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New York lawmaker pushes for ban on graffiti art kit for kids

Sandra Bookman reports from Hamilton Beach, Queens.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
It's a just a toy, but a local lawmaker is worried that a graffiti stencil kit for kids could lead to bad behavior later on in life.

Now, New York State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder is calling for Kidffiti set to be pulled from store shelves.

Graffiti is an all-too common urban eyesore that has been blamed for lowering property values and even increasing crime. Goldfeder sees it as an early act of vandalism that can lead to bigger offenses.

"Once you get away with certain things, you become more and more brazen," he said.

That concern led for him to push for a ban on the sale of toy, which is an art kit for children over the age of 6 that includes stencils and spray chalk that looks a lot like cans of spray paint. Goldfeder says it encourages children to break the law.

"They're marketing to our kids how to commit crimes and how to deface our communities, instead of finding ways to show them the artistic value of stencil art,' he said.

Neither Toys 'R Us or the toy manufacturer, Jakks Pacific, responded to requests for comment, but well-know Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Vers calls the proposed ban misguided.

"It gives young children an opportunity to explore and be creative," he said. "And more importantly, I think there's a lot bigger issues they should be addressing than this graffiti toy kit."

Vers has turned his street art into a successful graphics business, at the heart of which is aerosol-based projects.

But Goldfeder is sticking to his guns.

"Graffiti can only be good in the appropriate place, and making sure that it's used appropriately," he said. "I think that's the key here."

Goldfeder reiterated that he appreciates the artistic value of graffiti, but that is not what he believes this toy is about.

Related Topics:
hobbies graffiti New York City Hamilton Beach
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