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Iran has jumped ahead of North Korea in the silliest-totalitarian-regime competition with an absurd new policy banning toys based on The Simpsons.
Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, representative for the Institute of the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran (an organization the International Business Times calls "the agency that determines what toys are permissible in the country" — they're basically government-sanctioned child saddeners), called the toys "merchandise from an animated series, of which some episodes are even banned in Europe and America." Citing the opinion of Europe and America in defense of the anti-toy sanctioning is strange, because Farjoo also said, the "figures are banned because they promote Western culture."
Also banned in Iran are dolls that look like adults, or those that have "distinguishable genitals." Barbies have been banned for a while, with Iranian authorities cracking down on dangerous nine-year-old girls this month. Dolls with Western voices and faux kitchen sets that include glasses for alcohol are also banned. The issue of play alcohol glasses is confusing: I don't have fond memories of my favorite toy shot glass from childhood. Hopefully Iran will start to crack down on the Etch-a-Sketch, which could be used to create drawings of dongs, or amorphous blobs that "totally look like" abstract representations of tequila and/or Mohammed.
Commenters: if you were in charge of what toys are allowed in your country, what would you ban? The Lego that declared war on the sole of your foot? The doll that says "I love you Mommy" in a way that gives you nightmares for weeks? Let us know down below!