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Minister Denounces ‘Warped Toys’

November 27, 1999

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The playthings topping a Hartford minister’s annual ``warped toy″ list have gone from gross to gruesome.

When the Rev. Christopher Rose began compiling the list in 1986, most of the toys he targeted featured mucous or vomit. The themes have grown increasingly violent to include dolls with severed limbs and cut-off human faces.

``At first I thought this was going to be a better year,″ said Rose, the rector of Grace Episcopal Church. ``I was wrong.″

The toy topping Rose’s list: Curse of Spawn action figure Ryan Hatchet, the bloody disemboweled corpse of a former high school student. It comes with an ax/spear weapon, a shovel, a bendable spine, a handful of bloody hearts and intestines and a small plastic face that can be hung on its belt.

Its maker, McFarlane Toys, did not return calls seeking comment Saturday. After last year’s list criticized some of his company’s toys, Todd McFarlane said parents, not censors, should decide what their children should be allowed to play with.

Along with the ``warped toy″ list, published Saturday in The Hartford Courant, Rose called for a ratings system similar to that used by the movie industry.

Most of the toys he lists already carry labels saying they are appropriate only for children older than 5, but Rose wants stronger warnings.

He said he had hoped recent school violence would temper toy manufacturers depiction’s of blood and guts. Most of the toys he singled out he considers graphically violent, exploitive, stereotypical or age inappropriate.

Among the toys on Rose’s 1999 list:

_The Ice Man Cryogenic Lab, which includes drip tray, fake syringe and other autopsy accessories and says on the box, ``Chip, Carve and Melt your way down to the guts!″

_The action figure Tormentor, described on its package as ``a savage brute with no soul″ who ``lives to inflict torment, pain and terror on others.″

_World Wrestling Federation action figures Jacqueline, a large-breasted, scantily clad woman, and Al Snow, which comes with the severed head of a woman.

Last year, Rose’s worst offender was the wrestler action figure ``Macho Man Randy Savage″ that taunts ``Is that all you got?″ or ``Hey, you’re basin’ in my gut!″ when it is hit in the chest or its limbs are twisted.

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