Toy Story: Russian Defence Plants Create Products for Children

On International Children’s Day, which is traditionally celebrated on June 1, TASS told about the enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Russia which are engaged in the manufacture and release of various goods for children.  

In the Soviet Union, where the defence industry enterprises possessed the main production potential, the production of children’s toys was usually carried out at the facilities of military factories. On vast territories in neighbouring workshops, real battle tanks and their toy copies were produced.

During the Soviet era, it was prescribed that toys should have kind and smiling faces so that children do not become aggressive. Even the villainous heroes had kind facial expressions. In addition, dolls’ faces and appearance changed depending on children’s age. They also made children’s dishes and small irons for girls, as well as toy weapons and cars for boys.

The most popular metal soldiers in Soviet times were produced by the Tula Cartridge Plant which is currently one of the largest manufacturers of ammunition in Russia.

Солдатик "Маршал Рокоссовский" (тип "столбик") производства Тульского патронного завода Дмитрий Федюшко/ТАСС

Ostashkovsky “Zvezda” plant“ was engaged in the release of toy animals stuffed with plush sawdust.

Плюшевый медведь производства осташковского завода "Звезда" (При наклоне игрушка издает звуки, схожие с рычанием настоящего медведя) Дмитрий Федюшко/ТАСС

The Cheboksary Chapaev Production Association’s holding “Technodinamika” which is a part of the Rostec state corporation is the only Russian manufacturer of acoustic protection for domestic submarines and the only plant in the country that produces rubber balls for children.

Another major defence enterprise, Uralvagonzavod (also a part of Rostec), is known for its tanks and armoured vehicles. It produces the most modern Russian T-90 and T-14 “Armata” tanks. However, the Volchansk Mechanical Plant which is part of its structure produces wooden dollhouses, game boards, and children’s furniture.

Бизиборд, произведенный Волчанским механическим заводом Пресс-служба Волчанского механического завода

Another defence enterprise has been producing tumbler toys from the 60s to the present day. This is the Tambov Gunpowder Plant which is one of the largest manufacturers of gunpowder products in Russia.

The history of the Soviet tumbler (“nevalyashka”) began in 1957. As part of the idea of ​​waste-free production, the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Toys has developed for a gunpowder factory several models of dolls made of celluloid, a by-product of gunpowder production.

In 1958, mass production of toys began (120 thousand pieces), and by the 1960s it had increased to 1.2 million pieces. In the same year, the first batch of tumblers began to be exported abroad. It was purchased by Austria, Germany, Cuba, Slovakia, Hungary, and Mongolia. Specialists claim that the secret of the extraordinary popularity of the toy is that it is still made in the traditional way, from the first to the final stage.

Ru-Main, 01.06.2021, Pictures: TASS  

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