Heavy television coverage of the war with Iraq gave the world a front
row position for the parade of impressive U.S. and British weaponry, and
toy manufacturers paid particular attention.
Already, Hasbro has released its G.I. Joe New
Alpha Tactical Advisor, Patrol Jeeps and
Strike Vehicles in a salute to our victorious forces. Dragon
Models Ltd, a Hong Kong-based company, has seven Operation
Iraqi Freedom Figures, including a female MP Jennifer,
USAF F-16 Pilot, Stanley—Sniper Baghdad
and even National Guard Homeland Security Amy. Blue
Box Toys has its 26th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit)
2nd Force Recon Figure, as well as Tank Traps,
Humvees and Barbed Wire for creating
Many would be surprised to learn that the exchange of ideas is not a
one-way street. The U.S. military also keeps an eye on new toy releases
as a means of generating ideas for new weapons prototypes. The army based
its quick-loading assault weapons on Hasbro'sSupersoaker
design. Other inspirations include: reconnaisance drones (R/C planes),
walkie talkies with video capability (cheap cell phones for kids) and
unmanned robotic vehicles (video game controllers).
Since today’s soldiers grew-up playing video games, the line between
play and modern warfare is getting thinner by the year. America’s
Army: Operations was created by none other than the U.S. Department
of Defense to tutor players on the proper use of the M-16A2 rifle, as
well as how to qualify for training missions.
Kuma Reality Games will introduce its Kuma War
computer game next February, after securing an agreement with the US Department
of Defense. The game will allow players to live out recreated missions—including
the raid that killed Saddam Hussein's two sons, Uday and Qusay—featuring
the same munitions used in the real attack. Each mission will be introduced
with actual TV footage by a CNN or FOX news-style anchor.
"We have crash teams here, just like TV news, and we have the technology
tools that allow us to recreate occurrences in vivid, accurate detail,”
said Keith Halper, Kuma Reality Games' chief executive in an interview
with the Hollywood Reporter.
Whether that’s something to brag about remains to be seen.