Shocked as we all were over the undies-wearing Doctor Manhattan figure, our blue friend sans visible blue friend is certainly not the only action figure to furrow a brow in all of toydom. Teen Talk Barbie said “Math class is tough!” and there was outrage to be had; before her was the African-American “Oreo Fun Barbie”. Oops! Some other dolls that weren’t Barbie probably upset people too – castrati have been offended by Ken doll after Ken doll after Ken doll, for example.
In recent years the biggest toy controversy came from an unlikely source: Jesus. The talking Son of Man action figure stood a foot tall, quoted Scripture at the push of a button and infuriated folks who felt a talking Jesus doll trivialized their faith. That’s something with which you can agree or disagree, but at least the concept of a Jesus doll that tells Bible stories is sort of plausible, right? You’d expect a Jesus doll to do stuff Jesus did, like say stuff that ended up in the Bible… and yet, most of the competing Jesus action figures I’ve come across don’t follow that course of logic! Here, then, are five, um, unusual features of Jesus proposed by action figures.
1. Jesus is a fortune-telling robot
God-Jesus comes to us from a company in Japan; not only are they off the mark with the whole Jesus-as-android angle, but they’re fuzzy on the makeup of the Holy Trinity. Judging from the name on the box, Jesus is no longer the Son of God but is God’s husband, and God hyphenated his name after the wedding, sort of like Chris Evert-Lloyd.
(via The Jesus Christ Show)
2. Jesus has wheels
Didn’t Ralph Wiggum get yelled at in Sunday School for suggesting this? Turns out he was right! The wheels are there “so He can glide smoothly wherever He is needed.”
3. Jesus has glow-in-the-dark hands
The difference between a Jesus action figure and a deluxe Jesus action figure: lose the wheels and make the hands fluorescent green. This one’s particularly painful, as the producers added in plausible accessories, like loaves and fishes. But while I don’t claim to be an expert on the wedding feast at Cana, I have yet to find an interpretation that says the food multiplied AND the savior’s hands glowed bright green even into the wee hours of the evening.
4. Jesus is the First Lady of the United States
Ok, the action figure here looks just fine – clothes are right, hands don’t glow, not a robot – but take a look at the listed features:
“In the First Ladies own Voice”?!? It’s also nice that they include “rare photos” along with the figure, but… huh? Either this is a typo, or Helen Thomas is going to be asking why the president married Jesus and didn’t tell anyone.
5. Jesus is an astronaut in dire need of a liver transplant
Christ in a space suit is a theological stretch; giving him jaundice is just plain mean. He dies for your sins, so you repay him with a job as a NASA payload specialist and a huge bilirubin surplus?
Mark 9:23 does indeed say “all things are possible to him who believeth,” but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean we’re intended to believeth in a savior with glowing hands or robot eyes who has an office in the East Wing of the White House. Regular Jesus is, as the song says, alright with me.