Osama Bin Laden Action Figure, Called "Devil Eyes," Created By Hasbro & CIA
So this is the creepiest propaganda we've heard of in a while. The Washington Post reports that sometime during the last decade or so, the CIA and Hasbro made an Osama bin Laden action figure and distributed it in Pakistan to freak parents and kids out. The project, coordinated between the CIA and late Hasbro executive Don Levine, was reportedly called "Devil Eyes," because its most unique feature was a face that dissolved in heat, revealing a green-eyed, red-faced, Devilish bin Laden with markings on his face.
Yes, really, the CIA created an incredibly creepy doll with a dissolving face to children. The goal was obviously to turn parents and children off of the al Qaeda leader, though we can't help but think they might've suspected something was up when the face on their kids' toy started leaking off.
It's unclear how many toys were created or if any were actually distributed, but WaPo reporter Adam Goldman, who exclusively snagged this toy story, more or less got an acknowledgement from the late Levine's family that the executive had in fact worked on the project. They said:
Don Levine was a dedicated Patriot, and proud Korean War veteran. When called on, he was honored to assist our country.
But a CIA spokesman, Ryan Trapani, played down the toys' existence to the Post.
...There were only three individual action figures ever created, and these were merely to show what a final product might look like. ... 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.
Even if we're to take the CIA at its word there (as an aside, don't take the CIA at its word), it's still incredibly creepy to invest so much time, effort, and engineering work into a product with a melting face, regardless of whether or not you then actually go out and air-drop the creeptastic toy among unsuspecting children. Although to be fair, the agency apparently decided to use the body of a doll that was already being produced in China, the Post reported. To save on costs, we assume.
So if you're ever sitting around thinking to yourself, "Nah, the CIA wouldn't do that," think of Osama's melting face, and think again.
Image: Washington Post TV