Taking street protests to the young, an online toy store in Russia offered for sale a paddy wagon with toy riot policemen and promised a set of toy protesters to complete a pretend crackdown.
The China-made car toy, a convincing replica of grey Kamaz trucks used by riot police during its clashes with the opposition in Moscow last month, is available at Rodnye-igrushki.ru.
“Your kid will be able to play riot police cracking down on a rally,” reads the advertisement for the paddy wagon, which can be had for 584 rubles ($17.5) a piece. Toy riot police are sold separately.
The company is also working on two sets of toy protesters, one of which would comprise politicians such as Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov and another opposition-minded art and culture figures such as rock singer Yury Shevchuk and novelist Boris Akunin, the store’s administrator said in comments at the paddy wagon’s page. He did not mention copyright issues.
Moscow has seen a wave of street arrests of alleged opposition sympathizers since May 6, when a mass anti-Kremlin rally ended in protesters clashing with police. Some 650 were detained at the rally and hundreds more in the following days, though most were swiftly released. Navalny and Udaltsov served 15-day jail terms over the riots.
“Kids will play at what they see on television because they copy and reproduce adult life,” the shop’s administrator, identified only as Rodnye igrushki (“Native toys”), said in a separate comment.