Made in the USSR Spy toys of KGB, CIA, HVA, MI9
Undoubtedly, most boys in their childhood and even some adults dreamed about spy toys. For example, Secret cameras, electronic listening systems, and hidden guns. Noteworthy, Washington, DC Spy Museum has the inspiring collection of such spy toys, used by different security agencies of different countries. In particular, by KGB, CIA, HVA, and MI9. KGB – national security agency of the Soviet Union. CIA – Central Intelligence Agency of the United States government. HVA – Hauptverwaltung Aufklarung, the defunct foreign intelligence service of the German Democratic Republic. MI9 – the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9.
The F-21 – one of several buttonhole cameras widely used in the Soviet Union, Europe, and North America. Codename: Ajax refers to the hidden camera concealed in this ordinary looking coat. The lens, tucked behind the right middle button, perfectly positioned for photographing unsuspecting people. To take a picture, the wearer of the coat would squeeze a shutter cable hidden in the coat pocket. Squeezing the cable caused the fake button to open and snap a picture.
This cleverly disguised sub-miniature camera allowed an agent to take photographs while pretending to check his or her watch. At first glance it’s a stylish wristwatch. But look again—it’s really a miniature camera. An agent would carefully aim the camera while pretending to check the time—no easy feat since there was no viewfinder. Pressing a button on the watch snapped the photo. The Steineck, a product of post-war Germany, was especially good for photographing secret meetings, private conversations, and other close encounters. Its film disk, about an inch across, could produce eight exposures.
The device, shaped to resemble a large piece of coal, hollowed out to conceal explosives. Using the camouflage kit, an agent painted the shell to match the color of the local coal. When the coal shoveled into a boiler, the device detonated.