Toy UFO taken off shelves for ‘teaching kids that Nazis achieved space travel’
Toys and models manufacturer Revell based in North Rhine-Westphalia has announced that one of their products, an aircraft described as a war machine during the Nazi period, will no longer be produced.
A spokesperson from Revell said on Monday that the company will stop manufacturing and distributing the product, adding that criticism of it is “absolutely justified.”
The German Children's Protection Association (DKSB) and the Military History Museum (MHM) in Dresden had previously criticized the product for its inaccurate representation of history.
In its product description, the toy is called a “round aircraft” and "the first object in the world capable of flying in space." The description goes on to say that the aircraft can fly “up to speeds of 6,000 km/hr” and it was not produced after its test phase in 1943 due to the Second World War.
Emblazoned with emblems from the Third Reich, the product is presented as a war machine from the period of the Nazi regime even though an aircraft like this never existed, according to the DKSB and the MHM.
"At that time it was technologically impossible to build something like this," historian Jens Wehner from the MHM told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper.
The fact that Revell's product’s description fails to mention the aircraft never existed is risky in that people who buy it might actually believe the Nazis possessed superior technologies, Wehner added.
"Enthusiasts can use this as a strategy to cast doubt on what we know today about National Socialism," the historian said.
The company said it agrees with the MHM, adding that “it is in fact a legendary, extraordinary aircraft which cannot be proven in terms of its existence.”
"Unfortunately, our product description does not adequately express this and we apologize for it," Revell said in a statement. A spokeswoman emphasized that Revell explicitly distances itself from any kind of glorification of wars and the Nazi period.
Revell is currently looking into how a product of this nature was developed and brought onto the market. The development of a new product usually takes the manufacturer at least one year. Product managers are responsible for the development of models and toys and sometimes suggestions from fans are taken into consideration.