Oh, the terror...
August 28, 2004 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Miami importer distributes toys depicting 9-11 attack. Makes me wonder how long it'll be before these will be on Ebay...
Don't wait, get your own 9-11 inspired figures.
Tired of toys, how about games?
posted by jpburns (60 comments total)
 
You know what I do don't get? How are those two-towers-with-plane thingies "toys"? Faux naif representations, to be sure, but if you're 5 or 6, what the are you supposed to do with these? Are they "toys" just because they were packaged in a bag of candy?
posted by JollyWanker at 8:57 AM on August 28, 2004


I guess you eat the bag of candy, and then the "toy" jitters all over the place (from your point if view...).
posted by jpburns at 9:13 AM on August 28, 2004


Jesus Christ, people are fucking morons.

A person who is paid to say they are an actual journalist just said, as if it was a fact, three times in this article that the toy depicts a plane flying into the World Trade Center. You can click the link to see the pictures yourself. If by "World Trade Center" you mean "two differently-styled buildings, neither of which look like the Twin Towers, used as a decorative way to hold up the hinge for a spinning plane toy packaged with candy, you nitwit" then yes, it's crashing into the World Trade Center.

But it can't be enough, can it. No, we have to make sure that the world know we're all idiots:
"I hate to blame the importer. He probably did not know what he was getting. He brings them in 40-foot containers. But whoever made it knew exactly what they were making," Pedron said.

Pedron said Lisy did not notice the small plastic figurines until two people complained, but there is no mistaking what the toys represent: At the bottom of each is the product number 9011.
My god. They did know exactly what they were making. I believe they were making product #9011. Which, if you try hard enough, kinda looks like it might be 9-11. And if you spin it backwards, the plane tells you the Jews murdered our Lord and Satan is the true master.

When the dolphins start growing opposable thumbs, I swear to god I'm joining their team.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:14 AM on August 28, 2004


What XQUZYPHYR said. Only, with more swearing.
posted by majcher at 9:28 AM on August 28, 2004


I'm with XQUZYPHYR and majcher. There's no way in hell those are the World Trade Towers. Must be the same people who see Elvis in their cereal bowl and the Virgin Mary in the glaze on the window of Western Auto.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2004


By the same token someone can say that the "plane" doesn't look like any real plane, but is a stylized version.

I'm weird; I think it really is supposed to represent the twin towers and a jet, as filtered through some 3rd-world sweatshop designer's eyes... It's a "stylized" version.

XQUZYPHYR: What the fuck else is it supposed to be? Do people usually fly planes between two towers?
posted by jpburns at 9:48 AM on August 28, 2004


jpburns, if you want to give the appearance of flight, how do you do it? You suspend the flying item between two things. What are two tall things in our modern world? Buildings. It's a natural artistic move
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:52 AM on August 28, 2004


Mo:
"You suspend the flying item between two things."
...Or off of one thing. Or in a cloud. Or by itself... They made a representational decision here...

"What are two tall things in our modern world?
Uh... mountains? (NBA players? The federal deficit?) Why two towers?

I really don't know the intent of the creators of this toy, but I could see where it might be regarded as distasteful in today's climate, and in the American market. Yes it could be oversensitive, but I can see where someone might see it that way...

posted by jpburns at 10:02 AM on August 28, 2004


Jesus Christ, people are fucking morons.

Indeed. Rather than dismissing the article as the pointless, not terribly interesting "meh" tidbit that it was, they bitch and moan about conspiracy theorists and pour buckets of verbal excretions on the third-rate reporter who had to eke a story out of this and the poor grandmother whose few excitements in life included being outraged at a toy.

Oh, and, I'm sure that two rectangular towers, a plane in between 'em, and a product number of 9011 are a complete coincidence. Jeeze, it's probably a practical joke originated by some low-ranked character at an overseas trinket manufacturer. Don't take it for more or less than what it is.


On preview: jpburns, if you want to give the appearance of flight, how do you do it? You suspend the flying item between two things. What are two tall things in our modern world? Buildings. It's a natural artistic move

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the fine line between flogging a dead horse and humping it.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:04 AM on August 28, 2004


I think it's pretty obviously a 9-11 "toy", regardless of the fact that the buildings are not identical.

jpburns, if you want to give the appearance of flight, how do you do it? You suspend the flying item between two things.

And you point one of the planes directly at the building? Seems pretty silly to me. Why not turn the plane so its wings are suspended between the buildings. Would that not only give the impression of flight but not the impression of crash?

Or, would it not be even better for there to be no buildings? This is a child's toy. S/he doesn't need you to create the appearance of flight. It'll be provided by their imagination. And I know for sure as a kid I'd rather run around with a plane, pretending it's flying, than run around with a plane trapped between two buildings.

Jesus Christ, people are fucking morons.

You can say that again.
posted by dobbs at 10:10 AM on August 28, 2004


I'd think that people would think twice before representing a plane and two buildings. It feels like a hard row to hoe to say this is a coincidence or somehow innocent. Recall them and return them to their source of manufacture. Issue closed.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:11 AM on August 28, 2004


Inevitable. The indoctrination of the children.A new generation raised in the mold of Us Versus Them, We're Good & They're Evil.

"The Evil Doers."

All aided by our Fearless Leader, who'll exploit the situation for the profit of the Military Industrial Complex, the Oil Industry, profiteering from the rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan and the next battlefield, and the perfect platform for reelection. A convenient and permanent replacement for the Cold War, since terrorism can never be wiped out.
posted by Shane at 10:23 AM on August 28, 2004


There, Krrrison, is you being the horse's ass.

I'm well tired of the false outrage, the fake indignance, at things related to Sept. 11, 2001. I fully intend to keep challenging this kind of ridiculousness when it arises. It must be challenged at every turn. That also goes for the false piety, the jingoism, the chest-beating, the willful ignorance, the unfounded suspicions, and, most of all, the stupidity.

So you meta-meta-meta commenters can take a hammer to Coney Island and pound all that sand up your back passages.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:32 AM on August 28, 2004


if you look real close there's a little george bush pilot inside the cockpit windows.
posted by quonsar at 10:40 AM on August 28, 2004


made you look!
posted by quonsar at 10:41 AM on August 28, 2004


So you meta-meta-meta commenters can take a hammer to Coney Island and pound all that sand up your back passages.

Good argument. You convinced me!
posted by jpburns at 10:43 AM on August 28, 2004


Christ people, it happened 3 years ago. Give it a fucking rest. There's no point in getting upset over some stupid toy. I'd wager that this is a publicity stunt to sell 1000s of those pieces of crap over eBay for big bucks.
posted by graventy at 10:43 AM on August 28, 2004


It's a children's toy, made to represent the 9/11 tragedy, and it's made out of oil!! I'm outraged.

No really, this isn't worth the argument. Some dumbass designed a stupid child's toy, and it was accidently imported to America. With the high regard the world holds us, it's hard to imagine there would be a market for this anywhere in the world. Right?

The point is, I think it was purposely designed to look like a plane hitting a building. To get overly outraged is a waste of outrage - there are more important issues in the world. To try and explain this away, on the other hand, just looks irrational.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:44 AM on August 28, 2004


Oh, and, I'm sure that two rectangular towers, a plane in between 'em, and a product number of 9011 are a complete coincidence. Jeeze, it's probably a practical joke originated by some low-ranked character at an overseas trinket manufacturer. Don't take it for more or less than what it is.

Ummm.... yeah. I mean, I know the odds of rectangular buildings- rectangular! How often do they make 'em THAT shape? and a 4-digit number of which three digits makes the date of a terrorist attack when read in the format of month-day, contrary to the day-month format used in the country where the toy was manufactured.

No, I'm sure it's more likely that, deep in the bowels of a Chinese plastics factory, some designer harbored a deep resentment of America, so decided to immortalize the September 11th terrorist attack. As you know, every nation in the world sits awake all day hating America, pondering what maniacal ways thay can irritate us and insult us with references to terrorist attacks. There is no other crisises in the world, no local issues to these various nations which they may more attention to. No, it must be done. There is nothing more crucial to this Chinese toy designer than to insult a handful of Southern Florida residents with a reference to 9/11.

And he would do it- the devious bastard- by creating an image that implied 9/11 without actually accurately depicting it in any way whatsoever. Soon, the nightmarish erosion of morale would creep from Mexican gorcery store to Mexican grocery store. They would use an American date format, with a zero thrown in to not make it too obvious. They would make buildings that didn't look like the Twin Towers at all, but clearly imply them through their abject rectangularness. The Chinese Plastic conspiracy would be unstoppable!

Because that, you know, makes much more sense.

I repeat: Fucking. Morons.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:46 AM on August 28, 2004


without actually accurately depicting it in any way whatsoever.

Except for two towers, a plane, and the impending crash, you're right!

You kill me, XQUZYPHYR.

I'm not outraged at the toy. Nor am I suprised by it. I'm just surprised anyone would deny what it represents.
posted by dobbs at 10:53 AM on August 28, 2004


Subway sandwich stores in Germany featured tray liners depicting a giant cheeseburger slamming into buildings alleged to be the Twin Towers.

(Better image can be found on page 12 in this pdf of the Subway press kit.)
posted by Wet Spot at 11:03 AM on August 28, 2004


A friend of mine was in Germany a while back. While she was cruising around she made friends with a soldier who was on leave from Iraq. He had been stationed in Kuwait doing support duties for the ground troops. He had a Saddam Hussein cigarette lighter which he purchased at a stand in Kuwait. Evidently Saddam shwag and even 9/11 shwag of questionable taste is readily available and widely sold by street vendors in many Middle Eastern countries. It seems perfectly reasonable that a child's toy that refrences 9/11 would be made. Someone probably shipped it in the wrong container, or lost track of what it was. Often trinkets of this level of "quality" are bought and sold, sight unseen, a number of times before they are imported by an American wholesale concern. It isn't a consipracy, it's global trade.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:03 AM on August 28, 2004


i'm somewhat in between. i wouldn't be totally surprised if somewhere down the line, somebody threw this rather obfuscated joke in purposely. don't know. don't much care.

as for recalling the toys, that's just dumb. if people want them, they'll buy them. it should be a free market, even for somewhat "objectionable" material.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:05 AM on August 28, 2004


Come on guys. Everyone knows that anything vaguely tower like is directly connected to the WTC situation.

if you want to suspend a plane somehow (for whatever reason), then you need to suspend it from something. A mountain isn't a sensible shape to choose (too much wasted space in packing them). Suspending it from a cloud is a neat trick - I'd like to see that one.

9011. How the hell do you make that a reference to 11th September? 0911, yes I'll buy it. 9/11, fine. 9011? Are you kidding me? How many people have been killed now because dialing 911 was too traumatic?

Suspending the plane towards a building means that if it spins on it's axis, it appears to be doing a barrel roll. if you hang it from it's wings then it rolls and appears to be flying into the ground. Is that better for you?

I'm sorry, but if you're going to go out of your way to make something that takes the piss out of 9/11 then you do it better than that. Just look at the Gaza toys posted in the FFP, ffs...
posted by twine42 at 11:06 AM on August 28, 2004


I just want to know who we're going to bomb and when.
posted by 2sheets at 11:07 AM on August 28, 2004


Still more proof of the US gummint's role in 9/11.
posted by Wet Spot at 11:11 AM on August 28, 2004


I just want to know who we're going to bomb and when.

Israel? I understand spying on the US is pretty serious business, at least if you're Russian or something.
No, seriously, Iran still remains the frontrunner. the real question is, is it possible for the Pentagon to remain in Iraq and to attack Iran (not to mention,occupy it) without going back to the draft?
posted by matteo at 11:42 AM on August 28, 2004


Someone switched matteo-bot's settings to "Threadjack".
posted by dhoyt at 11:46 AM on August 28, 2004


dobbs: Except for two towers,

Which both seem to look a lot more like pre-WWII skyscrapers than the post-war WTC, and even differ from each other.

a plane,

That looks nothing like a commercial jet-liner.

I'm just surprised anyone would deny what it represents.

Well, that is a big question. I don't think that anybody is denying that the combination of two tower objects with an aeroplane may represent the terrorist attacks in the minds of some people. It is a fairly large leap of logic however to claim that a specific combination of two non-identical towers and an odd-looking aeroplane was an intentionally encoded reference to 9-11.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:04 PM on August 28, 2004


But is the candy any good?
posted by Peter H at 12:17 PM on August 28, 2004


It is a fairly large leap of logic however to claim that a specific combination of two non-identical towers and an odd-looking aeroplane was an intentionally encoded reference to 9-11.

Gah. I don't know why I'm even arguing this. It seems to me to resemble both the event and the pattern of toys and trinkets sold in the Middle East, as referenced in my post above and the FPP link to similar toys. It seems fairly possible that the toy in question was made with the events of 9/11 in mind.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:20 PM on August 28, 2004


I remember similar toys as a kid. Is it possible that this is a reference to 9-11? Certainly.

However, the knee-jerk assumption that anything involving two towers and an aeroplane is a coded reference to a specific event really bothers me.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2004


Shit like this is why Florida remains it's own Fark category.
posted by dong_resin at 1:09 PM on August 28, 2004


I doubt the terrorists will bother to attack the US again....give us a little psychological poke and we're more than willing to flop around for hours, gasping for air... all on our own. TTWHW, indeed.
posted by cookie-k at 1:29 PM on August 28, 2004


Being an independent contractor, I have issued an invoice (really I have) with the number 091104A. Coincidence or a clue to conspiracy?

I'm with XQUZYPHYR on this. I concur with his opinion about the toy which doesn't mean I deny what dobbs believes it represents. I respect your opinion and belief dobbs, but disagree with it. Simply believing otherwise or holding a contrary opinion is not a denial of someone's 'this is actually what it is' opinion.

Seems like a cheap, badly designed, trinket toy that will be tossed out or dismissed by children above a year old.
posted by juiceCake at 1:44 PM on August 28, 2004


Maybe we can get a whole line of toys: from Mai Lai back to Masada.

Just a thought.
posted by weston at 1:59 PM on August 28, 2004




Hey! me and my 5 year old slid down one of those very inflatable titanics last summer.
posted by glenwood at 2:37 PM on August 28, 2004


I want an inflatable Titanic!
posted by twine42 at 2:47 PM on August 28, 2004


If by "World Trade Center" you mean "two differently-styled buildings, neither of which look like the Twin Towers

The only difference between the two buildings is the radio tower on one of them. This happens to be what was the only difference between the actual twin towers. One was 1362 ft, the other was 1368ft, the difference being a radio tower on top.

So your evidence for why this is not a depiction of the twin towers is actually incredibly strong evidence for why the toy is exactly that.
posted by zelphi at 4:01 PM on August 28, 2004


The bottom the buildings on the toy also have a design similar to that of the WTC. The way the spacing of the buttresses change.
posted by shoos at 4:38 PM on August 28, 2004


The product was coded as a plastic swing play set and sent in two versions, one with a man swinging between the towers. The product was packed in bulk, with the airplane version out of sight.source

So how come no one is outraged by the other version?
posted by Orb at 5:27 PM on August 28, 2004


Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

Sir Winston Churchill


The next toy will be even better!
posted by a3matrix at 6:10 PM on August 28, 2004


9011. How the hell do you make that a reference to 11th September? 0911, yes I'll buy it. 9/11, fine. 9011? Are you kidding me?

You're saying that 0911 would be a reference to 9/11, but 9011 wouldn't? You're joking, right?
posted by oaf at 6:10 PM on August 28, 2004


I think it's deliberate. But I wouldn't be too suprised if it wasn't.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:02 PM on August 28, 2004


this reminds me (a little) of the starbucks advertisement that was recalled after some customers complained that it made them think of 09/11. people really can be idiots.
posted by alicila at 7:51 PM on August 28, 2004


This is probably very bad news for somebody.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:31 AM on August 29, 2004


alicila: there's a big difference between crying wolf about everything that could look like sept. 11 and getting a slap in the face from an overseas toy manufacturer who made a toy that unmistakably represents the 9/11 attack.
posted by zelphi at 12:36 AM on August 29, 2004


They would make buildings that didn't look like the Twin Towers at all, but clearly imply them through their abject rectangularness.

Umm, yeah . . . don't look like the Twin Towers at all, but for their being identical except for the fucking transmission tower on top of one of them, and the fact they have the distinctive lower exterior buttressing that the WTC towers had. Why, you're right: these could be *any* two twin buildings with transitioned buttressing, and one with a transmission tower on top; I'm sure we can all name many well-known pairs of buildings that match these criteria. I can understand your confusion with so many other possibilities springing right to mind. Worse, so many of these other twin buildings are also famously associated with airplanes flying into them.

Because that, you know, makes much more sense.

Did you even look at the photo of the toy in question, or are your powers of observation and memory simply deficient? There are many pictures of the late Twin Towers to be found with Google images; perhaps you should avail yourself of that service and get back to us.

I repeat: Fucking. Morons.

Yeah, "fucking moron" is exactly right.
posted by wdpeck at 2:01 AM on August 29, 2004


oaf : I didn't say that 0911 would be a reference to 9/11, I said that I could accept it. But where in the world does 9011 = 9/11? No country uses a zero as a delimiter like that. As someone posted above, the number 9011 has to appear in a numerical sequence at some time.
posted by twine42 at 2:10 AM on August 29, 2004


Did you even look at the photo of the toy in question, or are your powers of observation and memory simply deficient?

Yes. It's two differently-shaped rectangles, the most minimal of textures in them to accomodate a plastic mold, carved into tall buildings to instill the image of a plane flying, and a couple of people desperate to reach as far as humanly possible into satisfying their belief that someone, somewhere, cares enough about all this to actually do what you think he did. A woman saw Jesus in a tree stump this week, too.

To be fair, I'll condede that of all the accusations thrown wildly out, the possibility of the two buildings being based on the Twin Towers is the most likely. As wdpeck so affectionately suggested, even before 9/11 they're a pair of buildings with easily identifiable reference photos. That really isn't much for an international conspiracy, considering the lunacy of the "product number is the date!" garbage, the lack of any knowledge as to when the original mold for the toy was designed, the countless ways the toy doesn't look like the planes/buildings on 9/11, and the other leaps of outrage that defy credibility. (Actually pointing out an acute understanding of "transitioned buttressing" made the thread for me, though. I think if you are right, we should ask why this guy's making plastic toys, when he clearly has an advanced archtecture degree.)

I think that's what the most irritating about all of this. I really wish my fellow Americans will grow up one day and start accepting that the rest of the world really isn't sitting around thinking up ways to dislike us. They honestly just don't care about us that much. We're a great country, but we're not that special.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:45 AM on August 29, 2004


Somewhere in a cave in Pakistan are a million little mice, with a million little dirty bombs all being trained to kill George Bush



and fuck up Disney
posted by fullerine at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2004


And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the fine line between flogging a dead horse and humping it.

There, Krrrison, is you being the horse's ass.

Are you trying to say you'd like to hump me?
posted by Krrrlson at 5:19 PM on August 29, 2004


the countless ways the toy doesn't look like the planes/buildings on 9/11, and the other leaps of outrage that defy credibility. (Actually pointing out an acute understanding of "transitioned buttressing" made the thread for me, though. I think if you are right, we should ask why this guy's making plastic toys, when he clearly has an advanced archtecture degree.)

Oh come on, XQUZ. I don't believe there's some "vast terrorist conspiracy" to brainwash American kids by distributing 9/11 plane-crash toys, but PLEASE -- how can you, with a straight face and no hint of sarcasm or humor, tell me that you actually looked at that picture and were not reminded at all of the WTC towers?!? Please, name even one other set of well-known "twin towers" anywhere in the world. If one also had a prominent transmission tower on top (like the toy does), that would be even better. If they both had the distinctive architectural feature that the WTC towers also had (like the toy does), better still. If any of these well-known twin buildings also had some association with airplanes, that would be icing on the cake for you.

I have no idea if it's really called "transitioned buttressing," but based it on shoos' observation that the "buttressing changes" about 1/3-way up from the bottom of the actual towers. In any event, it wouldn't take an "advanced architecture degree" to copy such a feature in the design of a toy; it would merely require someone to look at a picture of the WTC towers -- a picture much like the one linked by shoos, above.

It's one thing to question the ultimate motives of whomever caused these toys to come into being, but it seems either willfully ignorant or contrary for the sake of being contrary to argue that these toys bear NO resemblance at all to the WTC towers (other than their "abject rectangularness").
posted by wdpeck at 10:25 PM on August 29, 2004


Airplane + buildings will most likely raise association.

Having said that, it's funny to see people argue over the "transitioned buttressing" while ignoring the CLEARLY NOT SIMILAR TO THE WTC tops of the buildings.

/Whatever
posted by magullo at 6:05 AM on August 30, 2004


My question is, where do I get one?
posted by agregoli at 7:06 AM on August 30, 2004


Hey, XQUWHATEVER, wondering if you'd take a look at this, and let us know whether we should continue to consider ourselves "Fucking. Morons."

As always, I bow to your eternal wisdom.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:14 PM on August 30, 2004


Hey, XQUWHATEVER, wondering if you'd take a look at this, and let us know whether we should continue to consider ourselves "Fucking. Morons."

The people who were playing Bible Code with product index numbers? Absolutely.

The fact is based on the evidence presented at the time of the original article, the insistence on this being 9/11-related was stupid and irrational- the suggestions about how the buildings were "similar to the Twin Towers" ignored all the ways they weren't, and the connection to anything 9/11 or Osama-related was non-existent.

Clearly, the second toy proves a 9/11 implication, I'm wrong about there not being one, and it's a shame there's people out there making crap like that. But touting it as backing of the original day's outrage is akin to Bush's claim that he "knew" about Saddam's 100%-positive-are-there WMD stockpiles. The only difference in the logic is that ToyGate provided rationale for irrationality ex post facto when Bush's Iraqi adventure didn't. If you want to pretend that this validates an initial moronic allegation, so be it.

As always, I bow to your eternal wisdom.

And I, to your successful gamble, and the profit of your Monday-morning quarterbacking. (bows) As for me, I'll be checking my scrambled eggs tomorrow to see the face of Jesus and giggling whenever the Washington Monument shows up on the teevee.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:11 PM on August 30, 2004


Succesful gamble now? Nice try.
posted by shoos at 6:28 PM on August 30, 2004


I still would like to know where I can get one. I wish people didn't have to be "protected" from finding these kinds of things.
posted by agregoli at 6:57 AM on August 31, 2004


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