Comments

The other AlanFebruary 27, 2008 2:54 PM

Make sure you click Bruce's second link. . . then scroll down and read some of the comments, a la:

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I've heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I'll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).

Reader XFebruary 27, 2008 2:54 PM

Heh. My kids made one out of an old refrigerator box, complete with conveyer belt. There's too much cheap Chinese crap in the world already.

TSA ToyFebruary 27, 2008 3:01 PM

Here's an account of how soembody decided to ergh.. play with their Playmobil Security Check Point.

http://www.amazon.com/...

Note that the kit appears to include guns for the screeners - a nice touch I thought.

DV Henkel-WallaceFebruary 27, 2008 8:27 PM

The Playmobil airport (which I swear looks just like the old Eindhoven airport by Philips' headquarters) has always had a security checkpoint.

I vaguely remember when those checkpoints started to be used in the 1970s and my parents worrying what message it sent to the kids.

The message the kids get today is: "shut up, don't look up, and comply. Answer in polite monosyllables. Under no circumstances catch someone's eye."

There are still small commercial airports with no security, but probably not in the USA.

j0hnner_caFebruary 27, 2008 8:37 PM

Good grief...

If there are TSA Screener Halloween costumes on the market this year we gotta do somethin' y'all...

LouisFebruary 27, 2008 9:48 PM

Cheez...

The U.S. sure has changed since I was there last in 1999...

I feel for you guys. I share your pain and embarrassment.

Maybe, in a couple decades or so, historians will be free to comment this era and hopefully things will have changed for the better by then.

ZaD MoFoFebruary 28, 2008 1:37 AM

I wonder if a terrorist outfit with all the accessories are included...

« Just kidding »

No: This is real and I am not dreaming. This world exist. It's real...

BenFebruary 28, 2008 5:44 AM

I'm a bit disappointed that it there is no “Playmobile Extraordinary Rendition Kit��?, so that terror suspects apprehended at the checkpoint could be safely and comfortably removed from the general population. Kids could then be taught to play at extracting confessions from them using toy waterboarding kits, to “simulate��? drowning until enough evidence had been obtained to detain them without trial indefinitely. There should also be a “Playmobile Lethal Injection Kit��? as well, how are kids going to learn about freedom and justice otherwise?

bobFebruary 28, 2008 6:31 AM

What a great marketing trick! First you buy the playmobil security checkpoint at a low introductory price (just a couple bucks, plus you give them your toy constitution to run through the playmobil shredder).

But then you have to buy 700 toy travelers to stand in line and alternately abuse and ignore until they miss their flight or it wont look real.

AugustFebruary 28, 2008 7:28 AM

What is really troublesome is this habituates the young to find surveillance-state behaviors acceptable, then normal, then desirable. I recall the Hitler Jugend had a similar program of desensitization.

AnonymousFebruary 28, 2008 7:28 AM

What is really troublesome is this habituates the young to find surveillance-state behaviors acceptable, then normal, then desirable. I recall the Hitler Jugend had a similar program of desensitization.

AugustFebruary 28, 2008 7:29 AM

What is really troublesome is this habituates the young to find surveillance-state behaviors acceptable, then normal, then desirable. I recall the Hitler Jugend had a similar program of desensitization.

UP HickFebruary 28, 2008 7:44 AM

"There are still small commercial airports with no security, but probably not in the USA."

The Ironwood, Michigan (pop. ~6000) airport has no high-tech security. There are hand-held metal detector wands, and that's it. The airport staff paws through every passenger's bag before allowing it on the airplane.

NickFebruary 28, 2008 8:00 AM

Think that's good. Forget that Thomas the Tank Engine rubbish. Brio have given us a range of toys to help kids see

the fun side of computer viruses. Take a look at http://www.brio.co.uk/BRIO_NET/uk/startpage and follow the

marketing fun from the bottom left corner. Sadly I couldn't hear the soundtrack for this - but the promo for the toys looked like it was going to be quality, you have to give it a minute until the hapless Emo is socially engineered into opening his trojan birthday present...: http://www.streamio.se/Play?projectId=1925

NickFebruary 28, 2008 8:01 AM

Think that's good. Forget that Thomas the Tank Engine rubbish. Brio have given us a range of toys to help kids see

the fun side of computer viruses. Take a look at http://www.brio.co.uk/BRIO_NET/uk/startpage and follow the

marketing fun from the bottom left corner. Sadly I couldn't hear the soundtrack for this - but the promo for the toys looked like it was going to be quality, you have to give it a minute until the hapless Emo is socially engineered into opening his trojan birthday present...: http://www.streamio.se/Play?projectId=1925

ajdFebruary 28, 2008 8:56 AM

The Playmobil Security Check Point link was extremely amusing - the reviews are worth it alone.

The Toy X-Ray Machine for Kids though... what's fun about that let alone educational. If it missed the occasional weapon and highlighted the effects of poor training then maybe but otherwise it's just some demented joke gone seriously awry.

alanFebruary 28, 2008 10:59 AM

I am tempted to get one for use with my Spy v.s. Spy figures. I figure the suitcase filled with guns, knives and bombs will go well with it.

Arnoud EngelfrietFebruary 29, 2008 7:55 AM

If you ever go to Korea, be sure to buy one of these sets (all Lego-compatible):

SWAT team
http://www.oxfordtoy.co.kr/eng/product/...

A complete army base
http://www.oxfordtoy.co.kr/eng/product/...
with some extra tanks, rocket launchers and Apache-like helicopter
http://www.oxfordtoy.co.kr/eng/product/...

Or how about a North/South-Korean border checkpoint?
http://www.oxfordtoy.co.kr/eng/product/...

They also have extensive Navy and Air Force sets, as well as tens of historical and fantasy box sets.
http://www.oxfordtoy.co.kr/eng/product/...

Arnoud

jcMarch 2, 2008 12:22 PM

Is it normal that, accordling to A____n,
Customers Who Bought Items Like This Also Bought
'lot of books on scientology' !!!!!

Strange enough, it happens only with this playmobil's item ....

Is Scientology books the default when nothing has been yet sold ??? and if so why ????

jc

blopMarch 3, 2008 7:30 AM

I chalk this up to Playmobil's trend of unusual but real-world playsets and accessories. What other line has American Revolution figures, guinea pig farms, and Roman arenas?

Another interesting security-relevant set: Safe Crackers --
http://www.amazon.com/...

(Or is that the No Country For Old Men set?)

fear itselfMarch 3, 2008 10:01 AM

Well, this does it. I'm finally convinced that the unfounded paranoia on this blog has surpassed that of the people it rails against. The Scheiersphere used to just be wary of security theater and eroding rights, but I had no idea that metal detectors and xray machines at airports were akin to Nazi Germany (not my comparison -- someone above likened this toy to Hitler Youth propoganda). I really think some of you have finally gone off the deep end, and I've lost a lot of respect for the commenters on this blog, whose comments I used to get a lot out of.

BaconMarch 3, 2008 10:47 AM

@fear itself

I learned the term "folk devil" from this site (or a linked article.) Many either missed that article, or missed the point. Scary to know "legitimate discourse" is based on the mythological abilities of certain human beings.

stmMarch 4, 2008 11:58 AM

I love the fact all the items in the "People who bought this also bought...." for the toy are L Ron Hubbard books. I can't figure out the connection between security theater and Scientology, but I bet it's because I'm not thinking hard enough......

BobMay 3, 2008 1:49 PM

I would like to know which european airports have these powerful body x-ray scanners and which do not, including Russia. I am permantly out of the police state U.S. and would consider traveling to Europe if I didn't have to get cooked by one of those powerful x-ray machines. I don't like cancer! Are those machines in Europe yet? If so, then where?

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