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Nerf criticized for selling 'assault weapon' toys: 'How does promoting play with huge automatic weapons create joy?'

'Children buy what they see'

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

A consumer group has called on toy brand Nerf to stop selling "assault weapon toys" to children, saying the company is contributing to a culture in which kids are afraid of mass shootings occurring at their schools, according to the Daily Wire.

The group, the Empire State Consumer Project, wrote a letter to the board of Hasbro, the company that produces the Nerf toys, questioning the reasons such toy guns are so heavily marketed.

"When your products themselves violate most of your proclaimed corporate values, something is very wrong," the letter reads. "How does promoting play with huge automatic weapons create joy, creativity and connection around the world, and across generations, and make the world a better place for children? How do these weapon products use your business as a force for good? Who would this child be shooting with his cache of assault weapons?"


The letter singles out a Walmart commercial that features family members purchasing progressively larger Nerf guns for a child, culminating in the gifting of a Nerf Ultra One toy gun that holds 25 foam darts.

"As we watch holiday toy commercials, we see the Nerf Ultra One and other extreme Nerf machine guns for children and are reminded of mass shootings that have devastated American children and families for decades now," the letter said. "In these times, the TV ad for this product plays like a Saturday Night Live parody, except that it is not at all funny."

The letter criticized the toy company for targeting an impressionable group of young consumers, and creating a demand for toy weapons where it otherwise wouldn't exist.

"It's a matter of this being a very vulnerable consumer group," the letter continued. "Children buy what they see and we're not sure this is driven by market demand for assault weapon toys by children or the industry creating the demand."

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