Buxom Xena can be stripped down to her voluptuous plastic skin, while the violent Freak, with his tattered clothes and bagful of weapons, may encourage kids to fear homeless people.
Christmas toys have taken a decidedly unsavory bent, says the Rev. Christopher L. Rose, compiling his 10th annual list of warped playthings.
In his latest list, published Saturday in The Hartford Courant, he criticizes erotically dressed female action figures.
“What is it teaching little boys about women?” asked Rose, rector of Grace Episcopal Church.
He notes that the package for Xena II, part of the Hercules, The Legendary Journeys toy series, suggests: “Remove Xena’s Princess warrior outfit.” And Tiffany the Amazon has a removable bra.
“She’s supposed to be a hero,” says Rose. “But why is it you take her clothes off?”
But his No. 1 target this season is The Freak, a deranged-looking character who looks too much like an innocent homeless person.
“About 40 percent of the homeless are mentally ill,” he says.
In 1990, Rose and others got the Walt Disney Co. to agree to stop selling Steve the Tramp, which he considered a tasteless reflection on the homeless.
Super Size Angela also appears on this year’s list: the scantily clad action figure is described on the package as “an angel with ulterior motives.”
Rose said he fears young boys may develop their own ulterior motives.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: The reverend’s warped toy list A list of the Rev. Christopher L. Rose’s 1996 warped toys and his reasons for why they are on it: 1. The Freak: Ridicules the homeless. 2. Egyptian Batman & Egyptian Catwoman: Encourages violence against women. 3. Lady Deathstrike from X-Men, Scream from Spiderman: Depicts women, non-white males as the bad guys. 4. Super Size Angela and Tiffany the Amazon: Inappropriately erotic for kids and demeaning to women. 5. Goosebumps Monster Head Maker: Slime oozes from head when nose and ears are cut off. Interactively violent. 6. Ultra Force Ghoul: A death-obsessed toy. 7. Dr. Dreadful Creepy Clinic and Monster Medical Center: Implied cannibalism is grim. 8. Creepy Crawlers Cryptic Skeletons: Desensitizes kids to pain and suffering. 9. Hercules, The Legendary Journeys: Xena II and Mole Man: Mole man has “ability to feel no pain” when body parts are detached; package wording seems to encourage kids to remove Xena’s clothes. 10. Brain Ball, Chain Blazer Blaster, Cyber Strike Gear, Strong Arm Blaster, Max Force Whiptail Scorpion: Perpetuate idea that violence is fun, even though package does warn against aiming for the eyes.