Talking Jesus dolls will make their Walmart debut early next month as part of a spiffy new line of religious action figures. Walmart claims it is responding to the needs of kids who want to ditch their G.I. Joe for a Samson, and will only stock the religious toys in stores where the bible is a best-seller. Walmart has always catered to the family values crowd, but that hasn’t stopped some Christian ministers from questioning Walmart’s faith:
“They’ll carry anything that sells,” says David Croyle, president of FamilyLife, a non-denominational ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. “This simply signals intelligent buying within Wal-Mart.”
For David Socha, CEO of One2believe, it’s a dream come true. “Our goal is to give the faith-based community an alternative to Bratz dolls and Spider-Man,” he says.
The toys are based on biblical stories. For example, there’s a set of 3-inch figures based on Daniel in the lion’s den for about $7. A 12-inch talking Jesus doll is about $15. And 14-inch Samson or Goliath action figures are about $20.
Notably absent from the lineup: Sodom and Gomorra action figures.