Report from the toy aisle

December 18, 2007 | By | 3 Replies More

When the U.S. was busy invading Iraq, the toy aisles started bursting with new soldier, tank and fighter jet toys.  Tonight, I toured the toy aisles of several stores to see whether I could find military toys corresponding to the current state of the Iraq occupation.

First of all, I looked for “Bogged Down in Iraq” action figures, but no luck.  I was looking for U.S. soldier action figures who looked disillusioned because they couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad guys.   I assumed that I might also find some especially frustrated National Guards soldier toys, frustrated because they thought they were signing up for flood duty and a free education, but they are now on their third tour of duty in Bagdad.  I had hoped to find such action figures, complete with tiny photos of their infant children that they would receive at the plastic replica of a PX.

The President says that we’re making great progress in Iraq, so you’d think toy-makers would help celebrate that progress with commemorative Endless Occupation Sets.  Such a disappointment to learn that there weren’t any such toys.  I was also disappointed that I couldn’t find any corporate military action figures, including collections of dolls of the officers and directors of Halliburton or Blackwater, complete with replicas of their opulent corporate boardrooms.

Given that religion is such a big deal in America these days, I also scoured the toy aisles to see whether I could find religion action figures, such as the Virgin Mary, Joseph or Baby Jesus. No such luck in the toy aisles in the heartland of this highly Christian Nation.  Nor could I find any Creation-in-Seven-Days toys, including 6,500 year old Adam and Eve, complete with their pet dinosaurs.  This absence of religous toys left me dumbfounded that there won’t be any Creator of the Universe dolls for children this Christmas.  It couldn’t possibly be that the children aren’t asking for such toys . . .

I also looked, without success, for crucifixion reenactment sets, complete with a little plastic spear to insert into Jesus’ side.  No such luck.  Same result when I looked for Bible stoning sets, to include action figures of several people to be stoned, a mob to do the stoning and lots of realistic stones.  I also looked, without success, for God’s genocidal attacks on major cities, including his murder of babies.  Again, no luck in finding any such games or toys.  Without these sorts of toys, how are our children supposed to learn to love the Bible?

I couldn’t find any Virgin Mary impregnation-at-a-distance dolls.  Nor could I find Gay People Burning in Hell diorama kits.  In a final act of frustration, I asked the store manager if the store stocked any talking God dolls.  No such luck.  I was looking for one that repeatedly said “Worship me or go to hell,” just like the real God.  I also looked for pharmacy store toy sets, where the pharmacist dolls call out the word “whore” to any female customer dolls who ask the pharmacist dolls to fill their prescriptions for birth control pills.  No such toys are being sold this year.

It’s hard to explain the absence of such religious toys unless, perhaps, children are of the opinion that one day of religion per week is quite enough.  Or perhaps young minds find the above-described activities to be too disturbing or pointless.


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Category: American Culture, Religion, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Mary says:

    Funny, Erich. We did find a gliding Jesus action figure a couple of years ago at Powell's book store in Portland, Oregon. Our son just had to have it, not because he's all that religious, but because he thought it was funny that Jesus appeared to float while rolling on his little wheels. (He was advertised as being able to walk on water.) Young Son also had to have the Edgar Allan Poe and Black Beard action figures.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I spoke too soon about the lack of Bible action figures in the toy aisle. Here is an entire line of toys that are being sold by some Wal-Marts. Another site indicates "The toys — ranging from a talking 12-inch Jesus doll to 3-inch figurines depicting Moses and the Ten Plagues of Egypt — will be available in about 425 of Wal-Mart's 3,376 stores in 21 states, starting in mid-August."

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    Bible action figures as an "alternative to toys tied to commercial movies, video games and TV." As if Christianity were not itself a multinational corporate enterprise….

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