Flying Saucer Toy Recalled for Its Misleading Take on Nazi History


A German toy has been recalled from shelves over concerns that it promoted an inaccurate glorification of Nazi history, Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog reports.

The toy in question, a 69-part model of a flying saucer called the Haunebu II, was inspired by a Nazi aircraft design that never flew. In the product description, its manufacturer, Revell, called it the "first space flight-capable object in the world," claiming it could fly "up to speeds of 6,000 kilometers per hour," or the equivalent of more than 3700 miles per hour. The image on the box showed a Nazi flying saucer covered in emblems of the Third Reich shooting down Allied planes. (The product is no longer listed on Revell's site, but there's a cached version here.)

The Nazis did want to develop space-ready aircraft, but they didn't succeed. They definitely never made a functional flying saucer like the one Revell was selling—it wouldn't have been technologically possible, historian Jens Wehner of the Military History Museum in Dresden explained to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. You don't get that sense from the product's design, packaging, and product description, though, which claims that "airworthy prototypes" of the flying saucer flew in 1943 and that the project was halted by World War II.

Suggesting that the Nazis had access to secret, superior space technology might lead some model builders to doubt current historical understanding of the Third Reich, fueling conspiracy theories. And it doesn't help that if there are two things conspiracy theorists love, it's Nazis and UFOs. Some already falsely claim that Germans set up a rocket-launch base in Antarctica and landed on the moon as early as 1942 (neither of which happened, we should emphasize), and toys like this only add to those myths.

Germany has strict laws designed to prevent anyone from glorifying its Nazi history, including statutes that criminalize Holocaust denial and banning anything that idealizes or pays homage to the Third Reich, including swastikas and Nazi salutes. In Austria, where Nazi glorification is also illegal, a Hitler impersonator was arrested in 2017 for posing for photos outside the dictator’s birthplace.

Revell's misleading flying saucer toy wasn't discontinued as a direct result of those laws, though. Instead, the company yanked the product after complaints from organizations like the German Children's Protection Association (DKSB) and Dresden's Military History Museum. The company is currently investigating how a product covered in Nazi symbols got to market at all.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Netflix Is Testing Cheaper, Mobile-Only Subscriptions in Some Markets

If you only watch Netflix on your phone, you might benefit from a cheaper, mobile-only subscription. That could someday be an option, if recent reports are anything to go by. A Netflix spokesperson told TheStreet that a mobile-only plan is being tested in some countries in order to gauge consumer interest.

“Generally, we try out lots of new ideas at any given time, and they can vary in how long they last and who sees them,” the spokesperson told TheStreet in an email. “We may not ever roll out the features or elements included in a test."

Netflix is keeping tight-lipped about the details, but Malaysia appears to be one of the countries where mobile subscriptions are being offered. Malaysian media outlet The Star reported that mobile subscriptions were being advertised for about $4 a month. For comparison, a standard subscription in Malaysia costs about $10, or $1 less than a standard subscription in the U.S. However, for the mobile-only deal, streaming is only available in standard definition (SD), not high definition (HD).

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the offer of lower-priced subscriptions is part of the company’s push to attract new subscribers. Don’t get your hopes up for a cheaper option just yet, though. Wall Street investment banking firm Piper Jaffray predicts Netflix will actually raise prices in many of its markets next year, and that's likely to include the U.S. According to a study the firm conducted, a majority of Netflix subscribers in the U.S. would be willing to pay at least 40 percent more for the service.

The streaming platform now has more than 137 million subscribers around the world, and much of its original content has been well-received. However, it comes at a cost, with some analysts speculating that Netflix could end up spending $13 billion on content by the end of 2018.

[h/t TheStreet]

Stranger Things Star David Harbour Knows His Character's Fate

Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images for New York Comic Con
Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images for New York Comic Con

It's been over a year since we've gotten any new episodes of Stranger Things, but fans of the Netflix series are still holding onto their dedication by trying to find clues wherever they can about the third season, which is set to premiere next summer. David Harbour, who plays Chief Jim Hopper, has blessed us with some minor teases over the past few months, and now he's torturing us by claiming he knows how the series ends.

While speaking with CNET, Harbour both debunked recent speculation that the series will be ending with its third season, and confirmed that he knows what's next for his character. "We're either going to season 4 or season 5. It's still being debated," the actor shared. "I do know the arc of the story, though. This was something that I discussed with [show creators] the Duffer brothers right from Day One." Lucky him.

Harbour also pointed out similarities between Hopper and Hellboy, the character he'll play in the upcoming film based on Mike Mignola's comics. "Good guys sometimes [get] pissed off they have to do the right thing," Harbour said. We're assuming he'll have to protect Eleven and the town of Hawkins from even more dangerous threats come Season 3.

Here's to hoping Stranger Things is around for at least three more seasons—and that the time between now and next summer goes by extremely fast.