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Chechnya to Replace Transformers and Spider-Man With National Dolls

Toymakers in Chechnya could soon be churning out national dolls to replace "unhealthy" Western toys such as Transformers and Spider-Man action figures, the republic's children's rights commissioner has said.

Plans to produce toys that reflect the history, culture and values of the Chechen republic are already under way and prototypes for nine figurines will be presented by the end of April, commissioner Khamzat Khirakhmatov was cited as saying Monday by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The prototypes will be based on Chechen historical figures and folklore heroes, and about 10,000 of the dolls will be produced in May, he said. The idea has received interest from other regions in Russia, he added.

Khirakhmatov said the available Western toys do not reflect the values and culture of the predominantly Muslim republic in Russia's North Caucasus region.

"[Our] kids are becoming separated from their roots, they are trying to imitate a foreign culture. It's an alarming situation," he was cited as saying in the report.

"Unfortunately, these figments of unhealthy imaginations including monsters, vampires, Transformers, Spider-Man figures, enjoy widespread popularity among kids and their parents, but they have a negative impact on the child's psyche," he was cited as saying. "We therefore proposed refusing Western toys."

The republic's authorities are planning to raise the profile of Chechnya's national heroes through a series of supplementary performances, television cartoons and literature ahead of the dolls' release.

Some dolls will also be handed out to preschool children free of charge, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

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