Prior to Friday, few would have ever suggested that the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) actually had any “super powers” – even though all have the capability to ruin economies and potentially even destroy the world with advanced weapons. Fortunately, the purpose of the G7 – the inter-governmental political forum that consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – is to use their collective power (and not to mention wealth) for good, at least in theory.
The G7 leaders met this year at the Cornish resort of Carbis Bay Hotel, which served as a way for the host nation to show off the UK’s green technology sector.
On Friday, United States President Joe Biden posed in a photo with the other G7 leaders which included the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian PM Mario Draghi and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga, as well as President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the leaders were carefully “socially distanced” as they stood on a bi-level platform – and it didn’t take long for many on social media to compare the leaders to action figures.
That included comedian and CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) who posted, “Before I order these figures, does anyone know if you can take them out and play with them or are they glued to the display stand?”
Colbert’s tweet was liked nearly 50,000 times by Saturday morning, and he was far from the only one to note that the leaders did resemble collectible figures on a stand – notably the 1978 Star Wars mail away display stand.
That image was humorously mocked on Twitter on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
“New set of action figures, just released. Kinda unrealistic. Also some serious problems with representation. Basically I’m taking these back to Toys R Us immediately. #G7,” wrote David Gauntlett, Canadian Research Chair at X University.
John Elwood, writer for the SCOTUSblog, quipped, “I’m glad I paid extra for the display stand for my G7 action figures.”
User @Tyrangiel was among those to note, “The female G7 action figures got bendy arms!”
@FussyFilm also “Accessories sold separately. #G7 #G7Cornwall”
Carnegie Mellon University master’s program student Chaston Pfingston (@thatpflordian) posted, “Now YOU can rule the world with the all-new G7 Action Figures! Find them wherever toys are sold. Each individual figure sold separately”
“Pre-orders on Amazon were sold out within minutes, and Target’s G7 toys page crashed due to high traffic,” the faux news story noted, adding, “Along with the 9-figure set, toy manufacturers are working on a cross-platform video game, YA book series, and an animated feature to be released on Paramount+.” @ZenMasterGuy shared the photo from the humor website and stated, “Mine aren’t leaving the box!”
@davejorgenson was among those who didn’t exactly see action figures, and instead suggested that the leaders were ready for an Electronic Arts’ video game, “Your Sims waiting to enter the new house you spent hours on.”
Moreover, another photo from the G7 – which included Queen Elizabeth II of the UK – also made the rounds on Twitter. @MBEngMike wrote, “Just when I think I’ve collected all the G7 action figures, they make a limited edition Her Majesty figure.”
Even as many poked fun, it is still worth noting the great power that these leaders have – even if it isn’t of the super hero or action star variety.
“As crazy as it sounds, the leaders of the U.S., France and Great Britain—all nuclear powers—individually are far more powerful than an superhero ever thought up,” said Harry Kazianis, senior director at the Center for the National Interest.
“With just one order, each leader could order a devastating nuclear strike that could kill billions of people in perhaps minutes,” added Karianis. “If Russia or China were the target, that means a devastating counter strike where billions of more could die. Simply put: Joe Biden or Boris Johnson could literally order the end of the world with what amounts to an order. Thanos would be jealous for sure.”