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DIY Potato Donkeys and 7 Other Bizarre Kids’ Toys From Authoritarian Regimes

If your kid’s aghast reaction to tales of the toys of your youth is something like, “What do you mean it only had 8 bits? What the hell is a bit?” tell them they should really be glad they aren’t growing up in, say, North Korea. Because the toys there are truly ridiculous in a laughing at you, not with you sort of way, which is of course the worst part about being a kid in a totalitarian dictatorship. Here are 8 examples of toys throughout history that will make your kid think twice before calling “oppression” when you limit their iPad time.

North Korea

Knockoff Legosfatherly_toys_of_north_korea_lego_blocksWith everyone’s favorite, “Toy Assembling Blocks,” North Korean kids can build anything they can dream up. So long as their dreams are state-approved, of course. Seems like “Everything is awesome” got lost in translation.

Toy Weaponsfatherly_toys_of_north_korea_toy_tankTanks and inflatable rockets bearing slogans like “One Against One Hundred” and “The Great And Prosperous Nation” make great propaganda tools, as does the North Korean Toys ‘R’ Us jingle: “I don’t wanna grow up because if I did, death to America.”

Unicyclesfatherly_toys_of_north_korea_unicycleBecause the supreme leader Kim Jong-Un once hit 36 consecutive holes in one while riding a unicycle … on the moon! Seriously, you go figure out North Korea.

Soviet Russia

Pedal Cars And Horsesfatherly_toys_of_soviet_russia_pedal_car_pedal_horseIn Soviet Russia, pedals push you!

DIY Potato Toysfatherly_toys_of_soviet_russia_diy_potato_racecarOkay, so Russian children may not have actually made toys out of potatoes, but how sweet is that potato race car? No? Potato donkey? Tater totter? Any of these doing it for you?

Nazi Germany

Third Reich Action Figuresfatherly_toys_of_nazi_germany“If you’re a very good little Nazi this year, Santa will bring you the whole Hitler Youth set!”

Model Bridgesfatherly_toys_of_nazi_germanySoldiers with firing rifles and remote control tanks are fun, but what young Nazi wouldn’t want a toy bridge? (Apparently all of them.)

Communist Cuba

DIY Toysfatherly_toys_of_communist_cuba_diy_racecarOne (relative) positive of Castro’s regime was that the lack of access to basic goods like kids’ toys fostered a nation of makers. Ironically, the US is trying to do the same thing by burying kids under a mountain of toys that teach STEM. Also, glue bottle race car > potato race car.

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