Plastic explosives

David Kline finds the ideal Christmas present for the age: The Playmobil airport security toy. Surely, I thought, this must be a joke. But, no, it’s really on the Playmobil site. Coming soon: subway bag checkers… Guantanamo interrogators… FEMA ice trucks…

  • Too funny. Let’s make a list of other funny toys. I started one with a quesiton here:

    List of funny toys

    Christmas is just around the corner…..

  • Hmm… I’ve checked my irony meter a couple of times, but I’m not sure what’s so odd about this. Oh, my god… a toy fire engine! People burning to a crisp, massive destruction, and you’re going to make a *toy* out of that?

    This one seems fairly educational, to boot. If I knew I was going to drag kids through an airport, I might buy this for them so they’d have a better understanding of what’s going on if pa gets pulled over for a patdown, instead of being terrified that something really bad’s happening.

  • Barbie has a spy edition, too. With large …..’s. Jeff, your viewpoint is limited by having a boy instead of a girl, admit it.

  • During the first Gulf War, they came out with an Army Barbie. I have one. She had short hair, wore the brown camo outfit…don’t remember if they gave her a weapon or not, but she certainly wasn’t carrying lipstick! It was def. made to reflect the women who were, for the first time, out there in the field.

    Many toys are created to teach children about the adult world and show them possibilities for their futures. Apparently, being a fireman, policeman, and airport security person are in the futures of alot of young children. Cute that the guard with the wand is a female!

    Although it’s too bad they don’t make a computer nerd playset…oh, that’s right, those kids are of a certain social class that will put computers in their hands when they’re two….forgot about that one…and they couldn’t make a female version of the computer nerd. There are so few acknowledged women n the field that they hardly count.

  • Marthirial

    Yeah, Carson, the difference is that in the toy everybody is smiling, having fun. Good luck explaining the contrast with reality to your son/daughter at the airport.

    And besides the obvious opportunism by Playmobil in choosing the themes for their toys, what are you supposed to do with this? Ran the perfectly dressed white American through the detector and found nothing explosive on her? WOW too much fun to bear!

    With the fire engine at least you can pretend there are fires somewhere. Wait a sec. that’s it, here you pretend there are bombs and the whole place goes to hell thanks to a Middle-America Mom Evil Doer.

    There you have it Carson, you are right, this thing really educates.

  • John

    Thanks for pointing the contrast out Marthirial. We will be traveling with our 6 month old at Thanksgiving and Christmas and we are dreading the experience. There are quite a few excellent dad blogs ( for instance) that have extemsively chronicled the hideous experiences that many parents have when they travel with their children and have to deal with the TSA. I can just imagine a 3 year old thinking, “That doesn’t look like the stinky mean lady that yelled at me”.

  • Fear Mongering:

    Why do we have excessive airport screening and no real screening of shipping containers?

    Why do we have plastic overwraps on consumer items and no protection at chemical plants?

    Why is every other TV show about crime or alien invasions instead of programs about postive themes like education or enjoyment of life?

    Because the first alternative is highly visible and contributes to the pervasive feeling of fear being promoted, while the second is basically invisible to the public.

    So far the technique has worked. Bush got re-elected and still scores high (79%) with his “sky is falling” base. The latest fiasco in the NYC subway may be the first indication of a bit of “crying wolf” backlash setting in.

    During WWI people were jailed for questioning the war effort and magazines and newspapers were seized, so at least we haven’t gotten that bad yet.

  • This is obviously defective. The shoes don’t come off. And no little old lady to make naked and frisk.

    Definitely time to reach for the “gotcha’ buzzer.

  • penny

    Robert, do you have any idea of the logistics of searching every shipping container? Their size? It’s not as easy as x-raying suitcases. Almost 6 million containers arrive at our ports every year. It ain’t that easy. The government is working on it.

    And who says chemical plants have no security?

  • penny

    The latest fiasco in the NYC subway may be the first indication of a bit of “crying wolf” backlash setting in.

    For starters, Robert, it was Bloomberg’s decision, not Bush’s, to warn the public. I would think that a responsible reaction in light of London and Madrid.

    What was the fiasco? There was no economic damage done. People went to work as usual. Traffic didn’t grind to a halt. There was no panic. People were more mindful of their public environment which is a good thing in the age of terrorism.

  • tony

    “it was Bloomberg’s decision, not Bush’s, to warn the public. I would think that a responsible reaction in light of London and Madrid.”

    also in light of him wanting to look strong on security for his re-election campaign.

  • owl

    JJ, for a minute there I was enjoying this one and not thinking of any deep dark depths. I kept thinking “yellow school bus”. :)

  • Michael Zimmer

    Check out Dan Solove’s take on the playset – hilarious!

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