LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

January 22, 2009 -

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.


Comments

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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

*Sigh*

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

Groups like these scare me... same goes with PeTA... and many others...

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Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

Oh...my...God!!! Can these people get a damn life?

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

TOADY. That's funny.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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)

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Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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!!!!

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

Wonder what these people will say when the Lego MMO comes out?

 

 

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

 

President

ECA Sacramento Chapter

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

 

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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).

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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

"Let me show you a magic trick..."

 

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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...") 

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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 :P

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? ;)

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Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

That's it, I give up on the world.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

NO!  If you give up, where will I be able to watch Mythbusters????

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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

---
Fangamer

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

lol, they act as if the Lego company stopped making legos and only makes games now.  

http://www.eliteownage.com/nice

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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...

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

GameSnooper

 

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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

------ Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

But lego Batman is one of the best games ever made. Seriously. All the Lego Games are awesome.

I also love the movie themed Lego sets. It is so much fun to have The Joker and Darth Maul team up to kill Spiderman.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

Because clearly robin was in the dark knight....

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

Probably haven't watched the movie, either.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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...


Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

That fisher price Cadilaic they also have on there is insane. It's so insane I want one...

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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!"

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

Dark Knight? Not suitable for small children?

BULLSHIT!

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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!

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

What a bunch of a**holes... Too much free time I guess. They need a hurricane to destroy their homes to learn what is a real life issue like being homeless after a natural disaster.

 

 

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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. 

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

"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).

NIghtwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

---------------------------------------------------- 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.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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.

Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

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*

Batman...

*dies*

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

*Pokes with stick.*

You okay, dude?

*Poke.*

Um, I think he's broken.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: LEGO Batman Makes Watchdog Group's List of Terrible Toys

No more Lego Batman for you...

 
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Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

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Andrew EisenAnd unless I completely missed it, there's nothing in there about "how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta look deep for it/11/20/2014 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, you're upset, irked and fearful over an opinion piece that suggests the Pokemon demo would be better with more options and a better-written female character. SERIOUSLY?!11/20/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://gamasutra.com/blogs/PugetAlain/20141118/230420/Nearly_Ripped_off_to_death_by_a_publisher__Get_better_by_yourself_and_wait_for_justice_Maybe.php Topware screws over an indie studio because they can.11/20/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAre you SURE you provided the right link?11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99And yeah that sucks, especially when bonuses are tied to it, but that is more a problem with crappy publisher policies and scoring in general than any discussion on what may or may no be sexism in games.11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99But no one is on their legislative high horse or on the litigation war path, for that matter. The biggest effect is that a reviewer might give it a lower score and drag down their meta critic ranking.11/20/2014 - 4:56pm
Wonderkarpyup11/20/2014 - 4:51pm
Andrew EisenOh for crying out loud. Wonderkarp, I apologize for how rude this question is but seriously, did you actually read that article?11/20/2014 - 4:47pm
Wonderkarpits a stigma. people in power hear this crap and start getting on their legislative high horse. but I feel like we've already paid too much attention too a demo.11/20/2014 - 4:46pm
Andrew EisenHarm gaming how?11/20/2014 - 4:35pm
Wonderkarpcause it gets parroted around and is used by people to harm gaming like Jack Thompsons did with Violence. http://www.themarysue.com/pokemon-oras-sexism/ here's the article.11/20/2014 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenNo idea why such an opinion would upset or irk you so I'd be interested in reading it. Got a link?11/20/2014 - 4:13pm
Wonderkarplook deep for it....reaching much. those kinds of people are what urk me.11/20/2014 - 4:07pm
WonderkarpI got upset the other day when a known feminist blog wrote a large article on how the demo to Pokemon Omega Ruby was Sexist cause you couldnt play as a girl. It was a Demo....who cares? but they went off on how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta11/20/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenHere's the panel that Sarkeesian quote from earlier comes from. Amazing what the proper context does, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0qxtKz2vZw11/20/2014 - 3:32pm
NeenekoSomething to keep in mind, we tend to look at physics as 'hard', but math and physics are trivial compared to soc/psych (I have worked in both), but FEELS like it should be simplier.11/20/2014 - 3:17pm
NeenekoI think what tends to make discussing sexism in games difficult is scale, the issues tend to be systemic in nature, but bite sized examples are not... and the systemic part ties into a lot of dry academic stuff requiring domain knowledge not everyone has.11/20/2014 - 3:16pm
Wonderkarpand I jumped for joy when the Cogs went multigendered in GOW. but I also like male protagonists like Kratos or Nathan Drake or Link.11/20/2014 - 2:58pm
Wonderkarp..it needs female options. thats why I prefer biowares games. My Shepard was female(Jennifer Hale <3) and my skyrim player was female. I prefer female characters. But I dont think its a sexism issue. More and more females are coming.11/20/2014 - 2:55pm
WonderkarpMonte, I would argue that with Tomb Raiders sales....remember me though....personally I like games with character customization. I was one of those people miffed at ACUnity over no female assassins. if you give us customization, unless its a sports game..11/20/2014 - 2:53pm
 

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