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Stealing Icons

Over the weekend, there was a bit of a foofaraw over the upcoming "GI Joe" movie. Even we at Wizbang got in on the argument. Some see it as an assault on an icon of patriotism and Americana; others saw it as the proverbial "tempest in a teacup" and mocked those who were getting incensed over the whole matter.

I can see both sides. It is a reworking of a fairly significant American icon into a mode that many, to be perfectly blunt, find rankly offensive. They don't see the need to "update" GI Joe (although that's precisely what happened in the 1980's, and they have no problem with that) to reflect a sensibility and mindset that they reject.

On the other hand, it's a gorram TOY. It's one of those cases where the classic response of "oh, grow up!" is entirely appropriate.

It is often my wont to respond to such situations by trying to reverse them. So, in that spirit, I thought I'd take a look at some toys that reflect liberal ideals.

That didn't work out too well. Oh, the toy companies tried like hell to put them out, but they never made it on the market.

First up, there was the "UN Peacekeeper" Action Figure. Unfortunately, they kept looting Barbie's Dream House and raping the Cabbage Patch Kids.

Then there was the "Compassionate Government Bureaucrat Who Is Here To Fix All Your Problems." That one was killed by Marketing and Legal -- Legal insisted that, thanks to "Truth In Packaging" laws, they would have to be sold as "Inaction Figures" -- and Marketing said there was no way they could sell THAT.

One company produced a whole line of "Ernie The Environmentalist And His Friends" figures. Unfortunately, they were incompatible with the plastic packaging.

One executive ordered development of a "Heroes Of Socialism" lineup. That lasted only a couple of weeks, when researchers couldn't reconcile the idea of glorifying the individuals with socialism's "all are equal" principles. All they could come up with was a perfectly generic figure -- not even male or female -- and even they found that boring.

And let's not even go into the "Embrace Diversity!" program. That one was one disaster after another. "Pat," the transgendered activist, was rejected because the interchangeable genitalia posed a choking hazard for small children. Likewise the removable fetus that came with "Joyce Makes Her Choice." "Abdul" the Islamist came with a sword for beheading infidel dolls, and that was too darned sharp. Marketing put the kibosh on "Burka Barbie," as they couldn't think of any other accessories they could sell with it. And the "Undocumented Immigrant Worker" figures kept sneaking off their shelves and winding up in other stores.

Hmm... it seems that there really aren't too many popular "liberal toys" that we can use to fight back. Maybe we'll have to move up to real people, and find ways to re-interpret them in ways that will make the liberals howl.


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Comments (30)

'A Fatwa Against Violence',... (Below threshold)
kim:

'A Fatwa Against Violence', by Robert McFarlane in the OpinionJournal.

In Sistani We Trust. He is an icon. There, made it on topic.
============

You failed to mention the S... (Below threshold)
marc:

You failed to mention the Shillary Action Figure that features two pull strings for both sides of an issue.

I believe she's still on the market.

And the Monica Mannequin, with posable knees. (cigars sold separately)

And John "Man of Inaction" Kerry. (includes a signable SF-180 and enough band-aids to last any tour of duty no matter how short)

I'm still waiting for the B... (Below threshold)

I'm still waiting for the Borat action figure.

Jay, that was hilarious. T... (Below threshold)

Jay, that was hilarious. Thanks for making me laugh so hard this morning.

JT, a very wonderfully funn... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, a very wonderfully funny post to start my day. You got me thinking about others. Marc, an honorable mention. ww

On the "drugs are good for ... (Below threshold)
cirby:

On the "drugs are good for you and lots of fun" front, the Teletubbies are still selling pretty nicely.

"'Pat,' the transgendere... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

"'Pat,' the transgendered activist, was rejected because the interchangeable genitalia posed a choking hazard for small children"

Should have read, "'Pat,' the transgendered activist, was rejected because the interchangeable genitalia posed a choking hazard for small Republican children"

What with the Ted Haggards & Mark Foleys, liability in Republican families would have been astronomical.

FF,Last I checked,... (Below threshold)
yo:

FF,

Last I checked, Foley and Haggards weren't children - that, and not to be coy/insensitive, I'd wager a guess that a majority of gay/lesbian/transgendered vote (D).

And, if you wanna' play the "your reps are gayer than my reps" ... I give you Barney Franks.

What about Captain Planet?<... (Below threshold)
bertramwooster:

What about Captain Planet?

It's Democrats who conflate... (Below threshold)
kim:

It's Democrats who conflate child predation and homosexuality. You should be ashamed of yourself and of the Democrats, French Fry.
==========================================

Hey Queen of the Fortune Ko... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

Hey Queen of the Fortune Kookie Kwips, you are one silly twit. (sorry about the SP; I never can remember if that's spelled w/ an "i" or an "a.")

In the great tradition that... (Below threshold)
Reagan:

In the great tradition that is America, many of our "icons" ( if that is what you consider them, rather than a passing generations nostalgia for childhood ) are infact, private corporate property. As such, they can damn well do as they please with their own property, and it's quite hypocritical of free market right wingers to argue yet again, for any sort of big government solution where there is no problem. The sky is always falling whenever one of your precious "icons" is seemingly attacked. You're as bad as the overly sensitive muslims!

For goodness sake, let business get on with doing business. Stop being so anti-capitalist and let people make a living already.

A politically correct, libe... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

A politically correct, liberal toy? Say hello to the 1980s GI Joe! The line featured an ethnically diverse team of good guys fighting an evil organization of indeterminate nationality, led by a guy who covered his head in silver and a dude who hid behind either a blue hood or a reflective mirror. Yo, Joe indeed.

--|PW|--

"...and it's quite hypoc... (Below threshold)

"...and it's quite hypocritical of free market right wingers to argue yet again, for any sort of big government solution where there is no problem."

I must have missed the argument for the "big government solution" to this issue. Could you point that out to me?

Florida has stated that the... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Florida has stated that they cannot charge Mark Foley on anything. He did nothing illegal. The dems are so sad today. ww

Florida has stated... (Below threshold)
pennywit:
Florida has stated that they cannot charge Mark Foley on anything. He did nothing illegal. The dems are so sad today

Well, I guess "kinda creepy" still isn't a crime.

--|PW|--

I'm gonna steal an icon fro... (Below threshold)
kim:

I'm gonna steal an icon from jhow66 on the succeeding thread. Mr. Catsoup for John Kerry.

Hey, FreeFrie, how do you feel about the Democrats demonizing homosexuals as child predators?
=======================================

Hah, FF. Lee should unban ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hah, FF. Lee should unban me. His copyright, his fortune. You've just made my day.
====================================

Great post Jay, very funny.... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Great post Jay, very funny.

You forgot about the Freedom Fries doll though, the one that exclaimed on the package:

"Now with real working brain!"

The company that released it was sued for false advertising. Unfortunately not all of the brainless dolls were recalled, as we can see in the comments above.

"...and it's quite... (Below threshold)
Reagan:

"...and it's quite hypocritical of free market right wingers to argue yet again, for any sort of big government solution where there is no problem."

I must have missed the argument for the "big government solution" to this issue. Could you point that out to me?

14. Posted by Oyster

My mistake. I forgot you guys just like to bitch and moan for the sheer hell of it, rather than do anything about anything. As evidence: The last Republican Congress

Or much more aptly, the pre... (Below threshold)
kim:

Or much more aptly, the present Democratic one. Furthermore, the electorate knows it and doesn't like it.
==================================

The US Congress dolls:... (Below threshold)
engineer:

The US Congress dolls:

The Chuck Schumer doll was dropped when it would't let the camera stop filming it.

The Cynthina McKinney doll that was recalled because it punched too many children with its cell phone.

The Barbara Boxer doll was discontinued because its accessory of Botox cost too much.

The William Jefferson doll with cold cash caused freezer burns and had to be recalled.

The John F. Kerry doll may still come out, if the filming crew can ever wake up.

Reagan, your mistake was th... (Below threshold)

Reagan, your mistake was thinking you wouldn't get called on implying we championed "big government solutions". Your second mistake was then criticizing Republicans for not coming up with enough "big government solutions".

You seem to forget, we're merely dissenting here. Per the liberal mantra, that's patriotic, right?

"The John F. Kerry doll ... (Below threshold)

"The John F. Kerry doll may still come out, if the filming crew can ever wake up."

The John F. Kerry doll was discontinued for false advertising because the packaging boasted it included a form-180, but none was ever found in any of the boxes.

Oyster opens her shall to d... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

Oyster opens her shall to deposit a would-be pearl, and, alas, it's just another dropping from kim, the Analcle of Delphi.

LMAO! :D... (Below threshold)
LAB:

LMAO! :D

How about the Organic Vegan... (Below threshold)
Radish:

How about the Organic Vegan Farm playset? Comes with real manure for the solar-powered tractor, and no animals. Kids will have to imagine where the manure comes from, but Farmer Jane and Farmer Jim have an interchangeable hemp wardrobe.

The liberals used CAPTIAN P... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

The liberals used CAPTIAN PLANET to brainwash kids into being perfect little new age earth worshippers just like most new age wackos CAPTIAN PLANET WAS COMMIE PROPEGANDA

Let's not forget that GI Jo... (Below threshold)

Let's not forget that GI Joe is really a DOLL. Toy soldiers don't come with changeable clothes.

I always suspected it was a plot to undermine the masculinity of American boys. The advent of adult males like John Edwards and Howard Dean tends to confirm that view.

Also, from the Hasbro site:

Introduced in 1967, were the Talkers. "G.I. JOE, U.S. Army, Reporting for Duty." This single, guttural utterance has burned an indelible mark upon the brains of millions of American males.


Sound familiar? I rest my case . . .

Senator Larry Craig, R ID, ... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

Senator Larry Craig, R ID, according to beaking newsreports is the proud owner of "Pat," the transgender GI Josephine doll mentioned above.




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