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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Six Hilarious Failed Attempts at Religious Toys

Religion can be a hard sell. There's a lot of standing and sitting and standing again, the wine generally sucks, and most of the holidays tend to get scheduled during football. So you can imagine that it's a little extra challenging to get a child excited about it, a creature whose attention can only be focused on repetitive viewings of Dora the Explorer cartoons and who still gets excited about wiping their own ass.

That's why it's understandable when religious leaders might take some, ahem, unorthodox approaches to getting the wee ones hooked on the sweet, sweet high of salvation. And sometimes these approaches work. There's religious-based concerts, comic books, cartoons. All methods used to reach the nation's young with varying success. But nowhere does it go so spectacularly wrong when the religion and toy industry meet in a collision of crazy, tradition, and way too much Manischewitz.

6. The Last Supper Playset
The Description: "The last Supper Building Block Set allows children three and up to build and reenact The Last Supper in their playrooms."

The Failure: Look, I get that the Last Supper is a very important story in the Christian religion, but this fails on just about every level. "Kids, experience the thrill of setting the table. And when you're done, betray them for extra money in your allowance next week."

5. David's Wooden Slingshot

The Description: "David's Wooden Slingshot. 7 1/4” Wooden Sling Shots. Each handle is wrapped in jute with a genuine leather launcher."

The Failure: 
David and Goliath is one of the more badass stories in the Bible and, understandably, there's plenty of action figures to be had out there. But this isn't a toy, it's a weapon. They even wrapped the damn thing in leather so you'd know it'd last. All that's missing is a warning label on the package which reads 'Rocks and eye gauze not included'.

4. Angel Wars Trading Cards

The Description: 
"Angel Wars is a solution to games filled with magic, wizards, and the occult such as Pokemon & Yu-Gi-Oh, For ages 7 and up."

The Failure:
God (ahem) forbid kids play with anything involving magic or cuddly, sexually ambiguous monsters. Here, play this game involving a group of anthropomorphic angels beating the ever loving shit out of each other as they compete for their dad's love. And also the devil is there, too. Yes, much better.

3. Large Shul Religious Building Blocks


The Description: 
"Shul has many benches, a bimah, seforim shank and an aron kodesh with 2 sifrei torah! Set includes special stickers that are reusable. Beautiful step by step instructions are included. Will keep kids entertained for hours on end."

The Failure: 
If benches and instructions are highlighted in your toy's product description, you've done something wrong. This product does nothing to get kids excited to about going to Temple. All it teaches them is that even Legos can be boring if you inject enough religion into it.


2. My Soft Rosh Hashana Set


The Description:

"8 piece velour Rosh Hashana set in a vinyl carrying case. Fun and educational. Includes apple, honey jar, shofar, 2 round challahs, 2 candles in holders, and a Kiddush cup. A full Yom Tov experience!"

The Failure:
Interesting idea. Poor, poor execution. Let's look at what you're giving little Yakov to play with here-- a wine cup, simulated flaming candles, and a Shofar which is a ram's horn, but let's just admit it, looks exactly like a bong.  The set also includes apples and a honey jar-- i.e., the answer to the question 'What else can you make a bong with when you can't find  your pipe?'

And it's not like the kid is going to keep the set together. No, it's going to end up scattered all over his room for the maid to find and wonder just what the hell you're trying to teach your kid.

1. Zions Action Figure
The Description:
"Piece of History studios are proud to present the first “Israeli action figure” ever made: The AustroHungarian journalist and "Visionary of the Jewish State," Theodor Herzl. This 3D action figure is a miniature replica of the famous photograph of Herzl in Basel, Switzerland, 1897."

The Failure:
Their first failure was in their understanding of the word 'action' because an old guy leaning on a fence does not exactly scream breath-taking articulated fun. It also makes me question their understanding of the words 'best seller' and 'proud'.

Just what is a kid supposed to do with this? Lean the figure against more exciting toy sets like his Death Star or GI Joe battleship?