of War" or "Grand Theft Auto" or "Rape Simulator" or something like that.  This seems to be a new tactic, one that is actually reasonable.  Instead of focusing on games that children obviously shouldn’t have, they’re focusing on games that children likely will have and telling people why the children shouldn’t have it.

    Now, I do think they are blowing things completely out of proportion, but at least the discussion is changed from "children shouldn’t be exposed to gratuitous violence" when that is obviously true.

    Perhaps this is a step in the right direction.

  28. HarmlessBunny says:

    I’ll disagree there, it is quite a violent movie. Well it has quite a bit of beat’em up violence. You are right though absolutely little to no blood, but a lot of the implied violence and tension…in my opinion at the least…makes it a little much for young kids ("I’m gonna make this pencil disappear…") 

  29. Awol says:

    Did you actually send this or just posted it here? Cause if you actually sent it that would be cool and if you didn’t I recommend that you do.


  30. Childe Dirk says:

    Dear Campaign for a Fun Free Childhood,


    Is this really the best you can do?  Honestly? 

    I realize that the Oscars nominations were just announced and so to coincide with them (more so than LEGO Batman ever coincided with the Dark Knight) you felt you needed to make 5 nominations, as they do for most categories.  It appears that you came up with 4 nominations and then ran out of ideas. 

    First you claim LEGO was the "ultimate creative toy" until they began branding product.  First off, virtually all LEGO sets are sold as specific packages to create specific models.  A child’s ability to then take the pieces and make something entirely new out of them does not change because the box says "Batman." 

    Secondly, any lack of creativity in playing LEGO Batman is due entirely to the game’s linear and repetitive game play.  I know this because I have played it.  I would seriously suggest that somebody in your organization give it a try.

    Out of curiosity, is there a reason that the LEGO Batman game is worse than the LEGO Indian Jones game?  Both were released in 2008, both were released in close proximity to a major motion picture release, both of which were rated PG-13 by the MPAA, which would not prevent younger children from seeing them. 

    Would it be because the Batman film grossed more money, received many more favorable reviews, and just received a number of Oscar nominations including the high profile Best Supporting Actor award?  Could it be that by focusing on the higher profile brand your organization is more likely to receive press attention which in turn would lead to more people visiting your website and potentially clicking on the "Support Us" link?

    Using branding as a tool to bring in more money?  Why that sounds almost…commercial.



    ECA Sacramento Chapter

  31. KayleL says:

    The Dark Knight is violent? If you actually watched the movie, there was hardly any violence at all. It maybe has a dark atmosphere, and some scary moments, but it’s not violent.

    You hardly see any blood at all, most of the fighting is done with fists, and camera changes when ever that was actual violence.

    It does have scary moments like Dent’s face, but if you were burned, I don’t think it would give kids a positive message that you only get away with a cool scar to show off. It’s just an exaggeration on reality (I don’t think you can quite get out of the hosital that fast, and how the hell the eye doesn’t fall out).

  32. SimonBob says:

    real indignity would be a Lego Green Lantern game.  That would not only remove the creative aspect from the Legos, but also the entire "anything you can imagine" aspect of the Power Ring.  (Then again, every boss would have to be a different shade of yellow.)

    The Mammon Industry

  33. Vash-HT says:

    Meh these games are pretty craptacular in general anyway (lego ones I mean), they’re not much more than a time waster for little kids or people who are willing to play a bad game cause it’s a cute idea. It’s really not that bad for kids though, at least the games feature puzzles that make kids think for a few seconds.

  34. sortableturnip says:

    I’m sure the parent who buys this for their kid is going to know that there aren’t any Legos in the jewel case…

    I think the writer should go eat a Big Mac and STFU…

  35. Werrick says:

    I’m sorry, did they suddenly stop selling lego when the game came out?

    There are no other Lego building games?

    These people are idiots. They should all be dragged into one big room and forced to play games until their eyes bleed.

  36. King of Fiji says:

    I guess simply not buying the stuff for your kids if you find it objectional isn’t good enough for the good old CCFC.  🙁  

  37. Dan says:

    I wonder how much credibillity this leaves them. Even game haters aren’t likely to take them seriously after this.

    —— Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

  38. BearDogg-X says:

    Another pathetic attempt by a pathetic group to get noticed.

    Whining over Lego Batman when it has zilch to do with The Dark Knight? That’s the epitomy of pathetic. "Commericalized Childhood"? What a joke.

    They can take their little "Toady", shine it up real nice, turn it sideways, and stick it where the light of the world doesn’t shine.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  39. Darmoth says:

    What is it with you people? A guy posting image macros on the internet, so what? Why do so many passing through here get their panties in a bunch over it?

  40. mr_mlk says:

    Only gets rid of the first facepalm post by this twit but hopefully that is enough.


    // ==UserScript==
    // @name            Test
    // @namespace
    // @description     Remove the pointless "facepalm" twat from GP.
    // @include*
    // ==/UserScript==
    var comments = document.evaluate("//span[@class=’submitted’]/strong[text()=’Shadow D. Darkman’]/../../..", document, null, XPathResult.ANY_TYPE,null);
    var comment = comments.iterateNext();
    if(comment) {

    Mm, maybe I should not kill all the post but just the message part of it.

  41. thefremen says:

     Well, according to critics the actual Detective comics were full of sexual innuendo between Batman and Robin.

  42. thefremen says:

     They’re right of course, Dark Knight isn’t suitable for small children at all.


    It’s very long and takes a while to develop. Kids just don’t have the attention span when they don’t understand the drama of the first and second acts.

  43. DoggySpew says:

    The Dark Knight is a perfect example of  "Things you don’t see, scare you the most".

    Any good horror/thriller movie were cost for making them are low use this tactic. The best once do no show anything much (Just glimpses), and even the most expensive movies loose their magic if everything is shown in full clarity.

  44. Frank says:

    They should’ve included that in every episode where Team Rocket screws up (almost every episode in the series, at least when I watched it as a kid).  Why he never fired them I don’t know.  As for you people who pick on Sahdow, everyone expresses themselves in different ways.  some through pictures, some through words, some through gestures.  Just because he has a different way of communicating how he feels does not mean you should pick on him.

  45. Erik says:

    Likely for the same reason that people "get their panties in a bunch" when somone tries to hold a serious event in Second Life only to have someone "express" themsevles at said event by penis bombing said event.

    SDM’s posts are a Gamepolitics penis bombing run.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  46. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Happy to be of service.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  47. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    As I always say. Don’t like how people are, then GTFO. Quit wasting space on the page for the sake of your indignation. Maybe when you get the right to wield the BanHammer I’ll pay heed to your grievance, but for now, shut up and sit in the corner until you learn to accept people’s shortcomings, even if some people consider them longer than others do.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  48. hayabusa75 says:

    Are you new here?  We’ve let his monotonous posts go for months without saying anything, and frankly some of us aren’t willing to stay silent anymore.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  49. hayabusa75 says:

    How can you say that you won’t pay attention to anyone who doesn’t have the right to ban people, and in the same breath order those that don’t like you to GTFO?  Surely even you can see the hypocrisy here, since last I checked, you can’t ban people either.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  50. hayabusa75 says:

    Probably for the same reason we don’t like listening to the same CD or watching the same movie everyday.  It gets quite tiresome, eventually.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  51. Mendror says:

    Where were these fools when they where releasing toys based on the second batman movie.

    It was the darkest Batman movie I have ever seen..

  52. Bigman-K says:

    There are three things in this world that really piss me off, religious and anti-religious (ie. fanatical militant atheists) extremeists, Censorship, and all those "We must think of the children" nanny-state protectionist retards. Guess what children neither want nor need your so-called protection.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  53. ElfyEikal says:

    OOH! LEGO! but then..why associate Lego with games anyway? that just totally destroy children’s imagination..and i do play Lego’s when i was younger..

    Lego’s are meant to be BRICKS and it uses a Child’s imagination. that’s why its good. Lego Games totally unwise. games should remain where it is. and if LEGO Batman don’t work out for anyone in games. then don’t do LEGO games at all. it should REMAIN as BRICKS. i Love LEGO bricks. hated each and every game released.

    Vitality Before Violence

  54. MrKlorox says:

    I completely agree. Lego batman is all marketing and no game. Those previously listed lego games allow one to build cars and that’s all. That’s no fucking lego game. Try again.

  55. FireWaterFX says:

    You know its a serious thing when you get a TOADY Award (which leaves off the C for children, its that serious)  So obviously the people who made lego batman are blasphemers and should go to TOADY Hell.



    Gaming online since 1999 If you enjoy source based games please check out Running TF2 and other popular games.

  56. nekusagi says:

    I looked at the other toys on that site. Ridiculous. Especially because they’re slamming a stationary bike INTENDED TO GET KIDS EXERCISE.

    Also, somehow, I get the feeling the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Barbie, with the $79.99 price tag, isn’t the kind intended for "ages 5+". Nice work, guys.

  57. DavCube says:

    …wow. I mean… this is BEYOND ridiculous.

    First in that quoted passage, they say that playing with franchise-themed Lego’s isn’t ‘creative construction.’ Could you define that term for me, please? What does that mean? That they should only ‘construct’ things if it’s being donated to some sort of charity? That play-time as a whole should only have some sort of incentive other than the joy of the child playing? What, i’m asking!

    Then they just blatently disregard the fact that the game itself is about the Batman franchise as a whole, rather than Dark Knight, which is a different matter entirely.

    Finally, ‘OMG THE LITTLE LEGO BLOCKS ARE BEATING EACH OTHER UP. HIDE THE CHILDREN.’ What the hell? I’m surprised that they don’t just go after Legos as a whole, not just franchise-themed ones, since you can beat them up in play as well. I mean, you ‘beat each other up’ in Street Fighter 2, for crying out loud. Where’s the cry for the banning of its most recent remake on the online market? (Don’t ask me to remember the full name, since by now there’s so many subtitles tacked on it’s hard to remember how many adjectives are being used)

  58. Seiena_Cyrus says:

    Any of the series like the one with Adam West….or the Cartoons (Which I watched when -I- was a small kid)…or any of the other previous movies…Batman has been around -FOREVER- there’s no reason to spout BS like Promoting the Dark Knight…Batman is Batman just like the ninja Turtles are the Ninja turtles all of it is old and new…

  59. Moriarty70 says:

    Hell, these have been around since I was a kid, (Born ’84). And they were just as big since it’s the only safe way to fit two kids in there and not have them fall out easily. I’m surprised they didn’t put a Nerf gun on the list.

    Just remember "Pow pow powerwheels, it’s a powerful car!"

  60. Zero Beat says:

    *Pokes with stick.*

    You okay, dude?


    Um, I think he’s broken.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  61. Zevorick says:

    The children! The children! For the love of God, we’re going to be raising a group of antisocial fat vigilantes!

    *frothing at the mouth*

    Violence and food for children! Delicious violence no good with children! I’ll eat french fries!!!!

    *spasms and twitches*



  62. Andrew Eisen says:

    LEGO Batman has one major flaw in my opinion and that’s the tediousness of switching between a dozen or so characters during freeplay.

    It became a humoungous pain in the bum to single step through each character one by one until I found the one with the ability I needed.

    I actually stopped playing because of it.

    My suggestion would be to put only one character of each type in my group.  I don’t need three gun toting henchmen when Harley has a gun of her own.  Also, consolidate the Batman/Nightwing, Robin/Batgirl characters so I don’t have to go through each different suit to get to another character.  Perhaps a different control to switch between the suits (ex.  Switch to Batman, then use a different button to change suits).

    Maybe instead of single stepping through each character, bring up a character wheel for quick selections.

    Love everything else though.


    Andrew Eisen

  63. tsukata says:

    This!  Yet another case of critics of video games having never actually PLAYED the game or even looked at the box!

  64. King of Fiji says:

    But Boston is such a nice town. 

    If there was a way that the hurricane could selectively destroy the building where the CCFC takes residency in then I’d agree with you but sadly mother nature dosen’t work that way. 

  65. Father Time says:

    They would probably actually like Lego Creator because it lets you build stuff with virtual legos (and little else).


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  66. nightwng2000 says:

    "Then, dispense with hands-on building altogether by turning your toy into a video game so that instead of deciding what to build next,…"

    Lego Creator

    Lego Island I & II

    Lego Racer

    Lego Alpha Team

    Bricks (non Lego, but Lego-clone).


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  67. TehChef says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but the first time I played Lego StarWars (on the PC), I longed to go back and play with my models. Unfortunately, I was in college at the time, and my models were at my parents’ house. Also, I’m one of those people that can build things spontaneously out of Legos. I can only follow the directions, that’s it. And Lego Island was an awesome game, dammit!

  68. sheppy says:

    Might be just me but I never saw the devloper OR publisher try and associate this product with the Dark Knight movie.  The fact that it was released 2 months AFTER the movie left theatres and two months BEFORE it hit DVD is evidence enough of this.

    But oh well, I guess since Batman has toys out, that has to be the end of the more adult Batman stories found in comic books.

    Or I could just call the entire organization a bunch of twats and be done with it…

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  69. gamadaya says:

    TOADY? That sounds like a porn award.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  70. the1jeffy says:

    I actually agree with them.  Video Games are great, but leaning to build with legos is a great tool for learning spatial skills and critical thinking.  I’m sure they couldve phrased it less "SCARE TACTICY" or something, but the point remains, legos are educational an constructive, lego video games are destructive and brain fluff.  It’s a matter of moderation and knowing your child’s limits, as always.


    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

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