IN the strange but true category comes this story from the Washington Post.
According to the Post, the CIA in 2005 secretly began developing a custom-made Osama bin Laden action figure. The face of the figure was painted with a heat-dissolving material, designed to peel off and reveal a red-faced bin Laden who looked like a demon, with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.
The goal of the short-lived project was simple: spook Afghan children and their parents, causing them to turn away from the actual bin Laden.
The code-name for the bin Laden figures was “Devil Eyes,” and to create them the CIA turned to one of the best minds in the toy business, said those familiar with the project, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the project publicly.
The CIA recruited the help of the former head of the Hasbro toy company, Donald Levine. Levine helped develop the G.I. Joe action figure.
A person with direct knowledge of the project in China said hundreds of the toys — one of which was seen by The Washington Post — were made as part of a preproduction run and sent on a freighter to the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2006.
But the agency aborted the plan after reviewing three prototypes of the doll, a CIA spokesman told CNN