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Group Urges Boycott of Freddy Krueger Doll

September 11, 1989 GMT

Undated (AP) _ A toy company’s dream of turning the ghoulish movie character Freddy Krueger into a popular doll could turn out to be a nightmare for business.

A religious group Monday urged consumers not to buy the talking doll based on the fiend from the ″Nightmare on Elm Street″ movies, which Matchbox Toys (USA) Ltd. announced last week would be available for Halloween sales.

The group also urged a boycott of stores that stock the doll and a boycott of all other Matchbox toys.

″This doll is the product of a sick mind. The fact that a major toy manufacturer would promote this doll is tragic,″ said Rev. Donald E. Wildmon, executive director of the American Family Association.

″We call upon concerned Americans not only to refuse to purchase the Freddy doll, but to boycott all stores which sell it and to boycott other Matchbox Toys products,″ said Wildmon, who is a United Methodist minister.

The American Family Association, formerly known as the National Federation for Decency, has advocated numerous boycotts in the past.

Earlier this year it protested Pepsico Inc.’s use of rock star Madonna in television commercials for Pepsi-Cola because of her performance in a separate video for her song, ″Like a Prayer″ that showed a burning cross and other images that offended some Christians.

Pepsi in April withdrew its TV commercial featuring Madonna, saying consumers were confusing the music video with its commercial, which contained no religious imagery.

Allen Wildmon, associate director of American Family Association and Donald Wildmon’s brother, said the group is asking supporters to contact their local stores and encourage them to refuse to carry the Freddy Krueger doll.

″We hope to keep this doll from being marketed,″ he said.

The American Family Association Journal has a circulation of about 380,000, including nearly 180,000 churches and pastors.

Freddy Krueger, the main character in the five ″Nightmare on Elm Street″ horror films, takes revenge on residents of a town by murdering teenagers. The latest sequel, ″A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child,″ was released over the summer.

The film character, who has long blade-like fingernails, has developed a cult following and has generated an estimated $300 million in domestic and foreign box office receipts and videocassette sales.

A spokeswoman for Matchbox Toys said no one at the company was immediately available to comment on the boycott being urged by the American Family Association. Matchbox, a maker of small, toy cars, also markets a talking Pee- wee Herman doll.