Arts & Culture » Culture

Razing issues

There is a new line of Matchbox toys thematically based on famous places around the world, including the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Hong Kong airport and the Berlin Wall. At $5.99 per location, that’s cheap travel. Each set contains a plastic trinket — a bridge, building or wall — and the appropriate Caterpillar industrial machine to either raise or raze the trinket. The packaging provides a few structural details (such as, the length of the Berlin Wall was 166 kilometers), but discussion of why these places are important is absent. That’s a shame, because the Berlin Wall set provides a great opportunity to explain to kids why communism was soooo bad (“Son, sharing the wealth just doesn’t make any sense”) and capitalism, represented by the trucks made by Caterpillar and its history of labor troubles, is so good.

Tom A’Hearn pays attention here every other week. E-mail [email protected]

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