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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
US firm cashes in on 'Comical Ali'
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf and George W Bush dolls
All mouth and no action - al-Sahhaf joins the war dolls
In the latest attempt to cash in on the war, a US toy company has produced dolls based on Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, Iraq's now-famous former information minister.

Mr al-Sahhaf gained notoriety - and even a cult following - during the war for his refusal to admit that Iraq was being beaten.

Now, in a sarcastic tribute to what it calls Mr al-Sahhaf's "one-man battle against the observable facts", US-based Hero Builders has produced 12-inch-tall action figures in his image.

The "Iraqi Dis-Information Minister" doll can be had for $24.95, or for an extra $11, there is a talking version that parrots phrases such as "There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!" and "Our initial assessment is that they will all die."

Toys go to war

The doll is the latest in a long line of war-related dolls from Hero Builders, which boasts that its figures are all hand-made in America.

Among other patriotic offerings, the company also produces the "Saddam Insane", the "Babbling Osama" and the "Dirty Terrorist".

It also sells pink dresses and bondage outfits, which it says can be used to demean its villainous dolls.

Since the outbreak of war, a host of companies have rushed out patriotic or topical products, many of which have been accused of poor taste.

This week, for example, electronics giant Sony admitted a lapse of judgement, after attempting to trademark the phrase "shock and awe" - a reference to US bombing tactics - for its computer games.




SEE ALSO:
Profile: Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf
07 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Iraqi minister turns web celebrity
16 Apr 03  |  Technology



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