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Author Topic: war toys today
Lima Bean
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Babbler # 3000

posted 25 November 2002 01:10 PM      Profile for Lima Bean   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

All I want for Christmas is a bombed-out dollhouse

This children's toy has peaceniks and some parents up in arms

By KRISTA FOSS

Saturday, November 23, 2002 – Print Edition, Page F2

It looks like Barbie went ballistic. The bombed-out dollhouse has a busted balustrade, crumbling bricks, bullet holes pockmarking its pretty pastel walls and, what's worse, it has been commandeered by fatigue-clad soldiers toting assault rifles.

No, it's not a joke. It's a toy called Forward Command Post manufactured by the ironically named Ever Sparkle Industrial Co. Ltd. And for $45 (U.S.), it could be waiting for a flush-cheeked, pajama-clad child to unwrap this Christmas morning.

Welcome to the new millennium of war toys. Gone are cartoonishly idealistic action figures, soft plastic guns and the model jet fighters of yore.
They have been replaced by bazookas with explosive noises, exacting copies of long-range sniper rifles, a "peacekeeper" battle station complete with tripod-mounted cannon and counterterrorism advisers as action figures.

High-tech and perhaps a bit too highly realistic, this toy fare is creating ripples among concerned parents and peaceniks alike.

"War toys have been around forever, but the problem here is the change in focus. Before such toys were more in line with the ideas of self-defence," said Eric Garris, who is webmaster of the California-based antiwar.com, which has started a campaign about against the Forward Command Post toy.

"This is not just another war toy -- it's a total paradigm shift in the war toy industry. It's setting up the young people for this new kind of
war, where soldiers come into your house and take it over when they need to."

Antiwar.com has been pushing the U.S. department store chain JC Penney to remove Forward Command Post from its on-line catalogue and stores. (Calls to the head office were not returned.)

Meanwhile, the same is toy is available on-line through eToys, which also offers a choice of Caucasian or a dark-skinned "ethnic" military
action figures with weapon-stuffed footlockers. A similar toy, Elite Operations Forward Command Post, is sold on the Toys 'R' Us Web site (but not in Canadian stores).

Depending on which source is selling it, Forward Command Post is recommended for children five years and up, as is the G.I. Joe Long Range Army
Sniper.

"It is something to be concerned about," says Steven Feldgaier, a University of Manitoba child psychologist who specializes in anxiety and stress among children. "These toys glorify violence and war . . . and send the confusing message that peace is linked with the need to arm yourself."

But while there is no doubt war toys are enjoying a rebirth, Leigh Poirier, executive director of the Canadian Toy Testing Council, which evaluates 400 to 600 toys yearly, is not reading anything ominous into it.

"We don't feel from our observations that war toys enhance or encourage aggression. We haven't seen that," she said. "And these toys are definitely more popular in the U.S."

Certainly, some of the new action figures and toys this year are aimed squarely at the U.S. market, including Tora Bora Ted, a Delta Force commando, the M-16-packing Homeland Security Amy and what every five-year-old craves, Clay Ramsey, U.S. Counter-Terrorism Adviser.

Krista Foss writes for The Globe and Mail out of Winnipeg.

Copyright 2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved



From: s | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 25 November 2002 01:14 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Geez, I just got away from a US mommy board full of women who would think that was just the thing to give to their little soldiers.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lima Bean
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Babbler # 3000

posted 25 November 2002 01:40 PM      Profile for Lima Bean   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pretty creepy, huh?
From: s | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
denise
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Babbler # 49

posted 25 November 2002 01:50 PM      Profile for denise   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We had tons of war toys when I was a kid, my brother and I were both G.I. Joed out. I'm trying to wrap my head around why this creeps me out. I think it's the whole idea of "Forward" command post, and the layout of the house suggesting people who are no longer there. It's not even that the house was taken over in need. It was taken over in a forward movement of troops. The old war toys didn't involve civilians, they involved a specific enemy who had an equally cool base.

Usually I don't agree with the philosophy that war toys = bad, but this, as a new trend, is creeptastic.


From: halifax, ns | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jimmy Brogan
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posted 25 November 2002 02:04 PM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If kids are gonna play war - and they are - isn't it better if they're reminded of real consequences like bombed and abandoned homes?

When I was young I played war in real bombed and abandoned homes. This kind of viceral reality added a learning experience to the fun.


From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Lima Bean
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Babbler # 3000

posted 25 November 2002 02:40 PM      Profile for Lima Bean   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If kids are gonna play war - and they are - isn't it better if they're reminded of real consequences like bombed and abandoned homes?

The whole notion of kids "playing" war is terrifying to me. I don't think I ever played war games, except for a short period in which my friends and I decided to arm ourselves in case of an alien invasion and collected a whole bunch of sticks and rocks under a tree out where we used to play. I know lots of kids do it, but I think it's pretty creepy.

It seems like these kinds of toys are setting kids up with the mindset that the army takes precedence over civilian life, and that they should be ready to surrender even their own homes to the war effort.

When the war effort is as problematic and questionable as it is at present, I fear this kind of acceptance in the masses. Where will our resistance movement be in twenty years if kids are brainwashed from "five and up" to believe that the army is the ultimate authority and the ultimate power?


From: s | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Aviator
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Babbler # 3299

posted 25 November 2002 03:34 PM      Profile for Aviator     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Speaking of marketing to kids: I believe the US Army has a large truck that goes around to elementary schools and extols virtues of life in the army.

The US is rapidly becoming a military state.


From: British Columbia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
ben_al
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Babbler # 3427

posted 04 December 2002 08:05 PM      Profile for ben_al     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It seems that somebody is trying to proliferate the hatred and racial profiling - theres a term that bugs me. I cant believe they have politically corrected racism.
From: Kitchener, ON | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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Babbler # 3192

posted 04 December 2002 08:17 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What the hell?

I think this glamorizes the destruction. I know it's debatable, but I don't have as much of a problem with "cartoon" violence - kids do know it's not real, and if they don't get toys showing off the consequences of violence, they don't get desensitized to it in the same way.

Anyway, I think parents should be trying to protect their little kids from this stuff, not frickin' introducing them to it. Little kids have enough worries and nightmares as it is.

(Really, I don't get what's fun about gun games in general, but then, I was a very stereotypical little girl.)


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 04 December 2002 08:40 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I used to feel very strongly against war toys. My enthusiasm on the subject is waning though. My son's father gives him toy guns with little suction cup darts, and so far my son isn't pretending to kill people yet or geting overly violent.

I used to hang out with a little boy in grade 3 (ah, the love of my life at the time, but alas, he was more interested in war than me), and in order to impress him and spend time with him, I always played "war" with him. He was fascinated with it, loved it. For the most part, from what I can remember, he was a well-adjusted little boy.

I didn't become really passionate about being against war toys until I took ECE for a year and decided that I was the world's foremost expert on raising kids.

Then I had my own kid, and lots of the unbreakable, unbendable rules for raising children went out the window. And since then, my hard line on war toys has softened considerably. I still don't go out of my way to buy him guns (although I do plan to get him a super-soaker one of these summers!) but I don't get all bent out of shape when he's exposed to war toys. I figure, whatever. He'll be exposed soon enough anyhow.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 04 December 2002 08:47 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
P.S. I don't think this article should have been copied and pasted in its entirety on babble - that violates copyright.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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Babbler # 3192

posted 04 December 2002 08:47 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love waterguns.

I don't know how I feel about other guns. What is sick, in my opinion, is parents who give their children toy guns before the kids have even expressed interest in such things.

The rest is all a matter of degree.

I mean, my brother had waterguns and a small cap gun when he was little, and that was all he was allowed, so he built himself a little model handgun, a cannon, a rifle, etc., out of cardboard. If they want the guns enough, they will improvise.

I feel better about him having those cardboard models than store-bought ones, I must say. At least this way he got to be creative.


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
SamL
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Babbler # 2199

posted 04 December 2002 08:54 PM      Profile for SamL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle, where is this US mommy board you keep mentioning? It seems to be good for a good laugh in times of dire exams....
From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged

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