from the PAST
...was told his company
was going to be picketed because of some toys manufactured by a subsidiary, he said somewhat jokingly that he'd
like to put Jacqueline Michot Ceballos in a cage.
"Sick Toys For
Children Make A Sick Society !"
"A Toy Should
Be A Toy! A Toy Is To Grow !"
Make Violent Boys."
|NABISCO PICKETED OVER MONSTER TOYS
NEW YORK TIMES NOV 16, 1971
ORIGINAL FROM JENNIFER MACLEOD, Ph.D.
Last Friday when Farish Alston Jenkins, 56,senior vice president at Nabisco, Inc., was told his company was going
to be picketed because of some toys manufactured by a subsidiary, he said somewhat jokingly that he'd like to put
Jacqueline Michot Ceballos in a cage.
But when Jacqueline Ceballos, the 46-year-old head of the New York chapter of the National Organization of Women,
turned up with 11 other picketers at Nabisco's headquarters at 425 Park Avenue yesterday, Mr. Jenkins wasn't there
to carry out his joking threat.
He, Robert M. Schaeberle, the president,and Lee S. Bickmore, the Nabisco chairman, had left town to attend a biscuit
convention in San Diego.
The pickets - including one dressed as a hangman - were representatives of N.O.W., Parents for Responsibility in
the Toy Industry and Women Strike for Peace. They walked up and down for an hour and a half in the rain carrying
signs saying, "Sick Toys For Children Make A Sick Society !" and "A Toy Should Be A Toy ! A Toy
Is To Grow !" and chanted :"Sadistic Toys Make Violent Boys."
What they were objecting to were eight different Monster Scenes kits made by the Aurora Products Corporation -
in particular the "Hanging Cage" and the "Pendulum" whose production was stopped when Aurora
merged with Nabisco. However, kits can still be found on store shelves.
CALLED SEXIST, TOO
PHOTO AND CAPTION : Demonstrators
outside Nabisco, Inc., headquarters protesting sale of what they termed "torture kits" by company's subsidiary,
Aurora Products Corp
The women's rights group also objected to what it termed "sexist kits" made by Aurora, particularly "Vampirella"
(modeled after a comic book character) and the "Pendulum," in which a semi-nude woman victim is strapped
to a platform.
Nabisco's reluctant involvement began last May when it acquired the Aurora Products Corporation, which makes the
Monster Scenes kits.
"These toys depict violence, why encourage it ?" said Mrs. Yvette Williams, a Lever Bothers secretary,
as she watched the picketers who were carrying some of the toys. "I wouldn't have bought any for my child
when she was younger."
Questioned Friday about the planned demonstration, Mr. Jenkins had said, some-what testily : "The facts are
these. Four days before we acquired this company last May, some publicity appeared in a New York paper and a church
paper about these toys. We reviewed them and then stopped them. I know they're not making them now."
40,000 KITS SOLD
The president of Aurora, Charles Diker, said 40,000 of the "Hanging Cage" and "Pendulum" kits
had been sold before production was stopped. "Since '65 we've been making 'Frankenstein' kits, the 'Hunchback'
and 'Godzilla,' well-known concepts in folklore,"he said.
"Children do not see the same things in the toys that an adult would," said Richard Schwarzchild, Aurora's
vice president of marketing, noting the company had received about 120 letters of complaint and some phone calls.
"We've had more letters from youngsters and parents suggesting additions tothe line," he said.
"We had a basic series of monster figures, then we decided to make movie-like sets for them. The kids said
they wanted us to expand the line - that's how they came into being," he said, adding that 800,000 of the
monster kits had been sold altogether.
"If you really look at them, you'll see they're torture kits," said Mrs. Victoria Reiss, chairman of
Parents for Responsibility in the Toy Industry.
She said she'd bought the "Hanging Cage," "Pendulum" and "Vampirella" kits in the
hobby shop at Macy's last week. The first two cost $ 1.88 each, she said, and "Vampirella" $ 1.23.
"We want Nabisco and Aurora to stop making all the kits and to remove them from all the store shelves,"
said Mrs. Reiss, the mother of three sons.
Aside from "Dr. Deadly," "The Girl Victim," "Frankenstein" and "Vampirella,"
there are the "Pain Parlor" and "Gruesome Goodies" kits - all in production for eight months
Two Nabisco officials who didn't go to the biscuit convention yesterday were W.Glenn Craig, director of publicity,
and Harry Schroeter, vice president in charge of communications. They ushered about 10 picketers who had requested
a hearing into a conference room on Nabisco's fifth floor and said :
They felt it was unfair they hadn't been given any notice of the demonstration by its planners; that it would be
very difficult to remove the toys from the market; that they'd take a good look at the situation, as no one wants
to get the kind of publicity they'd received ; that Monster Scenes kits were a terrible embarrassment to Nabisco
and had been since the day they found out about them.
"We'll present what the group has told us, their feelings and objections, to our chief officers when they
return, and we'll come out with a statement later this week, I'm sure," Mr. Schroeter said.
In the meantime, the picketing groups said they plan to launch a national boycott against Nabisco and Aurora and
will distribute leaflets and picket department stores that carry the kits during the Christmas buying season.
"If Nabisco had bad cookies, they'd certainly take them off the shelves, wouldn't they ?" commented one
picketer's husband gruffly.
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