David Socha, founder of One2believe, the company which makes the dolls, is confident the demand is there for “God-honouring” toys which reflect Christian teachings and morality.
“We get a lot of people, even people who are not of faith, don’t go to church, saying ‘I’ve got a four and a six-year-old and I don’t know what to get them any more’,” he said.
“If you go in a toy aisle in any major retailer, you will see toys and dolls that promote and glorify evil, destruction, lying, cheating.
“In the girls’ aisle where the dolls would be, you see dolls that are promoting promiscuity to very young girls. Dolls will have very revealing clothes on, G-string underwear.”
What his company offers instead is “something faith-based that is not only fun to play with but also is solidifying a person’s spiritual wherewithal and their spiritual journey”, he said.
Hm. Yes. And they’re also so much more manly than those sluts in the “girls’ aisle.” Oh so much more manly. OK, seriously, there does seem to be an emphasis on male figures, and even Moses, complete with gray beard, seems rather buff and virile (go see for yourself). What’s more, I find it disturbing that Socha segues to the dolls in the “girls’ aisle” after talking about toys glorifying “evil, destruction, lying, cheating,” and then talks about their underwear. And just why does he know what the dolls’ underwear looks like anyway?
But the main reason why I wanted to post about this — and perhaps more germane to a medievalist blog (although I’m also a feminist medievalist) — is that I find it curious and interesting that there does seem to be a growing market (or at least growing visibility to an existing market) for materials that re-tell Biblical stories and that most of the consumers in this market are, presumably, Protestants. It all seems so “papist” and “Romish” and, dare I say it, medieval. (Well, OK, there’s Milton. But he’s kind of in a class by himself, isn’t he?) It’s also kind of odd coming from a culture where there are a lot of people who say things like “the only book I need is the Good Book” — well, and, apparently, multiple re-interpretations of it. It’s the same kind of oddity I found in the Protestant evangelicals flocking to The Passion of the Christ, which, you’ll note, is cited in this article as showing that there’s a market for Christian-themed entertainment.
The article also cites a “boom in Christian fantasy fiction” as an alternative to the Potter books. Hm again. To all you folks out there looking for Christian fantasy fiction who may end up here now via Google, I have two words for you: medieval literature.*
There, now maybe there will also be a boom in our course enrollments (although, not to brag or anything, mine are usually full, thank you very much).
*Though to be honest, not all of it would qualify. But you might especially like the romance and hagiography genres.