Toymakers Study Troops, and Vice Versa “The M-16 rifle is based on something Mattel did,” said Glenn Flood, a spokesman for the Pentagon, which is looking to toys and electronic games for parts, prototypes and ideas that can be developed effectively and inexpensively as battlefield tools. Inspiration has come from model airplanes (reconnaissance drones), “supersoaker” water guns (quick-loading assault weapons), cheap cellular phones for teenagers (video-capable walkie-talkies) and gaming control panels (for unmanned robotic vehicles).


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