CIA envisions, kills 'devil' bin Laden doll
The CIA once considered a 12-inch, red-faced, devil-eyed action figure of Osama bin Laden to spook American families into hating the al-Qaida leader. But the government-contracted demon doll never made it to store shelves.
The Washington Post reports that in 2005 — while bin Laden remained the most wanted man in the world — the CIA developed three prototypes of the doll featuring faces painted with a heat-dissolving material designed to peel off and reveal a red face with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.
The code-name for the bin Laden figures was “Devil Eyes.” The project was discontinued in 2006 after the prototypes were developed, the Post reports.
“To our knowledge, there were only three individual action figures ever created, and these were merely to show what a final product might look like,” CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said. “After being presented with these examples, the CIA declined to pursue this idea and did not produce or distribute any of these action figures. Furthermore, CIA has no knowledge of these action figures being produced or distributed by others.”
Donald Levine, the former Hasbro executive who was part of the creation of G.I. Joe toys, worked with the CIA to develop the prototype, the Post reports, citing an unnamed official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to discuss the project publicly.
Bin Laden's head was superimposed on a figurine that was already in production, and the final prototype was dressed in traditional garb and packaged in a cheap box covered with plastic, the Post says. The Post reports that Levine apparently was pleased with the final bin Laden product, but the CIA declined to pursue production.
A U.S. special forces unit killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in a raid in Pakistan.