Virtual marketplace eBay has pulled out from its shelves the controversial 'Django Unchained' toys after the Weinstein Company, the film's producer and likewise facilitated the creation of the toys, discontinued making them following complaints and criticisms from various African-American advocacy groups.
"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," TMZ quoted eBay as saying to sellers in an email, explaining the need to pull out the toys from the Web site.
The online auction giant likewise cautioned sellers that re-listing the banned items for sale is strictly prohibited.
"These toys were removed as they were in violation of our Offensive Materials policy," TMZ quoted an unidentified representative from the auction website.
Producer Weinstein Company, hoping to cash in on the popularity of the 'Django Unchained' film which starred Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L Jackson, manufactured a line of action toys to be sold as promotional figurines. The dolls are basically representations of the characters played by the actors.
But advocacy groups such as Al Sharpton's National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope immediately slammed the toy project on racism issues as well as too much violence.
"We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone," the film company said in a statement, noting the action figures were intended for people over the age of 17.
Weinstein Company was only able to facilitate the release of about 1,000 pieces of the toys before the sale was abruptly halted. The development prompted eBay sellers to list the item as "rare collectible." Before eBay put its foot down, bids for the toys reached to as high as $200 a piece.