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The £500,000 study also plans to look at whether war toys have a role to play in influencing the future of our armed forces

Scientists launch study into how toys influence opinions on war

A two year study conducted by scientists aims to find out if playing with certain toys shape children’s opinions on war and terrorism, reports The Telegraph.

The £500,000 study also plans to look at whether war toys have a role to play in influencing the future of our armed forces.

The results of the project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, will be published in 2016 shortly after the expected withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan.

Professor Klaus Dodds, of Royal Holloway University in London said: "We are not examining whether war toys are good or bad or the psychology of such play.

"We will be examining how such toys help shape British attitudes to our armed forces, how do we learn to buy into ‘Help for Heroes’ for example and what ideas are children incorporating from outside sources such as TV news footage and children’s films addressing war and conflict."

The research will focus on Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (HMAF) dolls licensed by the Ministry of Defence and manufactured by Character Options.

Professor Dodds added: "We will be interviewing children playing with the HMAF dolls now and adults who grew up in the sixties with their predecessor Action Man which was such a big part of so many people’s childhood.

"It will be interesting to find out from them the part nostalgia plays in their recollections and importantly not all will be white, middle aged privately educated people like me.

"We hope to put it all down in a book which I’m sure will include somewhere in the title ‘Action Man’ which resonates with everyone of a certain age.

"It’s vital we are not judgmental in anyway whether participants are pro, anti or ambivalent towards war."

The study will also include tracing the history and development of the action figure toy in British homes and the toys’ role in wider geopolitical climates and cultures.

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