Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing Toys Based on Mature Games to Children

January 22, 2013 -

In an in-depth interview with the artist formerly known as CliffyB (he asked everyone to call him Cliff Bleszinski, and not his nickname as you may recall), GamesBeat grills the former Gears of War designer about the game franchise, perceptions in some circles that he was a bit of a douche, and what he thought about former EGM editor Dan Hsu calling him a d*ck in a cover story.

While all of that is interesting, we picked up on Bleszinski talking about Gears of Wars toys being marketed to children by showing up in places like Toys 'R Us. It's an argument that has long been made by video game critics and children's advocacy groups - that the industry markets to children while pretending that it doesn't.

Here the part about those Gears of War toys:

GamesBeat: Do you think it’s weird or inappropriate that Gears of War toys are marketed to young children?

Bleszinski: Yeah, that’s always an issue. The thing is, I’m 37-years-old, and I’m still collecting cool new Transformers. That’s not a cop-out answer. The fact that they’re in Toys “R” Us … it’s one of those things. Yeah, it is there. But at the same time, it’s a fantasy, sci-fi experience. There are Prometheus action figures that I saw the other day at Toys “R” Us. Like, really?

The bottom line is that you want to get your game and your franchise in as many people’s hands as possible, when it’s appropriate. I’ve always defended Gears with the fact that it was an over-the-top chainsawing-aliens game, as opposed to a sticking-ice-picks-in-gang-members’-ears type of game.

You can read the entire entertaining interview on GamesBeat. A quick search of Toy "R" Us found  Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Gears of War, Mortal Kombat, Halo 4, and Street Fighter action figures. The majority of these toys are based on "M" rated games. Of course, there are plenty of "E" and "Teen" rated toys and toys based on movie franchises like Mario, Sonic, Pokémon, and Wreck It Ralph.


Comments

Re: Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing ...

Given the pricing, design, and quality of the toys for most games. I Doubt they're 100% intended for kids at all.

Most of them are of collector quality, and nearly always over priced. But where else would they stick figures than the toy section? Theres really no "collectables" section in stores.. Well, except in Toys "R" Us given they have an entire out of the way isle for vintage re-releases, "R" rated movie items, and video game figures.

Besides all Toys "R" Us has always been very hypocritical IMO.

Once long ago they swore they'd never sell M+ rated games, and yet they sold toys from such. So now they sell the games too, and HEAVILY advertise them as well.

TBH though i don't think a modern "Toy store" really applies to only children. Much like how video games are NOT all for kids. Nor are all Cartoons.

So why should toys be limited to children while we share everything else?

Re: Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing ...

I'm old enough to remember toys for Rambo and Robocop in the toy stores, despite those movies being wildly inappropriate for children. This is hardly a new or unique phenomenon.

Re: Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing ...

I recall an insane amount of Terminator toys for kids, and literally marketed FOR kids in this case.

Masks, figures, even fake arms and such.

Re: Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing ...

Does merely being associated with an age-inappropriate piece of media mean that the toy itself is age-inappropriate?  Did G.I. Joe toys become inappropriate for kids once they made those movies?  Can kids still play Harry Potter now that the Deathly Hallows movie is out?  Sheesh...  I can't believe this asinine question was even asked.

Re: Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing ...

I've never liked the guy.

Re: Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing ...

He is a giant asshole. His rant when Gears of War got beaten in the charts by a Cooking Mama games was hilarious. 

 
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