NEW YORK (AP) _ The Freddy Krueger doll, based on the ghoulish character in ″Nightmare on Elm Street″ movies, is being laid to rest for now.
The Rev. Donald Wildmon, whose American Family Association had urged a boycott of the doll, announced Thursday that the Matchbox toy company informed him it would not proceed with plans to market the doll.
″We feel that the decision by Matchbox is a very positive and socially responsible one, and we commend them for their decision,″ Wildmon said in a news release disclosing the toy company’s action.
Matchbox, better known for tiny toy cars, confirmed that it decided to drop its plans - at least temporarily - for marketing a doll version of the movie fiend who has blades for fingernails and kills his victims in their dreams.
″Matchbox will not advertise or promote the doll in any way,″ said a spokeswoman for Matchbox Toys (USA) Ltd.
The doll, announced last month, had been expected to be a hot seller ahead of Halloween.
Matchbox hasn’t decided on the doll’s ultimate fate, however. ″As far as 1990 goes, I don’t think any decision has been made,″ said the spokeswoman who asked not to be identified by name.
Wildmon said he was told by Matchbox that about 40,000 dolls already being shipped won’t be halted. But orders for another 160,000 dolls won’t be filled.
The Matchbox spokeswoman couldn’t confirm the figures but said orders for the doll significantly exceed the number of dolls already assembled. At Wildmon’s urging, the company has elected not to produce any more for now.
Wildmon’s American Family Association, which has backed boycotts of TV programs it considers offensive, had called for a boycott of the Freddy Krueger doll immediately after it was announced last month.
Wildmon had called the Freddy Krueger doll ″a product of a sick mind.″
The Tupelo, Miss.-based group also had urged a boycott of stores that stocked the doll and a boycott of all other toys made by Matchbox.
The apparent victory for Wildmon in the Freddy Krueger doll controversy is the latest in a string of successes his group has had.
Pepsico Inc. in the spring withddrew a TV commercial for Pepsi-Cola featuring rock star Madonna. Wildmon’s group and others objected to Pepsi’s use of Madonna because they considered a separate video for her song ″Like a Prayer″ to be offensive.
Pepsi yanked the commercials saying customers might confuse the video with its ads.
In the past, Wildmon’s organization, formerly known as the National Federation for Decency, has urged boycotts of companies that advertise on NBC- TV’s ″Saturday Night Live.″ Last year, CBS cut 3 1/2 seconds from an episode of ″Mighty Mouse″ after Wildmon said the scene gave the impression that the cartoon hero was snorting cocaine. CBS said he was sniffing flowers.