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Weird Toys from North Korea, Nazi Germany, and Other 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 weird toys from Nazi Germany, Communist Cuba, Soviet Russia, and other authoritarian regimes throughout history that will make your kid think twice before calling “oppression” when you limit their iPad time.

RELATED: Toys That Prove Japan Has Mastered The Zen Of Weird

Weird Toys From North Korea

Knockoff Legos

Knockoff Legos -- weird toysWith 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 Weapons

Toy Weapons -- weird toysTanks 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.”


Unicycles -- weird toysBecause 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.

Weird Toys From Soviet Russia

Pedal Cars And Horses

Pedal Cars And Horses -- weird toysIn Soviet Russia, pedals push you!

DIY Potato Toys

DIY Potato Toys -- weird toysOkay, 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?

Weird Toys From Nazi Germany

Third Reich Action Figures

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

Model Bridges

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

Weird Toys From Communist Cuba

DIY Toys

DIY Toys -- weird toysOne (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 cars are better than potato race cars.