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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