Halo Mega Tots

There has been an argument for quite some time now about video games marketing adult material to children.  Either they believe video games to be for children only, or they claim video games have “sneakily corrupted their kids” and the parents have no way of monitoring.  Let’s call those making these accusations “the prosecution”.

I can say with some confidence that we’re all familiar with the confusion I’m discussing.  We gamers, “the defense” (if I may include us all in that), have long understood the rating system for games and how similar it is to that of movies.  (I’d like to quickly note that books currently have no rating system that I’m aware of.)  We understand that not every game is intended for children, and on the opposing side, not every game is intended for adults either.  My question today, however, is with regards to consistency.

So, I was walking through the toy section of a superstore the other day looking for a stuffed animal for my girlfriend who wasn’t feeling well.  I turned around a corner and BAM!  Halo Mega Bloks were at the end of the aisle staring me down.  Even on box art, Master Chief intimidates me.

While this toy is intended for children (8+ which includes adults), this is a toy themed after adult material.  At least, the ESRB thinks it’s adult material.  This product would actually be a plausible argument for “the prosecution”.  So, let’s assume this case against video games is a big deal for them.  Why haven’t they jumped on something like this?  Sure, it’s a little shallow, but it’s right up their alley.

The one word “wars” ironically makes this toy less “adult”.  As Halo Wars is the only Halo game in the franchise the ESRB has rated “T” instead of “M”, this no longer qualifies as marketing adult material to children.  A smart move on Microsoft’s part, perhaps, but if one were going to complain about something related to marketing for children, wouldn’t this be the venue to do it?

Obviously, these are just toys similar to Legos.  They’re doing no harm to children, imho, but why should kids take an interest in this particular toy if they technically shouldn’t have knowledge of these games/themes anyway?  Now, that’s not to say these toys are for children only.  Just like games, toys can appeal to both children and adults.  My basis for this argument, however, is with consideration for the 8+ rating on the box.

What do you guys think?  Should “the prosecution” be consistent with this topic and take issue with this, or is this such a miniscule problem that it would be too petty for even them?

5 Responses to “Halo Mega Tots”
  1. Ryan says:

    Girls get hoochie Bratz dolls, we get Space Marines!

  2. I’ll admit I’m biased towards Halo, but replace Halo with any other ‘M’ rated game and then look at toys marketing those games. You have to put a ‘M’ rating on the game because that content should, I guess, only be consumed by those audiences. Which is rated ‘M’ because of standardized rules which govern how a game should be rated, which cares less about the actual content. While the rating of 8+ on a toy is the exact same thing. That toy, regardless of what it is depicting, is rated on child safety more than content. Plus you can’t assume they are only consuming the lore through the actual games themselves. They also have books and video content.

    That said everything I said I could care less about. Kids play games like Halo and others, parents buy them for them. Kids, generally, don’t buy their own toys. Parents do. Children either play the games or watch their parents play. Maybe the parent doesn’t feel comfortable with a child playing the game but marketing always wins, the kid will see Mom/Dad play and will want the toy because that’s what they do. Same reason my little brother played with military action figures when I was in the military or a kid playing with a firetruck pretending to put out fires. Kids like to play with things which they cannot actually go outside and do, yet their imaginations let them. Isn’t that one of the reason we play video games?

  3. It’s a parents job to monitor what their kids play/read/watch. Granted when they are at a friends house that may be out of their control. But shouldn’t they know what their friends do too?

    Also as a parent, I forgot that everyone might not know that Halo has a large collection of Mega Blocks. They also have action figures that are sold next to all the super heroes. You do make a valid question, why are their 8 year old toys for an adult rated game?

  4. James says:

    I take exception to this article. I’ve spent over $400 on Halo Mega Bloks. I’ve got the Pelican Dropship, Covenant Dropship, Elephant Troop Transport, and the Article Scorpion Tank. Marketed for kids my butt. LOL.

  5. My thoughts are that megablocks suck so yeah…

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