Need a slave-themed toy for the little boy or girl in your life? Well, Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino is taking the marketing and, now, merchandising potential of the controversial film to new heights by putting out a line of action figures based on the characters from the film.
Last fall, a deal was announced that the National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (NECA), in partnership with the Weinstein Company, were to produce a full line of products based on the film’s characters. The first products up for sale are the eight-inch, pose-able action figures. Each doll comes with tailored clothing, weaponry and accessories in the likeness of characters played by Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz.
Needless to say, the branding decision has caused quite a stir among African-American entertainers and tastemakers. "This doll s*** is crazy,” said fashion industry trailblazer Bethann Hardison. "Talented as he is, being a fool has never escaped [Tarantino].”
Though Django Unchained and its branding maneuvers have ruffled a few feathers in Black America, it has maintained a healthy-sized African-American audience. In fact, Diddy reportedly hosted a screening of the film on his St. Barts yacht over the holidays for Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington and L.A. Reid. “I felt [Tarantino] should have approached the use of the word more sensitively and used it a lot less,” said Reid, giving his critique. “It’s a painful part of America’s history and still an open wound.”
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(Photo: Columbia Pictures)