Jesus Christ Superhero Hits East Texas Toy Shelves - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/17/07-Tyler

Jesus Christ Superhero Hits East Texas Toy Shelves

Elmo sings, Tigger bounces, and now Jesus talks, all at the touch of a button.

If you walked down one of the toy aisles at the Wal-Mart on South Broadway in Tyler, you'd stumble across a 10-inch talking Jesus.  "I am Jesus. I am the son of God."  That's what Jesus said when the "try me button" was pressed.

But Jesus was not the only figure on display.  Other Bible figures (Mary, Ester, Noah, and Moses, and David) have all found a new home on the toy shelf.

And, for some, their presence is a welcomed thing.

"I think he's got a message for everybody," said shopper Jerry Brawley.  "I think that's what everybody ought to feel about it."

The maker of the toys, David Socha, the CEO of the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company, said too many kids these days are playing with violent action figures and promiscuous dolls.  

Socha said there are a lot of parents out there who would agree with him, which is what inspired him to come up with an alternative.

"There are some toys out there that promote some things that parents would prefer their children not to be involved in," said associate pastor of Grace Community Church in Tyler Danny Loeffelholz.  "This gives a good alternative to that."

Loeffelholz does not see anything wrong with the toys and said, if anything, they can be used to educate many people.

"If this can spur on any kind of conversation among kids and parents about men and women of the Bible, men and women of faith, then I think it's great," he said.

Some parents agreed, but said a talking Jesus could raise some concerns among people who do not practice Christianity.

"If they sell one thing, people are going to say they need to sell everything pertaining to everybody else's religion," said Lamonica Johnson.

And some Christians said they do not see the need to purchase a talking Jesus.

"I believe in him and he's here [in my heart]," said Janey Braasch.

Ministry, or marketing--certainly grabbing people's attention.

Layron Livingston, Reporting. llivingston@kltv.com

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