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Iraq/Economy/Election/Religion-free thread...silly

10/21/2004 9:12 AM
Mark Hammer
Iraq/Economy/Election/Religion-free thread...silly
On the way to the bus this morning, my older son hits me with a startling revelation. Yesterday, he found a plastic toy soldier lying on the ground at university. What shocked him was that the toy soldier COMBINED two of the traditional functions found in toy soldiers: grenades and machine gun. I was shocked too.  
For as long as I can remember, every package of little green plastic toy soldiers, whether intended to depict G.I.s, Nazis, Soviets or whomever, has had the following standardized functions:  
1) Grenade guy - Facing sideways. Has one arm extended forward and upward, and the grenade-wielding arm extended backwards and a bit below hip-height. Has NO other weapon.  
2) Sniper guy - Lies down aiming rifle. Sometimes has legs/feet laid out foolishly like a capital T, but tends to have one leg bent at the knee like he's crawling.  
3) Binoculars guy - Likely the lieutenant. Stands facing forward looking through his binoculars. Might have a radio unit or backpack slung over his back, or maybe a rifle.  
4) Bazooka guy - On one knee, aiming a bazooka held on his shoulder. No other weapons/functions.  
5) Flamethrower guy - Comparatively recent addition. Has flamethrower outfit on back, and points the nozzle forwards from about waist height, in standing position with legs slightly bent.  
6) Machine gun guy - Stands, with machine gun facing forward in shooting position, also from about waist height.  
7) Sharpshooter guy - The other rifle-wielding figure. Standing with body facing sideways. Has rifle over shoulder and is facing down the barrel taking aim.  
8) Bayonet guy - Holding rifle with bayonet fixed on the end, Leans forward, with one knee bent, jabbing bayonet at opponent.  
So, is there some type of "new" army I'm unaware of? Have the people who make these little moulded plastic figures lost track of their heritage? What is going on that they could have a soldier with a grenade AND a machine gun? Is nothing sacred anymore?
10/21/2004 10:11 AM
Mark Lavelle

"Is nothing sacred anymore?"
Apparently *not*! Next thing you know they'll be adding female soldiers...
10/21/2004 11:29 AM
Need to know
Do they still make that cool " Zzzzzzzzzt" noise when their molten plastics drips to the ground after being ignited ?
10/21/2004 11:31 AM

I don't know about the sound, but they certainly smoke a lot.
10/21/2004 1:30 PM
Mark Hammer

Back in the day when dumbass 12 year-olds could still go to the store and buy firecrackers (and the smell sets my heart aflutter, like the perfume of a former girlfriend, or anything that smells like your grandma's kitchen) we used to blow 'em up REAL good. Usually under a Campbell soup tin. Bazooka guy and handgrenade guy usually worked out best for blowing-up purposes because you could stick a firecracker between their legs. Jeez Louise we were perverted.
10/21/2004 1:42 PM

We used to take our old plastic models (airplanes, cars, ships, etc.) when they started to fall apart, and blow them to bits with all sorts of explosive devices. My favorite was to mount a model rocket engine in the model and use part of the body to pack with black powder that would be ignited by the parachute charge. Pretty darn funny stuff. If you did this right, the model would goes flying any which way and blow itself to smithereens in a huge flash. I'm surprised that I still have all my limbs, fingers and toes, as well as my hearing.
10/21/2004 3:17 PM
Mark Hammer

Given little boys' fascination with things blowing up (nothing like loud noises and bright lights to capture a young man's fancy), it's a wonder ANY of us have our hearing and fingers.  
When I was about 11 or so, they were doing some main sewer pipe installations between school and where we lived. They had those big tire-tread "carpets" that get placed over the blasting area to contain the fragments, and my first thought was "This is gonna be great!". I saw them getting ready to blast and snuck into a big 3ft diameter concrete pipe nearby to get a closeup view (things sure look a whole heap safer on TV).  
I didn't get hit with anything but it's over 40 years later and I think my ears are STILL ringing.

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