When you travel to Europe you will see many safe toy shops, particularly in Germany.
When I say safe I mean that there are no military toys. I was going to say weapons but that's not true, as we shall see.
The de-militarisation of play appears to be a backlash against violence and violence in childhood. If I consider my own childhood in the Sixties UK it would have meant no Action Man, no Johnny Seven, no Secret Sam Attache Case, not to mention countless other toys.
Safe play focuses on constructional and educational toys. Fantasy comes in the form of generic historical characters: Cowboys and Indians, Pirates and Knights in Armour [ hardly bloodless epochs].
As such, some 'fantasy' weapons are allowed; bows and arrows, cutlasses and swords, but not in all safe toy shops.
I'm sure the removal of militarised toys isn't new and the debate over the origins of violent play has raged forever. Just think of the furor caused by Video Nasties in the 80's. Shop keepers were imprisoned!
In contrast, here in the UK we have some action dolls in the toy shops emulating the real Armed Forces here. Like Action Man did back then. In fact these new figures could actually be marketing for the Armed Forces! I'm not sure this is quite right either.
So what do you think readers, remove all toy weapons from the hands of our kids?