New York Politician Wants Kids’ Graffiti Toy Banned

The Kidffiti mega pack.
Photo: Toys 'R Us Canada.

Could your kid be the next Banksy? That’s exactly what New York State Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder is afraid of, so he’s trying to have Kidfitti, a stenciling kit designed for children and manufactured by Jakks Pacific, banned. The Democrat from Queens is worried that letting kids paint on walls will lead to more destructive acts.

“Once you get away with certain things, you become more and more brazen,” he told WABC-TV. “What this product is doing is marketing directly to minors in a way in which it is glorifying vandalism instead of artistic value,” he added in an interview with the New York Daily News. “Graffiti is just the first act of vandalism. It oftentimes leads to drug abuse and drug sales.”

Also of concern is the averse effect graffiti can have on property values in a neighborhood if it’s considered a symptom of blight. The prominent disclaimer on all Kidffiti items that the paints can be washed off with water is apparently not sufficient to console the assemblyman. The toy comes with cans of paint and “exclusive stencils”—a mega-pack retails for just over $30.

Street artists are predictably surprised by Goldfeder’s anti-art crusade. “I was given an art kit as a kid, and it really progressed my artistic endeavors,” Brooklyn street artist Vers told the Daily News. “Street art doesn’t get the respect that it should.”

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