Anti-axis Toys and Games

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Children played an important role in the war effort selling war stamps, collecting scrap metal and particiapting in patriotric rallies.  Many of the toys made during the war were affected by the war in two ways.  First, shortages of materials such as metal resulted in toys being made of wood and less durable materials.  Second, the toys were influenced by the war with many toys reflecting war themes.  The following are examples of toys that allowed youngsters to do their part and "take out the axis."  

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Battle Set with paper toys and axis image on envelope.

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A chance for kids (or adults) to Pin the Tail on the Axis Trio.

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Bo-Lem-Ova game with bowling pins of the axis trio.  Below is a marble game titled "Trap the Jap in Tokyo."

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Political correctness was not a concern with the emergence of toy sets such as the Krak-a-Jap toys and Rap-a-Jap playsets.  Above is the popular Krak-a-Jap toy machine gun and to the right the Rap-a-Jap Combat Play Set.  The Krak-a-Jap was advertised on the back of comics for $1.98 so youngsters could "be the first to play War with their very own Krak-A-Jap Machine Gun ...you will get a thrill when you get it in your hands."

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A variation on a theme ... pin the black eye on the dictator.  Below is the Young Patriot set with cardboard combat pieces and a target set of the axis trio.

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Novelty items and toys were sometimes directed at adults.  Punchboards were popular novelties for adults at fairs, carnivals, festivals and fundraisers.  Seen on the left is a Sock Hitler punchboard.  In addition to games, toys and novelties, children also enjoyed comic books.  Comic creators found a wealth of new material in the villains that emerged from the war.  Seen below is Spy Smasher #9 featuring the axis trio being handled by the Spy Smasher.  World's Finest Comics featured a grand cover with All-American heroes Batman, Robin and Superman taking on the axis trio while soliciting the purchase of war bonds (seen below left).

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When I was a child I remember a toy my sister had made by Fisher and Price that was a Popcorn popper. It was on a stick with two wheels and as you pushed it the popcorn popped.  During World War II, children could use this push toy to give Hitler a punch.  Other toys allowed kids to hang a bomb on the enemy or even throw darts at them.

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Arcades also employed games with the axis imagery.  Conversion kits were issued for arcade games that allowed current pinball machines and shooting games to be converted to war themes such as Bomb the Axis Rats and Hit the Siamese Rats.  New games were also created such as Poison the Rat and Bomb Hitler.

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