Should eBay Be Banning Sale Of These Controversial Toys?

By: Chris Crum - January 27, 2013

Last week, news came out that the National Entertainment Collectibles Association’s (NECA) Django Unchained action figures had been discontinued after drawing controversy from groups like the National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope. Director Spike Lee has been particularly critical of them.

Naturally, once discontinued, the toys became instant eBay shopper bait. TMZ is reporting, however, that eBay has banned the toys from sale on the site, providing a statement from the company that they were removed because they violate its Offensive Materials Policy.

Do you think eBay should be banning the sale of these toys? Let us know what you think in the comments.

First, a little background. If you’re unfamiliar with Django Unchained, it’s a recently release film from famed director Quentin Tarantino. It’s a western set in the pre-Civil War south, about a slave who gains his freedom as he teams up with a bounty hunter to kill slave owners and ultimately find his wife and win her freedom as well. The movie itself has drawn its share of controversy, for a variety of reasons, but it has also won a great deal of critical acclaim and has become an instant classic to many of those who enjoyed it. The film has been nominated for four oscars (best picture, original screenplay, best cinematography and best supporting actor for Christoph Waltz, who plays the bounty hunter). It already won two Golden Globes for screenplay and supporting actor (Waltz).

It is likely this acclaim that illuminates the spotlight on the action figures – some of the latest in a long history of toys based on popular movie characters. When controversy struck, the toy maker was quick to discontinue the line (according to reports, it was actually the Weinstein Company, the studio behind the film, that had NECA discontinue to the toys). Obviously, this made people want them more, as they were turned into instant rare collectors’ items – the kind of thing that people like to find on eBay.

In a blog post describing the toys before they were discontinued, NECA said, “True to the vibe of the film and to Tarantino’s aesthetic, our new Django Unchained action figures are classics in the truest sense — cloth clothing, window box packages, larger scale — and still they keep the level of movie-accurate detail you’ve come to know, love and expect from NECA.”

According to TMZ, only about 1,000 of the toys were made.

You can go to eBay right now and find numerous listings for the toys. Here’s one:

Django Toy Listing on eBay

At least one seller is trying to sell the whole set of figures for about $7,000.

Apparently they haven’t been able to keep the toys off the site. This could end up hurting some sellers, as the company “cautioned sellers not to re-list the items,” according to TMZ, which also shares this quote from an email eBay has been sending sellers:

“Since the manufacturer of this product has discontinued the item’s sale due to its potentially offensive nature, we are not allowing it to be sold on eBay.”

Here are some things that are still perfectly acceptable to sell on eBay, according to its Offensive Materials Policy:

– KKK memorabilia pricing guides
– News and magazine articles about the KKK
– Documentaries about the KKK
– Books about the KKK
– The film “Birth of a Nation” and the book it is based on, “The Clansmen”
– Stamps, letters and envelopes displaying Nazi postmarks
– Currency issued by the Nazi German government
– Replica or novelty stamps or currency of Nazi Germany

Also, if you’re in the market for old racist salt and pepper shakers, this is currently listed on eBay (though it’s not clear whether or not eBay considers this a violation of terms – if so, they don’t seem to be doing a great job policing their listings):

eBay Racist Salt, Pepper Shakers

Listings for the toys are also showing up on other big ecommerce sites. You can currently find them listed on Amazon, Bonanza, and even in Google Shopping, which is now based solely on product listing ads.

Now, there’s more toy/racism controversy related to a Star Wars LEGO play set.

We’ve reached out to eBay for further comment on the Django Toys, as well as to see if the LEGO set is deemed a violation (we haven’t seen it listed on eBay as of the time of this writing). We have not received a response thus far. We’ll update if that changes.

Should eBay ban sellers from selling the Django Unchained toys? Let us know what you think.

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • NYGramma

    What is offensive about them? Anyway, can we Americans decide what we want to buy and don’t want to buy?

  • GeeWitsFolks

    If eBay is banning these offensive ‘toys’, then in all fairness and justice they need to ban any Nazi, KKK, White Supremist et al items–which are also very offensive.

    But I doubt eBay WILL ban all offensive items such as the above.

    If eBay IS a Free Market Place then they must allow ALL items even if they’re offensive to many people.

    I’m glad eBay DID ban Django ‘action toy’ because it is offensive. Still, I’ll be curious as to just how far eBay will go in banning offensive items like Nazi and KKK items.

  • Derp

    They’re figurines. People collect these all the time. Hollywood never depicts different races *that* accurately in the first place, so I’m really not swallowing this. People find anything to be offensive these days, especially those that weren’t intended to in the first place. Sheesh.

  • Manish M. Shah

    Another seller site is Get Me The –

  • Lorna

    I really am getting rather tired of hearing what is appropriate and what is offensive! Why is it that everyone finds something so offensive. We had less immigrants in the UK, so no one complained. What would happen if an English person complained in the Middle East! English people are being sent to prison for cuddling in public, and yet we allow bombers to roam free fighting ‘their’ justice and spending millions of pounds of our tax payers money! Outrageous and we need to stop looking at who we are offending and start imprisoning or deporting those people who like to kill and maim people of the UK! I doubt this will be published as it is not POLITICALLY CORRECT. Freedom of speech does not exist any more!

    • Spam Exterminator

      I agree but its not just Europe this group of prudes and whiny bítches has reached the entire world.

  • Abbey

    If Ebay are going to ban these figues, then get rid of all the other disgusting Nazi memorabilia and KKK items. This is going beyond ‘offensive’ it is called sabotaging profits of an organisation and causing more ‘dis-ease’ between cultures. Oh the power of the media – it destroys people and organisations alike.

    I think if people find things like this offensive, they have to look at their own thought processes to ascertain ‘why’ it is offensive. It is a plastic doll, with brown colouring and a figure that appeared in a film!! THAT IS ALL IT IS! PLEASE NATIONS, GET A GRIP.

  • ebayajoke

    Ebay is full of themselves and what they deem as offensive and what is not. For example, they have an adult site and regular site. They allow Playboy & Penthouse Magazines, full of real nudity on the regular site, however if you have a nude comic book or drawing they deem that to be offensive and must be listed on the adult site. So pic’s of nude women apparently are not offensive but drawings are.? When asked about this when you call them they blow you off.

  • pinkSugar

    Wait. So, the figures are offensive, but the movie is not??
    Typical Hollyweird. Nothing to see here, folks.

  • djangoBoy

    I’m gonna buy me 5 o them action boys rightaway cos we’ll soon be shooting Django Re-chained yo! History is to teach and humble need to get all riled up about those toys.

  • John

    You morons go on about crap! You want a free net and get all crazy about possible legislation to censor the net and yet you have no problem talking about a ban on other things. Let’s start talking about a ban on web pro news.

    • BlokeToys

      They’re reporting on it, they’re not the ones making this decision.

      You think they shouldn’t be talking about this at all because they are against censorship of the Internet? That makes no sense.

      • Spam Exterminator

        I think he was talkin about the morons posting lol there really are some stupid people up on here.

  • BlokeToys

    I find it more offensive that people willingly ignore their own history and would silence people they don’t agree with based on their own messed up opinions.

    This is such astounding ignorance, it’s pretty remarkable!

    And why are the black salt and pepper shakers considered “racist”, because they depict black characters?! That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    This is just more of the same BS with a vocal minority screaming rubbish loud enough to have some influence over others.

    • Spam Exterminator

      Exactly!!! I shield my Family From Nothing The Sooner they learn the realities of life the better their lives will be.

  • Steven

    eBay should be able to sell anything it wants to sell. Personally I wouldn’t buy these toys however telling people what they can or can’t do with their money is never a good idea.

  • Banatu

    Eh, if they want to play morally superior pinko commies, that’s their business. Ebay has sucked for a really long time anyway.

  • Jaap Verduijn

    I simply don’t see any issue here. Why would any rightful owner of these toys NOT be allowed to sell them? As a constantly surprised European observer of the United States, this is simply one more thing that baffles me… buying, owning, selling and carrying guns is a right, and apparently selling these toys is not? Grow up over there, please!

  • Rom

    No exactly, what’s the problem, is not eBay selling them, is people selling them, and anybody is allowed to sell anything they want, I don’t see any problem with that.

  • helen


  • Ankit

    wow Awesome really good :)

  • Angry Americans

    The parents pay for the toys. This is not a problem with the toys, this is a problem with parenting.

  • Carl Zuzart

    Half of the stuff that eBay does and the policies they have are plain stupid. To make matters worse their fees make selling on eBay a waste of time and energy. Since they own paypal they ensure that the funds that are received from sales are held by them. Again if you try to withdraw your funds that leads to charges from paypal(read eBay) ensuring again that your hit with more hidden fees. The only way to avoid that is to make sure the amount is over a certain amount. Guess what you have to sell a lot if products to get to that and then remember you pay fees for each product you sell. They don’t pay you interest on the money that they have held at ransome but do make interest on it. All in all I believe that eBay is not a company that is fair to its sellers.

  •* Kelly

    It should be left up to individuals to decide whether they want to buy the toys.

  • Ron

    eBay should allow sellers to sell anything they want as long as its not something illegal.

  • DJ Lloyd

    Absolutely NOT!

    If the item is a legal item eBay does not have the right to oppress its sellers or buyers. Free market, eBay needs to remember that its users are those that make their bottom line profitable. Let me express this as it is, it is the buyers that set what an individual seller sells. Supply and demand, if an item sells well and is legal I am going to sell it. GET YOU SxxT TOGETHER EBAY, Your sellers keep you in business and they don’t want you screening the products, it is NOT your prerogative to control the market!

  • Howie

    YES – STOP the SALE.

    Think People — Black children will see “KILLING ALL THE WHITES” is heroic to do!

    We would condemn “white Sheeted Vigilantes” dolls wouldn’t we?


    • D Mahoney

      No, we (or at least I) wouldn’t. Toys are toys. I’m not concerned about black children seeing “Kill all the whites”, or about white children seeing “Kill all the blacks”. If these childrren have parents who are actually BEING PARENTS, it won’t matter what trash they see with their toys.

      I don’t need eBay or anyone else playing Big Brother. I’m an adult and can make my own decisions as to what I want to buy and what I want to ignore. I would never buy one of these toys, but that should be my decision, nobody else’s.

  • sgl3213

    Owners can sell them, just not on ebay.

  • Spam Exterminator

    As for your look at “Also, if you’re in the market for old racist salt and pepper shakers, this is currently listed on eBay (though it’s not clear whether or not eBay considers this a violation of terms – if so, they don’t seem to be doing a great job policing their listings): ”

    The only thing I see as Racist there is the Person looking at them.

  • dana kullmann

    I remember in the 70’s the scream was “Why aren’t there any Black action heroes?” I don’t find this offensive in the least, it’s a toy. No one is being forced to buy it. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Therein is the difference between conservatives and liberals. A conservative will look at this doll, decide he doesn’t like it, not buy it and move on with his life. A liberal on the other hand will look at this doll, find it offensive and demand that nobody can have one! Ebay should put their adult panties on, let it be sold, those that are offended won’t buy it.

  • Will M

    Join My Cause. eBay is playing dictator again by stopping us from selling Django Action Figures which to me will make the figures even more valuable and alot of us think its very unfair so I was asked to start a Petition. Toy Collectors Join the cause and sign my Petition!
    Here’s how it went then click link to sign
    Ebay Says: We don’t allow listings that use racially offensive terms on eBay? I say: Where is this the “item Im selling” Django Figures a toy based on a movie in this category? I did not use racially offensive terms on eBay. Django Unchained and the names of the other characters are not racially offensive terms. Its a toy. What other toys will they ban us from selling? If they ban the toy does that mean the dvd, bluray version will be banned also? What gives them the right to pick and choose? Hitler has been sold on ebay why isnt he banned? Whats the difference? Please make a difference and stop Dictatorship and vote below

  • Jim Crapanzano

    Absoutely NOT!
    If we continue bowing to thugs that find offence in every form of freedom not spicifically blessed by the PC thought police, where will we be? Any one that cannot see that this form of political correctness stomps on our 1st amendment rights is un-American. What,s next? Ban movies that dipict terrorists, or insurgents as enimey combatants because Muslims don’t like it? The 1st amendment is not there tp protect Al Sharptons feelings–that the author left Al Shampton out of the artcle raises questions as well, but…
    I currently have an item I really want on eBay I’m the high bidder at $865.00. I am canceling my bid and closing my account!
    No American should stand for any kind of censorship!

  • pat

    Thanks to the good old US of A. The cancer of do-gooders and PC dictatorship started in your back yard. You have exported this cancer to every western country and the UK is a particularly good game buddy, happy to play along and pamper to every ill conceived whim of potential inequality.

    Thanks to you we also have been forced to have our freedoms eroded so that nothing causes any possible offence. Our TV programmes are censored. People get sued for having porcelain pigs in their windows. We are denied the right to fly our own national flag because it ’causes offence’. The list goes on.

    For the likes of EBAY not only dictate in this way is utterly disgraceful but then they are probably pressured to bow to almost any ‘(in)offensive whim by your communist, socialist, left wing namby-pamby law makers.

    Land of the free? I don’t ******* think so. Just like us, you’re the Land of the Oppressed. The struggle has gone from banning slavery to banning free thoughts and actions.

  • AnyJoe

    Our forefathers must be rolling over in their graves. Everyday our amendment rights that were fought so hard for, are being taken from us little by little. Twenty years ago my father said we were becoming a socialist country and he was right. I had no idea at the time how bad it was going to get. Some idiots want to take our guns away, censor material “they” don’t enjoy, and try to change history, just to name a few. I hear people say “It is what it is”, but someday we are going to have to rise up and take back our freedom. I don’t give a **** about shoving our so-called beliefs down some third world countries throat. We need to clean up around our own doorstep first and quit bowing down to the cry-babies who are not smart enough to see the big picture.

    • Mabuzi

      A socialist country? There goes my definition of socialism.

  • Archer Tuttle

    Is it the fact his shooter is 8 inches that makes this toy such an affront to decent white folk?
    Is Anyjoe, (see recently posted comments),smart enough to have seen “Django unchained” at the big picture house? Or is he just a good old boy,( ranting xenophobe) from the South?

    • PayTheUpfrontPrice

      Archer…or should we call you Brian Griffin. Wow. I’m impressed with your sarcasm. Did you graduate top of your ivy league class…or are you still struggling to get through that two year creative writing program at the local community college? Or more accurately, aren’t you guilty of promoting the same type of hate that you’re trying to infer on AnyJoe?
      We’ll only begin to understand one another when we listen with open ears, minds and hearts to those that think differently than we do. That goes for both liberals and conservatives.

      • Brian

        Hey, ‘paytheupfrontprice’,(what an appropriate nickname) you might fancy trying to understand ‘other cultures’ with open heart and arms but let me suggest you do it for yourself in private. What I or others choose to accept or even give time to, is specifically NOT your business.
        Like Mary Whitehouse in UK years ago, history will show your attitude will promote more damages than benefits.
        Personally I will provide zero time from my civilized life trying to understand, accommodate or assist an aggressive and belligerent mob of the brainwashed. This is my personal right.
        What we all need is a darned sight less interference by busy-bodies and foolish dictatorial rules. There will be a law soon to insist I like venomous spiders. bah!

  • D Mahoney

    Why would anybody think we need MORE examples of agencies or organizations trying to regulate behavior? If oyu find the action figures offensive, DON’T BUY THEM! Vote with your wallet.

    If you ask eBay to block sale of these toys, where will you draw the line? How much of our right to choose do you think it’s right to surrender to external arbitors? Come on folks, it’s up to us to make decisions for ourselves. Stop trying to get other people to impose your will or preferences on other people.

  • Wedge Internet Marketing

    What causes this to be banned , eBay doesnt like black action heros?

  • Vagabond

    I don’t agree with censorship of any kind. Plus, to even consider a ban of a toy that portrays a character from a movie is wrong. What ever happened to freedom of speech and freedom of expression in the USA? If you find something offensive don’t watch it, read it, or buy it. That’s your right. But what gives eBay, Spike Lee, the government, or anyone else the right to decide for someone else what is offensive?

  • J Carter

    I asked Ebay why they banned Django action figures, but allowed sales of Adolph Hitler action figures.I wondered why Hitler was not as offensive if not more offensive than fictional movie slave figurines. No response from Ebay after a week.

  • sahar

    If you think Joshua`s story is impossible…, four weaks-ago my daughter got a cheque for $9330 putting in a twelve hour week from there house and there classmate’s mom`s neighbour was doing this for nine months and got paid more than $9330 part time on line. follow the steps from this address, buzz45.COM

  • Ernest

    I’ve seen a lot more offensive items on Ebay beside these figures.
    Ebay should STOP trying to dictate what collectors wants collect.

  • Pizzaman7

    If you don’t like any of these action figures DON’T BUY IT !!! We are all adults here. What is offensive to one is not offensive to another. You do not have the right to not be offended in life. If you think you have this right then stay home and board your windows and shut off your TV and don’t go on the Internet. Enough of stupid censorship !