Army Forward Command Post by Ever Sparkle Industrial Toys. The bombed-out version of Barbie's Dream House complete with bullet-riddled walls. "Sure to excite the bloodthirsty passions in even the most passive pre-schoolers," or so the writer who reviewed this "battle-worn" play set for Amazon.com writes.
Scary part: Accessories include choice of "ethnic" or "Caucasian" action figure.
Zoids, Gun Sniper by Hasbro. Melds two traditional toy categories, animals and construction toys, and adds the violence element. Online promo pumps "missile-launching side cannons."
Scary part: Part of Zoids line children can "customize for battle."
Gundham Mobile Suit, MS-O6S Zaku 2 by Think Way Toys. Motorized "fighting action figure" with "deadly Heat Hawk" and "recoil-action light-up machine gun." Promises "hyper realistic combat action." Comes with taped voice message that exhorts violence, punctuated by the sound of machine gun fire and metal weapons clashing.
Scary part: Taped voice concludes with the message: "I'm a Thinking Toy."
Camouflage vehicle and figures, part of Elite Operations line made for Toys R Us. Jeep comes with action figure and "light and sound" heavy machine gun. Second action figure (sold separately) comes with hand grenade, mortar, extra pistol and genetically correct blond hair and blue eyes.
Scary part: Warning on the box says children should not "sit on military vehicle" -- and to think that they would take this toy seriously enough to try.
Radio-Controlled Buzz Transmobot by Hasbro Turns loveable Buzz Lightyear of Toy Story fame into missile-firing racer. Part of growing line of projectile-firing Toy Story characters that also include Checker Throwin Buzz, Nerf Blastin Zurg and Woody with Squirtin Sharky.
Scary part: Takes characters that appear rather innocuous onscreen and transforms them into toys that essentially do one thing -- shoot people.
NRG Paintball by Toymax. Toy version of paintball that fires up to 12.2 metres. Small print at top of box warns that "adult supervision is required regarding proper use of this toy." But try telling that to an eight-year-old.
Scary part: Pair of goggles that comes with kit carries fine-print warning stressing that goggles are a toy and do not provide protection.
Galidor Ooni by Lego. Fantasy action figure -- not as violent as most. But with a video game and TV program tied to the Galidor line, it's more a marketing opportunity for Lego than a toy for children.
Scary part: Example of what pressure to move into the lucrative action figure market can do to a company that once was a leader in quality construction toys.
Helmet and vest set, part of Elite Operations line made for Toys R Us. For the aspiring soldier. Comes with German-style helmet for maximum bad-guy effect, compass, dog tags, walkie-talkie and plastic knife, presumably to ambush your enemies.
Scary part: Marketed as appropriate for three-year-olds.
Electronic Military Island, part of Elite Operations line made for Toys R Us. Die-cast fighters, tanks, military trucks, soldiers, jet fighters, helicopters, missile launcher, grenade-throwing toy soldiers, sound effects and more. Real enough for concern it may cause lasting psychological damage.
Scary part: Only $39.99.