09. October 2008 · 6 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

First of all, I realize that I’m part of a very small American population. I’m an (almost) stay-at-home Mom who likes airplanes. And the things I’ve had to learn about American airpower are pretty nit-noid. An F-22 brings a different capability to the fight than an F-16, F-18 or F-35.

I scanned this picture from a to-remain-unnamed product catalog that I got in the mail last weekend. I’m sure many of you will see hints of where this came from and that’s fine. For the most part, I love the company. I find many unique babyproofing and kids’ travel items here, so I place orders 1-2 times per year.

I turned to this page and had to scratch my head at this one.

1.) The real Blue Angels don’t fly F/A-22 Raptors. They fly F/A-18 Hornets.

The F-22 is an Air Force aircraft. The Thunderbirds are the Air Force’s demonstration flight team. The Thunderbirds fly F-16s.

The F-18 is flown by both the Navy and the Marine Corps. The Blue Angels are the Navy’s precision flying demo team.

So I took the time to look at pictures of these two planes and I have to admit, I can’t really tell which of the two this toy is trying to emulate.

2.) So I followed a link to the F-35, which is an aircraft still in production. Several prototypes are out and about, doing testing for the Air Force, Navy and Marines. I wonder if the toy will look the most like an F-35? You be the judge.

3.) The flight suit is cute, isn’t it? I LOVE how one of the patches shows the kid as a “U.S. Air Force Top Gun”. And the F-117 patch, too. Really cute.

The “Top Gun” school made famous in the Tom Cruise movie was based on the Navy Fighter Weapon School at NAS Miramar, CA. The school is now at NAS Fallon, Nevada.

Not Air Force. I think an AF pilot might punch me if I called him a “Top Gun”.

The Air Force has a similar school at Nellis AFB, near Las Vegas, Nevada. I don’t know what nicknames are associated with the school, but I’m sure “Top Gun” isn’t one of them.

So I guess what we have here is this cute little hybrid Air Force/Navy airplane and flight suit outfit for your budding fighter pilot to enjoy. Regardless of whether he wants to join the Air Force or Navy. Think Purple — One Team, One Fight, right?

Some might argue: who the hell cares? It’s just a toy!

I guess so…

Perhaps I’ll get on a soap box another time about teaching things to kids WRONG. Especially when those things are taught to MY kids wrong.

Note: I just discovered this toy was manufactured by Little Tikes and is no-kidding marketed as an F-22. I thought it was the catalog’s misinformation. I guess not. Click on the link if you want to get one for your kid. I’m not saying “Don’t buy it!”. After all, it sure does look cute…but you won’t see me buy one. My kids need to learn to pedal their bikes/big wheels under their own power first.