Retailers Under Microscope for Violent Christmas Toys

By David Klassen

Children's Toys

When it comes to buying toys for children this holiday season, volunteers are ensuring that the stores displaying them are doing so responsibly.

Project Peacemakers will have volunteers visit a number of Winnipeg toy stores next week to look for overly violent toys or games that reinforce negative stereotypes.

“We’re hoping that most stores will get a commendable ranking, but based on our experience we know that many local toy stores will probably need much improvement,” said Dianne Cooper, chair of the board.

Stores will be rated in different areas, including toys/action figures, display area for electronic and video games, display area for books, and overall store rating.
In a previous year’s inspection, a 12-year-old boy was able to successfully purchase a mature-rated video game. In Manitoba, video games rated “M” can only be sold to those 17-years-old or older.

Volunteers armed with inspection sheets will make their rounds November 25-30. Results will be released next Saturday. Once the numbers are tallied, stores will be ranked from excellent to unacceptable in their promotion of violence through toys.

Anyone wanting to help in the inspection can call Project Peacemakers at (204) 775-8178 or e-mail