America's Army Action Figures Leap Into ... Action

America's Army Action Figures Leap Into ... Action

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America's Army now has its own line of action figures as part of the America's Army Real Heroes program of the U.S. Army.

The figures are manufactured and distributed by Jazwares Inc. and available at Toys 'R' Us stores across the country. Developed in close conjunction with the U.S. Army to ensure authenticity, the figures come with a Real Heroes trading card highlighting their heroic accomplishments and Warrior Ethos, as well as authentic uniforms, weapons, insignias and awards.

The program is designed to give people a look at the accomplishments of American soldiers who have demonstrated bravery and valor in action. The initial launch will include four Real Hero soldiers: Sergeant Tommy Riemen of the 51st Long Range Surveillance Infantry, Sergeant First Class Gerald Wolford of the 82nd Airborne, Staff Sergeant Matthew Zedwick of the 2-162 Infantry and Major Jason Amerine of the 5th Special Forces Group.

First launched in 2002 as a free recruitment tool, America's Army quickly became an immensely popular online multiplayer FPS, spawning numerous expansions and releases on other platforms. As of August, the game is reported to have over 8.6 million registered accounts. More information about the game and the America's Army Real Heroes program is available at www.americasarmy.com.

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america's army: recruiting through childhood brainwashing since 1917

The funny thing is that as much as this appalled me when I read about it, I really can't elucidate precisely why. Ignoring the recruiting/brainwashing angle for a moment, how is this different than GI Joe toys, which I (and most of us) played with as kids? Obviously the Joe team wasn't pimping for the US Army quite as directly as Real Heroes, but on the other hand, Joe was far more pervasive than AA, and it was aimed particularly at small kids. And since 90% of the Joes (speaking of the multi-guy GI Joe team here, not the original, "real" Joe) were rock-jawed all-Americans with names like Duke, Hawk and Scarlett, while 90% of Cobra had funny accents, the connections were pretty obvious. Let us also not forget, as I almost did, that the Joe team was very clearly billed as "real American heroes."

So really, what is there to be upset about?

Malygris:
The funny thing is that as much as this appalled me when I read about it, I really can't elucidate precisely why. Ignoring the recruiting/brainwashing angle for a moment, how is this different than GI Joe toys, which I (and most of us) played with as kids? Obviously the Joe team wasn't pimping for the US Army quite as directly as Real Heroes, but on the other hand, Joe was far more pervasive than AA, and it was aimed particularly at small kids. And since 90% of the Joes (speaking of the multi-guy GI Joe team here, not the original, "real" Joe) were rock-jawed all-Americans with names like Duke, Hawk and Scarlett, while 90% of Cobra had funny accents, the connections were pretty obvious. Let us also not forget, as I almost did, that the Joe team was very clearly billed as "real American heroes."

So really, what is there to be upset about?

Context? Post 9/11 crap? The Last Starfighter was cooler? M.A.S.K. are t3h true heroes?

 

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