There’s a metric assload of Disney-branded products, but currently their vast lineup just doesn’t have anything for the child who’d like to avoid death by chemical weapons while still having fun. This wasn’t always the case. Back in the early 1940s, there was an actual Mickey Mouse gas mask.
Designed to make kids less resistant to wearing masks that could save them from a wily Axis chemical attack, these rubber masks seemed like a pretty good idea. Plus, I bet they have that new-dog-toy smell.
It’s hard to imagine Disney ever granting the rights to Mickey Mouse for something so morbid. In fact, a Mickey Mouse Gas Mask by artist Bill Barminsky was a part of our Illegal Art Exhibit a few years back. But I suppose it was in Disney’s best interest to keep their primary target market from dying of mustard gas poisoning.
(Incidentally, the whole Gas Mask & Co. site is quite fascinating in itself. Especially check out the crazy baby gas suits and the horse masks.)
Carrie McLaren & Jason Torchinsky are coeditors of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor’s Guide to American Consumer Culture. In previous lives, they worked together on the hopelessly obscure and now defunct Stay Free! magazine .