Can a scale-model plastic replica of something that never existed still be offensive enough to be banned? Would you change your answer if it was related to the Nazis? Would you change THAT answer if it was a 1:72 scale model of a Reichsflugscheibe Haunebu Flying Saucer that conspiracy theorists believe was really built and used to transport SS leaders and Nazi scientists to a secret base in Antarctica (or possibly on the Moon) as the war ended? Whatever happened to making models of customized hot rods?
"As a child protection association, we generally reject toys that can lead to ideologization."
Bild.de reports that the German Child Protection Association’s Federal Managing Director Cordula Lasner-Tietze couldn’t believe that Revell, one of the oldest plastic model makers (it has a division in Germany but is headquartered in the U.S. in Illinois as Hobbico) would produce a model kit called the "Flying Saucer Haunebu II" and promote it for children “12 years +.” Priced at 50 euros ($57.95 US), the kit is sold in German stores and on Amazon.
Make that “was sold” in German stores and on Amazon. After being pressured by the Child Protection Association, the Military History Museum in Dresden and the offended German public, Revell stopped making the model and stores pulled the kits from their real and digital shelves.
What is or was or was rumored to be the Reichsflugscheibe Haunebu or Haunebu II? According to the model box, it was a “round aircraft,” "the first object in the world capable of flying in space" and an aircraft capable of “up to speeds of 6,000 km/hr.” That’s 3728 mph or Mach 5 … in 1943.
"It was not technologically possible to build something like that back then. Imagine it would have been possible to build a saucer capable of flying 6000 km / h. After all, the military would have tried that out in the Cold War long ago."
Historian Jens Wehner from the Military History Museum points out in the Franfurter Allgemeine that the kit does not indicate the flying saucer was impossible, which might lead some to believe it existed and the Nazis were technically more superior than the evidence and the war result has proven.
Revell made an attempt to agree.
“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 can’t explain how the model actually made it through R&D to production. Perhaps it should ask some of the other smaller model companies still offering plastic versions of the Nazi flying saucer. Money?
Glorification of the Nazi war machine should rightly be condemned and the box clearly shows the flying saucer doing battle with non-German airplanes. Even if it were to be promoted as fictional (which would then rouse the conspiracists to demand its recall … you can’t win), the use of Nazi symbolism violates German laws and ethics. Yet other models will be sold and the original Revell Nazi saucers will undoubtedly show up on eBay for far more than $57.
Even at 1:72 scale, this model has created a full-sized battle.