It’s everyone’s favorite fantasy creatures: Commie and Freedom, the dueling Cold War unicorns. The concept is sublime on many levels, not least of which is the fond and uncomplicated memories of that late era of imminent global annihilation. I’ll trade you a bin Laden and Bush for a Ford and Brezhnev. Please?
A friend (or friends) of Thom tracked down the unicorns for Thom’s birthday (available at Archie McPhee, among many other places online; they’re from McPhee’s parent, an outfit in Seattle called Accoutrements, “Outfitters of Popular Culture”; among the company’s other offerings is a Librarian Action Figure). Before we move on to the serious business of life, I commend your attention to the artwork on the box. The “Freedom” side is pretty straightforward, though it features a pretty gnarly Uncle Sam. It looks like whoever did this project spent more time working out the “Commie” iconography: I especially like the Lenin figure, which appears with a factory in the background and above a bunch of Bolshie soldiers (headed out to do battle with the Whites or to dispossess the bourgeoisie). The other figure–the long-coated commissar-type–is pretty cool, too; then at the top you’ve got an 1812-era cannon, the czarist double-headed eagle, and to the left of that some tiny cartoonish man. Odd. Fascinating.