Now you can give the finger to the real axis of evil, while simultaneously entertaining children at parties! The Unemployed Philosophers Guild has recently released their newest political play things to bookstores and progressive outlets across North America and Europe, the third version of their line of Axis of Evil finger puppets which handily double as fridge magnets. The UPG has oodles of punchy toys, from Karl Marx figurines to the “Revolutionaries” play set (Mandela, Gandhi, Che Guevara and Trotsky – sticking with revolutions of the male variety however) to tins of national EmbarassMints and ImpeachMints (with images of Bush on the lids).
While expressing politics through toys may seem like a new and strange thing, it's been around since Barbie first communicated to little girls (globally now) that it's normal to be so anatomically askew that in the real world her spine would break, not to mention Barbie's dedication to normalizing disposable consumerism to children everywhere. There is plenty of literature out there on the politics of toys and on the global children's market, so much that it's safe to say a quick search will reveal plenty, so I won't hyperlink away. However, it might be a good time to mention Jihad vs. McWorld author Benjamin R. Barber's new book: Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole.
The Brooklyn, NY, based UPG gang may be a little more light-hearted with their political paraphernalia production line, but at least it's comforting knowing that there are a few marginalized but empowered dolls out on the front lines of toydom battling it out with the Barbie Hegemony Forces.
As they explain:
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild came into being in the last decades of the 20th century, when two brothers found their inner creativity in the midst of a dwindling academic job market. It turned out that making smart, funny things proved to be almost as satisfying as probing eternal questions. (alright, maybe not quite) Although we still contemplate truth and justice, it is our enduring goal to fulfill the materialistic desires of the funny and sophisticated everywhere! Most of the proceeds go to unemployed philosophers (and their associates).Some now also goes toward progressive politics.
Check out the political section of their site for a panacea of political possibilities in the teeny world of toys.