Ebay has removed listings for NECA’s controversial Django Unchained Action Figures even as prices were soaring in the thousands of dollars per figure range for some of the most sought after items like the Broomhilda 8” Action Figure. Although Ebay has removed the Django Unchained Figures, those same items remain prominent on Amazon where they are being sold by third party vendors. While some of the figures are in the $350 to $500 range, the Broomhilda is listed at $3,200, and a case of ten figures is being advertised for $19,999.99.
After protests from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, NECA "discontinued" the Django Unchained Action Figures
(see "NECA Discontinues 'Django Unchained Figures'
"), which only served to make the items instant collectibles and drive prices through the roof. While Ebay is a major market for collectibles, it is unlikely that those want to buy and sell the Django Unchained
figures will have much trouble finding an online forum in which to do so.
According to Deadline
, Ebay banned the Django Unchained Figures
because of a determination that the toys violated the company’s "Offensive Materials Policy," because they graphically portray violence or victims of violence, unless they have substantial social, artistic, or political value.
Interestingly, although Tarantino’s Django Unchained
film has received criticism from some in the black community (Spike Lee), others have defended it (see Adam Serwer’s "In Defense of Django
"), and there has been no widespread attempt to boycott the film (or DC Comics’ adaptation of Tarantino’s screenplay), which has become the highest grossing film of Tarantino’s career. Only the Django Unchained Action Figures
have felt the full brunt of censorship attempts, something that may stem from whatever tenuous connection can be established between the Django
toys and the tradition of collectibles depicting the bondage suffered by African Americans in the pre-Civil War era, often characterized by racial sterotyping as in the "lawn jockeys" that were once ubiquitous in some areas of the country.