War Toys® is a California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by photographer Brian McCarty in 2019. After a nearly decade of independent fieldwork and research for the War-Toys photo series, McCarty assembled a team of directors, advisors, and officers that includes experts in expressive therapies, childhood development, human rights, and toy design & manufacturing. Together, they are working to catalyze a global cultural shift around war, holding the experiences of children impacted by armed conflict at the center of everything they do. War Toys works in the field with partnered NGOs and UN agencies to help children process trauma, grow resilience, and share their stories. Collaborating with talented artists, artisans, designers, and other toy industry veterans, War Toys is working with some of the largest toymakers and fostering impactful changes to popular, generic toy lines. They have started with the ubiquitous “army man” and are adding combat photojournalists to sets of plastic soldiers. The toy program and field work are supported with educational initiatives that facilitate nuanced conversations around war in fun, friendly, and accessible ways. Extending from the powerful work of founder Brian McCarty, War Toys is also a platform for exhibitions, artist commissions, and media production.
War Toys uses an art-therapy-based approach to safely collaborate with war-affected children and recreate their personal accounts through narrative photographs of locally sourced toys, placed and posed at the actual locations.Learn More