"But these days, if one speaks to any young chap, he'll say he wants to become a blasted hedge fund manager or somesuch pansy's job. We're hoping that these action figurines - we don't much like the term dolls, sounds a bit girly don't you think? - will show them that while the Army won't make you a rich man, it'll make you a better man and give one access to a life full of excitement and adventure," he continues.
Representatives from the RAF and Royal Navy have also been involved, enabling Character Options to make the toys far more realistic than similar dolls from the past such as Action Man. A range of equipment and realistically-detailed vehicles will also be produced, including a tank with a working spring-operated gun, a Harrier jump jet and a remote-controlled hovercraft able to travel over both land and water, which actually sounds so much fun that even this avowedly liberal writer could be tempted to purchase one, though I'd add a few Greenpeace logos and paint rainbows on it.
For now, the range comprises of three models, a Royal Marines commando, a member of the Infantry and an RAF fast jet pilot but further examples will be added to bring the total up to 32 which will allow children to act out various scenarios and recreate famous events from wars throughout history. The company is also about to lauch a website including ideas and details of great battles from times gone by for those children who have been raised on video games and thus lack any imagination of their own.
Future models will come with diorama set-pieces so that owners can create highly convincing scenes such as a balaclava-clad SAS team who will come with a model of a damp Baghdad basement featuring a hooded, naked Iraqi man with electrodes connected to his genitals; a group of soldiers in a darkened barracks savagely beating a new recruit in a hazing incident; a soldier selling his sub-machine gun to a shifty-looking Somalian for a gram of cocaine; two troops engaged in the rape of Kenyan women and children and a gang of off-duty soldiers smashing up a Belfast pub and its clientele with pool cues.
"Join the Army," says Field Marshall Tollemache-Forbes, "You'll get to travel all over the world, bombing the living daylights out of it, and meet new people who you'll then get to kill."