The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has taken on games based on ice cream, given Nickelodeon gruff over making violent games available to kids and is part of a group that is urging the Federal Trade Commission to update the Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA). Now the organization is turning its attention towards Marvel action figures included with McDonald’s Happy Meals.
While the promotion serves up eight different action figures in all, two specifically drew the CCFC’s ire; one based on The Thing, who “menacingly roars ‘IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!’ at the press of a button,” and another meant to be the miniature incarnation of The Human Torch, who the CCFC notes, “is a man engulfed in flames.”
The CCFC did make some relatively sane points about McDonald’s promoting gender stereotypes, noting that while boys who receive Happy Meals get action figures, girls “are offered cutesy animals that, bizarrely, come with hand bags,” but they may be going a bit over the top with their descriptions of two members of The Fantastic Four:
But now, for preschool boys, a so-called happy meal at McDonald’s features the horrifying spectacle of a man on fire and a menacing figure that explicitly spurs them to violence.
The group is urging concerned parents to participate in an email campaign against the fast food purveyor.
Other action figures being offered in the promotion—which unfortunately escaped any over-the-top descriptions—are Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Silver Surfer, Wolverine, Captain America and The Hulk.