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War Games?
October 1, 2002 3:15 PM   Subscribe

War Games? J.C. Penney, eToys and KB Toys all sell this scary "Military Forward Command Post with Two 12" Military Action Figures", despite the efforts of these shocked consumers who call it an "atrocity". It does sort of look like GI Joes taking over Barbie's bombed-out Dream House... how real is too real?
posted by sparky (38 comments total)

 
I have a friend that collects the 12" G.I. Joes. He would probably wet his pants over something like this.

I personally would steer my child away from that kind of toy, but I respect the right of the manufacturer to make it. Kids have played "war" since the beginning of time. I played it with the little green men when I was a kid.

It's human nature.
posted by hipnerd at 3:20 PM on October 1, 2002


This toy is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Imagine being able to switch your little sister's dollhouse with it! The fun! The fun!
posted by interrobang at 3:22 PM on October 1, 2002


And what's the little sign on the front of the house say? I can't zoom in far enough to tell...
posted by interrobang at 3:24 PM on October 1, 2002


vs.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:25 PM on October 1, 2002


well.. are not GI Joes merely dolls for boys..?

Has the dollhouse been stigmatized as primarily a feminine object?
posted by jazzkat11 at 3:30 PM on October 1, 2002


I was a pretty inventive kid. If I had had a younger sister I am confident I could have converted her Barbie Dream House and saved the $45.

So are they upset because it costs $45?
posted by maceo at 3:37 PM on October 1, 2002




I can't quite make it out... something about Commie Bastards, I think.
posted by Witty at 3:42 PM on October 1, 2002


It says, "Please stay away from my home, American soldiers. I am a simple Iraqi, and I have nothing to do with the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein."

My eyes are that good.
posted by UKnowForKids at 3:56 PM on October 1, 2002


Ah, c'mon. I'm as big a dove as anybody I know, and I have fond memories of repelling Cobra with with my friends, and scattering the Mohammeden hordes with my set of 'Fighting Knights'. Not really, of course, for those without irony meters, but my Fighting Knights set was my most prized posession for a long time.
posted by GriffX at 4:14 PM on October 1, 2002


Not sure what the difference between this and video games which include urban warfare, like Counter-Strike or any of the Tom Clancy games is. Besides the fact that you'd have to be a dope to buy your kid a stupid toy like that.
posted by Hildago at 4:17 PM on October 1, 2002


Beware the military-retail complex.
posted by dhartung at 4:30 PM on October 1, 2002


I wonder if these Robocop like costumes will be the rage this Halloween?
posted by gametone at 4:41 PM on October 1, 2002


Kids have played "war" since the beginning of time.

It's human nature.


No.. it's a social construction developed through the idolisation of people like John Wayne and other draft dodgers
posted by cohiba at 4:59 PM on October 1, 2002


Apparently, to simulate nearby mortar fire, the house vibrates.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:32 PM on October 1, 2002


This is shocking and hilarious because it breaks new ground by showing the effects of warfare on civilians. It used to be soldiers vs soldiers, not soldiers vs the happy doll family. Now that the US is exempt from the ICC, it's clearly an evil ploy to make our children more accepting of future Geneva convention violations.
posted by muckster at 5:47 PM on October 1, 2002


I am appalled at this toy! Kids should be shooting plastic army men with BB guns, burning down observation towers made of twigs and grass and setting up intricate strings of firecrackers and tiny kerosene fire pits to set off like we had to do when we were kids...I wish I still had some of those pics and videos.
posted by RevGreg at 6:12 PM on October 1, 2002


Take your pick, gametone.
posted by modofo at 6:16 PM on October 1, 2002


amen, RevGreg. i used to do all those things, and turned out to be normal, healthy, happy, anti-war queer. more doll houses for boys!
posted by tolkhan at 6:20 PM on October 1, 2002


RevGreg, where do you live? I am coming over this weekend and bringing my G.I. Joe ATII!
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:43 PM on October 1, 2002


I am coming over this weekend and bringing my G.I. Joe ATII!

I have one of those things too! GI Joe never caught fire or got shot at, he commanded things from afar. Those little plastic soldiers were meat for the grinder though!

i used to do all those things, and turned out to be normal, healthy, happy, anti-war queer. more doll houses for boys!

Well, I turned out to be an anti-Saddam "and if it means war, give it to 'em" heterosexual. I guess these particular environmental conditions were not the strongest factors in certain later developments! I do however feel that a healthy discourse between all sides and interests will result in the BEST decision being made...
posted by RevGreg at 7:30 PM on October 1, 2002


This just in.... .... .... The United States HAS armed forces! ... ... ... How could this happen... ... ... How come we didn't know?... ... ... Aren't guns n' stuff like illegal or sumpin?... ....
posted by HTuttle at 8:07 PM on October 1, 2002


I'm going to buy several of these things, lobby to have department stores remove them, then make a fortune selling them on ebay.

Thanks for the marketing idea, peaceniks! Capitalism Rulz!

Ooo-rah!
posted by nyxxxx at 8:27 PM on October 1, 2002


make love not war
posted by madamjujujive at 8:34 PM on October 1, 2002


Someone bulit a toy that looks like a bombed out house... The big deal about this is?

As a very distant asside, I have no idea exactly when playing war or play fighting started, but I can entirely assure you it vastly predates John Wayne.
posted by rudyfink at 8:37 PM on October 1, 2002


I guess these particular environmental conditions were not the strongest factors in certain later developments!

exactly my point. i have my doubts about the Society Against Action Figures' stance.


a bit OT: to those who had G.I. Joe figures, and He-Man figures, and Star Wars and such, did you keep them separate (because they were in separate universes or something), or did you set up Rebel Alliance vs. Cobra battles, or maybe just mix-and-matched?
posted by tolkhan at 8:38 PM on October 1, 2002


modofo:Take your pick, gametone.
Nice man costume?

posted by eddydamascene at 8:47 PM on October 1, 2002


tolkhan: GI Joe and the Autobots vs. Cobra and the Decepticons. The scale was off, of course, but Snake Eyes looked pimpin when he rolled to the battle in Sideswipe, the red Lamborghini.

To bring it back on topic, the bad guys had a habit of taking over my friend's sister's Barbie Dreamhouse. It probably would have looked like the toy we're discussing by the time the fight was over, because, as everyone knows, G.I. Joe has great weapons which are utterly incapable of actually hitting the enemy.

I dunno: a 4" action figure is cool, but a 12" one just seems more like a doll. Plus, they don't fit in your pocket, so you can't play with them in class.
posted by jmcmurry at 8:58 PM on October 1, 2002


are not GI Joes merely dolls for boys..?

The '80s style GI Joes are ACTION FIGURES. ACTION. Meaning shootin' and stuff. And doing impossible feats like jumping from Mt. Everest (my sofa) to "Base" (the kitchen table) in ONE AMAZING LEAP.
posted by owillis at 9:14 PM on October 1, 2002


Modofo, I am appalled but sickly amused by those links. Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat gimme something sweet to eat, or I'll chuck an m-80 through your window flash-bomb style. Then me and a dozen pals will batter down your door while you are still deaf and gathering your wits, and we'll get the candy ourselves. We'll bring our super-soakers too.
posted by gametone at 11:38 PM on October 1, 2002


Me: Kids have played "war" since the beginning of time.

It's human nature.

cohiba: No.. it's a social construction developed through the idolisation of people like John Wayne and other draft dodgers


Never cared for John Wayne. I'm more of a Clint Eastwood fan.

But there are definite biological differences between boys and girls. If you doubt this, check your pants and then the pants of your neighbor.

Recent studies have found that boys are more aggressive than girls at young ages. The difference is seen as soon as they become mobile (2-3 years of age).

Not too many 3-year-old John Wayne fans.

What is interesting is that, over time, this gender-based imbalance in aggression disappears. By 6th grade, the genders display roughly equal amounts of aggression.

So before children are exposed to a lot of "John Wayne style" media, boys are more aggressive than girls. After they've been exposed to it for years, they display the same amount of aggression as girls.

Boys will be boys.

There is a biological component.
posted by hipnerd at 11:51 PM on October 1, 2002


It's not a recent social construct. I know kids in the 19th centurey played with soldiers or else we wouldn't have those neat tin and lead redcoats.

I suspect little Kemetic children played with toy soldiers while their daddies built the valley of the kings.
posted by nyxxxx at 12:48 AM on October 2, 2002


Aged 7 I would've given my right arm for this set. It's a forward command post people. How cool is that? I was always a bit of a WW2 guy myself and this would fit perfectly into one of a hundred dutch villages in 1944. Of course these days I get my entertainment in much more grown up ways like Medal of Honour or Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
posted by nedrichards at 1:03 AM on October 2, 2002


This set is lame. It attests to the shear laziness of today's kids. Far better and more creative would be to lay siege to your sister's barbie house with various and sundry incendiaries. You'll have created the same thing, but what fun you've had in the process! It's the journey, man, not the destination.
posted by Shike at 4:34 AM on October 2, 2002


You mean J.C. Penny, eToys, and K.B. Toys continue to sell the toy despite the efforts of some "shocked consumers"? How can that possibly happen? I thought every marginal group was entitled to get its way! Especially when our entire society is at stake! Think of how many potential pacifists will be turned into salivating Rambo types!
posted by pardonyou? at 6:59 AM on October 2, 2002


Someone bulit a toy that looks like a bombed out house... The big deal about this is?

The big deal about this is that it shifts the target of war-playing from Cobra-style faceless mountain hideaways and evil overlord headquarters to civilian homes. That's the big deal.
posted by interrobang at 9:30 AM on October 2, 2002


It's not a recent social construct. I know kids in the 19th centurey played with soldiers or else we wouldn't have those neat tin and lead redcoats.

I concur with the "it's not a recent construct" notion. It's mentioned in the book Summerhill that the teacher was very concerned that the boys were making play guns (before movies), but excepted it as human nature.
posted by drezdn at 9:44 AM on October 2, 2002


owillis...my Barbie dolls were action figures a lot of the time. I grew vastly bored with dressing them up and making them go shopping. I think kids will be...kids.
posted by agregoli at 10:08 AM on October 2, 2002


The big deal about this is that it shifts the target of war-playing from Cobra-style faceless mountain hideaways and evil overlord headquarters to civilian homes. That's the big deal.

Another of life's great illusions, shattered.
posted by dhartung at 10:32 AM on October 2, 2002


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