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THE JAUNDICED EYE

Meet President Potato Head and Friends

November 29, 1998|Todd Starr Palmer | Todd Starr Palmer teaches law and ethics at Pennsylvania State University at Erie. He is coauthor of "Project Leadership: From Theory to Practice," published this month

ERIE, PA. — Just in time for the current holiday season, toy makers are turning to Washington for inspiration. Now that every 7-year-old in American knows what oral sex is, old favorites are being recast to reflect the mature sensibilities of today's youth. With a dash of controversy and a sprinkling of current events, these toys are both fun and educational:

President Potato Head. This little guy has a face for every situation. Pop in one set of eyes, and he is a sincere and honest individual addressing the nation. Change the mouth and eyebrows, and he projects righteous indignation. Flip the mouth, and he is a contrite sinner, seeking your forgiveness. All this and remember: His head is also a storage compartment. It makes cleanup and cover-up a snap.

Mighty Morphin Starr Fighters. More than four years in production, at a cost of $40 million, these action figures are willing to do anything and go anywhere to fulfill their mission: getting their man. Mild-mannered lawyers by day, push the buttons on their backs, and they transform into any president's worst nightmare, ready for butt-kicking action. Follow the adventures of Zealot and the Harasser as they fight for truth, justice and the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Spunky Monica. The makers of the American Girl series are ready to release their newest set of collectible dolls: All the President's Girls. The first one up is Spunky Monica. Follow her to Washington, where she is willing to do anything to fulfill her mission: getting her man. Monica comes complete with her trademark beret, blue dress and thong. As with all the American Girls, Monica comes with her very own book that tells the story of a determined young lady ready to go head to head with some of the most powerful men in our nation's capital. Let Monica tell your daughter how a bill is turned into a law, and how to turn Bill in to the law. Note: Spunky Monica is not recommended for children under 18.

The Linda Tripp Spy and Disguise Kit. "The name is Tripp, Linda Tripp." Still fighting her very own Cold War, this secret agent is ready to do anything to protect her country. The kit includes all the cutting-edge technological paraphernalia a domestic spy needs: a tape recorder and a phone. Wait until you put on her amazing disguises. Turn yourself into a "comforting friend" or a "concerned individual" or even a "trusted confidant." With Linda Tripp's Spy and Disguise Kit, you, too, can reach for the Starrs.

Republican Laser Tag. This game comes with a twist: No matter where a Republican aims, he always shoots himself! And these guys are against gun control?

Kick Me Hillary. Finally, the perfect little friend for you to abuse. You can lie to her, cheat on her and humiliate her in almost any way you choose. And guess what? Give her a big hug, and she will still introduce you to her friends as "a great American."

Congressional Twister. Democrats and Republicans, take your places! Right hand, impeach! Left foot, acquit! This classic game gets a brand-new hearing. Watch for hours as your goofy congressional friends get hopelessly entangled. Spend years watching both sides recover.

Barbie's New Boyfriend: Al Gore. For years, Barbie fans have asked Mattel to get rid of her boring, stiff boyfriend, Ken. Well, move over, Ken, Gore's in town! With no articulation in either his joints or his voice, this incredible facsimile of our vice president will make any girl's Christmas dreams come true. Like Barbie and all her friends, this doll has no genitalia, so Democrats' dreams can also come true: No sex in the White House. Made in China.

Newt's Risk: The Game of World Domination and Conquest. Withdrawn from production.

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