MANILA, Philippines -- Decreeing that toy guns look far too much like the real thing, President Ferdinand Marcos ordered all the plastic weapons removed from store shelves.
Marcos, in his letter to the military Monday, said the toy guns 'could mislead the public into believing that these firearms are in fact genuine and as such could be used.'
Police said the fake guns already have been used to rob taxi cab drivers and students in the downtown 'university belt.'
Ranging in price from $29 to $119, the guns affected by the ban are made of hard plastic materials and look exactly like real firearms, although they are lighter in weight.
Department store owners said they did not expect the ban to severely affect toy sales because children prefer cars, motorcycles, robots and plastic assembly kits.
The only toy weapons that attract the younger set are plastic ray guns, the store owners said.
'Kids are not very much interested in toy guns these days,' said Marcelo Flores, an accountant at Manila's Good Earth Emporium. 'They're more interested in the 'Star Wars' type of toys.'