“A mob of 10,000 Central American migrants is marching through Mexico and heading toward El Paso, Texas. Mexican border agents attempted to stop them at the Mexican border, but to no avail. The wall must be built. The wall will keep America safe and strong.”
That’s the sales pitch for a new toy – a set of MAGA building blocks – aimed at children ages 5 and up.
The toy is sold by Keep and Bear, a conservative apparel and gifts website that also sells Christmas cards featuring President Donald Trump in a Santa cap.
The set includes 100 building-block pieces and a Trump figurine wearing a Make America Great Again hard hat. The pieces snap together, allowing kids – or their parents – to build a section of a miniature border wall.
The President has trumpeted his promise of building a wall along the US southern border since the 2016 campaign. He has sought the billion-dollar structure to keep out “dangerous drugs and criminals from pouring into our country.”
In the three weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, Trump tweeted about the border more than 40 times, mostly referring to a “caravan” of migrants making its way north through Mexico towards the US. In late October, he sent more than 5,000 troops to the border to halt the migrants, although since the November 6 election, he has stopped tweeting about the issue.
Just another toy?
To grown-ups, the MAGA building blocks may look like a political gimmick. Most kids, though, will see them as just another set of building bricks, said Richard Gottlieb, CEO and founder of Global Toy Experts.
“I wouldn’t be concerned about it, it’s just a novelty statement,” he told CNN. “I think it’s mostly designed to appeal to adults who maybe feel they’re making some kind of political statement.”
The set sells for $29.95 on the Keep and Bear website and begins shipping on November 23.
“We understand why they want to flee Honduras and live in and work in America,” reads a description of the toy on the site. “After all we are the greatest nation on Earth.”
“This toy makes a great Christmas gift for your kids and grandkids!”
But Gottlieb isn’t so sure.
“I can’t think of anything that would turn a child off more to that political position than building a wall,” he said. “It’s the most boring play concept in the history of the world. It’s just one-fourth of a house.”
For kids, he said, there’s no meaning behind the bricks.
“I think that whatever the toy is, we tend to, as adults, assert a meaning that children don’t necessarily see. They just play.”
The toy’s political message will be lost on a young child, Gottlieb said.
“These are little bricks, construction pieces that are a part of every child’s life,” he said. “If you’re 5 years old, you may do it because Daddy wants you to, but I don’t think it has a meaning.”