Monday, August 06, 2007

Giving Jesus dolls away to churches to create a buzz

Want to sell something to Christians? Give it away in the church. (Wasn't there something about sellers being driven from the temple in the Bible?)

For a religious toy maker, getting onto the shelves of the world's biggest retailer must be like dying and going to heaven. So last week, when One2Believe, the Valencia, Calif., company that makes such scripture-quoting dolls as Jesus, Esther, Moses and Noah, was welcomed by Wal-Mart into 425 of its 3,376 U.S. stores, its 37-year-old chief executive David Socha was understandably chuffed. "We have been really blessed," says the self-described evangelical Catholic, who can't help mixing in a little pride with his humility. "The faith aspect is our No. 1 driver. It's all about Jesus," he says, adding in the same breath that his 35 different Bible dolls have no competition in America's faith community, which spent about US$5 billion for religious products last year.

Well, God helps those who help themselves. To drum up interest, Socha (who also distributes product tie-ins for the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants and Something About Mary under another company name, Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co.) says he did "a lot of church seeding," meaning he visited as many as 7,000 churches and gave away his dolls.
"God helps those who help themselves." He does? I wonder where you find that in the Bible. Oh yeah, you find it here.

I'm really getting tired of people using my faith to sell me something whether it's a political candidate, a Jesus doll, a "Christian" movie, whatever. I'm not interested in my faith being used for political or financial gain.

Oh, and BTW, you can also create a buzz by giving away your product to the Marines' Toys for Tots program, especially if it's rejected.

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