New York magazine recently picked up on a fairly hilarious snark-fest in the Amazon.com review comments of the Maisto toy RQ-1 Predator drone.
It’s like I’m sitting right there in the White House!
This is the best toy ever. Finally, I can pretend that I’m a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize! —Raini Pachak
Also bought with …
This will go perfectly with the “Do It Yourself Water Boarding Kit” we got our son for his birthday! My only disappointment is that it didn’t come with scale model cluster bombs. —Martin M. Rosenbluth
And while not technically a toy, the eloquently scathing reviews of the MQ-1 predator model read like a Huffington Post-Michelle Malkin cage match:
Wonderful gift for any kid inspiring to become a murder for hire. This model represents everything America stands for. War, and Killing lots of brown people. what kid wouldn’t want one? – Soldier In Training
Its really sad that you people even live in the country. If you hate America so bad then back your bags and leave go to the people that you so want to protect as terrorists! - Old Fart
Interestingly, the toy drones drew the most colorful critiques. In real life these days, the media debate centers on the looming government assault weapon bans in the United States, and not that same government’s alleged involvement in civilian casualties abroad. Not so much in the toy world.
So how are parents feeling about toy guns and batteries-not-included weapons of mass destruction for wee Johnny and Sally?
AK47 SWAT Team Assault Rifle Machine Gun
It shakes when you pull the trigger, makes noises, lights flash, and bullets pop out of the ejection port. All very cool stuff for an eight year old. However, there is a real laser that is activated every time the trigger is pulled…Having a real laser on a children’s toy gun (that they point at people) is a very poorly thought-out idea. Lasers can cause real retinal damage, and shouldn’t be included on toy guns for children. - Max384
If you’ve got a kid who can put aside the muscle memory of “pointing toy gun at people is okay, pointing a laser at people is not” when handling the loaded hunting rifle and red beam night-vision flashlight he happened upon in Uncle’s garage, then you’re an A+ parent. But you’d better be darn sure you’re not scoring a B-.
Buzz Bee Double Shot Dart Blastr
Maybe the ultra-realistic looking guns that don’t fire projectiles are a bit ooky to you. But how do you feel about the Nerf and sorta-Nerf cartoon guns that do shoot foam darts?
Reviewers at Target.com on the Double Sh0t:
I bought this for my cosan nd he said it works great. It can teach kids how to shoot a dear. – 123456
Its decently powerful, really durable…Its just insanely fun loading it up, slapping the barrel back together with one hand,blasting your friend with 2 DARTS AT ONCE, [shortly after saying "Asta la visa... Baby"] then quickly ejecting the shells with one hand, running to the next person as the shells bounce on the floor. -aperson
I’ll admit it: Nerf-style guns are hecka fun. And I see my own hypocrisy of buying Nerf guns while other times wondering out loud just how much our entertainment violence affects real violence. Still. Nerf guns are hecka fun. Especially, when you’re ambushing a “dear.” Like your brother or spouse.
So, what’s going on in your house these day? Do current events have you rethinking your stance on toy guns? Or, as with most things parenting, do you find some balance between graphic violence and the satisfaction of a foam dart to your bossy older sister’s backside?