A major toy retailer has recalled millions of play figures after announcing that it had charged Action Man, the toy soldier with gripping hands, and realistic hair and beard, with war crimes against humanity.
Toys-R-Bust say the toy, originally created by Palitoy but now under the command of Hasbro, has been fighting wars and entertaining children since 1967, and is something of a 'dog of war', and even a mercenary in this respect.
Action Man has been involved in every major conflict of the last 50 years, turning up, without fail, like the proverbial 'bad penny' to wage war and kill, kill, kill. He is a member of all branches of the services - army, navy, and air force - and even gets involved in specialist areas, such as Arctic expeditionary forces, deep sea diving, frogman, and medicine.
He also appeared in the guise of a football player during the early 1970s.
Now, however, in the namby-pamby days of being 'offended by anything', and wrapping children up in cotton wool so that they don't get hurt, Action Man has been cited as a bad influence on young minds.
One parent who has been offended is Martin Wymp of Oxford. He said:
"We are living in the twenty-first century, and kids of today don't need to learn about war. They've got their smartphones."
And another, Sarah Arsehole, from Warminster, agreed, saying:
"Action Man is a bad influence on children. I know he looks rugged and vaguely sexy, but he stands for all the things I'm against, like kids enjoying themselves, and so on."
Toys-R-Bust spokesman, John Ceasefire, said:
"As a retailer of children's toys, we take the view that Action Man is a product that encourages and glorifies violence. We've decided to withdraw it from shelves, and to replace it with more suitable things like yo-yos, unicorns and ballet wear."