U.S. propaganda leaflet used in Afghanistan, with bin Laden second from the left
U.S. propaganda leaflet used in Afghanistan, with bin Laden second from the leftWikimedia Commons

We have all heard stories about the extent to which spies would go to get things done but this one is rather grotesque and curiously funny.

Recent reports suggest that when all other means could not foil the rise of al-Qaeda in Pakistan and their growing influence in the country, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had even considered plans to wage a subtle war with toys.

Starting from around 2005, the CIA have been secretly developing custom-made Osama bin Laden action figures. They were constructed in such a way that bin Laden looked like a demon, in order to influence public opinion about him in the Middle East.

According to people familiar with the bizarre project, the face of bin Laden figures were painted with a heat-dissolving material, which was designed to peel off and reveal a dangerous demon-like bin Laden, with black facial marking and piercing green eyes, reports the Washington Post.

Though not much is known about how the action figures were expected to influence the public opinion on bin Laden, it could perhaps be compared to how the Barbie dolls - as analyzed over the years - have subtly constructed a misconception within human sub-consciousness regarding the standards of beauty.

Toys like those have been a bone of contention of late, as how entrepreneurs have been trying to bring in a subliminal effect, making people believe that a white girl with blonde hair, blue eyes and curved body was the ideal standard of feminine beauty.

Similar ideas were perhaps kept in mind while designing the action figures of the infamous terrorist. The goal was simple; spook children and their parents - and cause them to believe that the bin Laden was a in fact 'monster' of sorts - and thereby slowly affecting the collective approval of the person adversely.

The report also claims that in order to succeed with this project, the CIA had handpicked one of the greatest toymakers - Donald Levine, who is popular for being instrumental in creating the G.I. Joe toys in the 1960s.

It cannot be said with certainty as how many of these bin Laden action figures were ultimately delivered but the report says, citing sources, that hundreds of figures were constructed in China, as part of the preproduction run, and were sent to Karachi in 2006.

The project was discontinued shortly after the prototypes were produced as the CIA reportedly did not like them.

The revelation regarding the bin Laden action figure project, which was code-named "Devil Eyes", comes only weeks after reports surfaced on a Pentagon measure, which explained training drills on how to tackle a situation when the country faces a Zombie outbreak - something that had raised a few eyebrows within American population.