Matchbox's "Young Warriors": Creepy Ad Campaign

My 4-year-old loves Matchbox cars. He digs the planes and jets, too, but all it takes to please the boy is a $2 two-pack of these metal cars.

Mainly, it’s aunties and grandparents who spoil him with these vehicles. We don’t have TV, so it’s not like he started begging for them after he saw a commercial.

Good thing, too. Because if the Matchbox “Young Warriors” campaign makes it to the States from Singapore, I’m sure many parents would be up in arms.

Why? It’s not the idea of boys wanting to man these vehicles; that’s a given. But it’s the war-hardened stare in these boys’ eyes, like,

War is only my day job.

The campaign is getting some heat on the blogosphere. Read on and check out more shots…

This creepy campaign features realistic shots of boys manning vehicles in what looks like a war zone. I heard about it through Mother Jones, where writer Dave Gilson says,

I suppose Matchbox gets some credit for not going for the “combat is good, clean fun” G.I. Joe-type vibe that’s usually used to sell war toys.

And although every kids loves to play make-believe, does Matchbox think that an 8-year-old rolling through what looks like an Iraqi city while chilling on a tank will sell toys for children?!

Certainly, it has sold controversy. Bloggers have described these fighters as “soulless”, “young faux dogfaces“, “dull-eyed“, and “stoic, hardened“. After the issue was posted on boingboing, one commenter suggested that someone rip the Matchbox image and slap it on an image of an actual child solider. So they did:

Hmm. Does this shot make you watch to pick up some Matchbox for your favorite kid?

Not quite bada** toys for ‘burbia boys anymore, are they?

Comments

  1. I blog’d about this militarisation of our children via some Xbox live interface back in March.

    http://mikephilbin.blogspot.com/2009/01/games-2009-is-year-of-military-sim.html

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