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CIA Tried To Make Bin Laden ‘Devil Eyes’ Action Figures

From Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald:

CIA created Osama bin Laden ‘devil eyes’ doll

By Adam Goldman | June 20, 2014

… Beginning in about 2005, the CIA began secretly developing a custom-made Osama bin Laden action figure, according to people familiar with the project. The faces of the figures were painted with a heat-dissolving material, designed to peel off and reveal a red-faced bin Laden who looked like a demon, with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.

The goal of the short-lived project was simple: spook children and their parents, causing them to turn away from the actual bin Laden.

Wow, this would have been even more aggressive than a #hashtag campaign. The funny thing is, given the kind of people were were dealing with, it might have worked.

The code-name for the bin Laden figures was "Devil Eyes", and to create them the CIA turned to one of the best minds in the toy business, said those familiar with the project, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to discuss the project publicly.

The toymaker was Donald Levine, the former Hasbro executive who was instrumental in the creation of the wildly popular G.I. Joe toys that generated more than $5 billion in sales after hitting the shelves in 1964.

The CIA’s interest in Levine was two-fold: He had an eye for toys and a vast network of contacts in China, where the bin Laden action figures were ultimately manufactured…

How sad. Even our CIA toys are made in China. Hopefully, they weren’t planning on using lead paint, or there would have been hell to pay. And, of course, lawyers.

There’s a dispute over how many of the figurines, if any, were ultimately delivered. A person with direct knowledge of the project in China said hundreds of the toys – one of which was seen by The Washington Post – were made as part of a pre-production run and sent on a freighter to the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2006.

It figures that the Washington Post would want a Bin Laden doll.

The CIA, while not disputing that it had commissioned the bin Laden figures, said the project was discontinued shortly after the prototypes were developed.

"To our knowledge, there were only three individual action figures ever created, and these were merely to show what a final product might look like," CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said. "After being presented with these examples, the CIA declined to pursue this idea and did not produce or distribute any of these action figures. Furthermore, CIA has no knowledge of these action figures being produced or distributed by others." …

Has anybody tried scratching the surface of any of those Barack Obama action figures that are still on the market?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, June 20th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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