CHICAGO - A Grand Rapids MI company is generating controversy with a new line of children’s toys. The “Truth in Tragedy” line will depict natural disasters and other unfortunate events in human history. Young children will be able to collect and play with a wide variety action figures, including a tsunami-surfing cow, a poncho-wearing hurricane weatherman, and a machete-toting African child.
Ralph Minter, spokesman for the advocacy group International Merger for the Preservation of American Culture, Truth, and Educational Development reacted with outrage to the announcement, “We find it absolutely deplorable that the suffering of human beings would be recreated for recreation. Kids need to be given soft and affirming toys that will not teach them to make light of the pain of others.”
But Jenny Lawrence-O’Leary, president of the toys’ manufacturer Faithful Family Fun, Inc., disagreed, “There is a long history of kids playing with toys that deal with sensitive subjects. The flood was no picnic for millions of people, but parents still buy their kids Noah’s Ark toys.” Lawrence-O’Leary also sited the once popular “Cowboy and Indian” toys as precedent for her company’s newest venture.
“The mission of FaFaFu,” she said, “Is to build on a moral foundation for children by giving them an educational and entertaining to personally interact with some of the biggest moments in recent human history.”
Hoping to capitalize on the success of the toys, Lawrence-O’Leary announced that her company has plans to continue with another line of what promises to be controversial toys. This spring, FaFaFu will unveil a series of airplane toys, including replicas of hijacked airliners from September 11, 2001, Japanese kamikaze planes from the Pearl Harbor attack, and the ill-fated Hindenburg blimp.
When asked for his reaction, Rev. Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, said, “I think it is wonderful. God’s hand is at work in these events and there is no better way to help kids understand that than to get their hands around them too.”
Sources say that Robertson has contacted FaFaFu about producing and endorsing a line of action figures comprised of, what a source called, “God’s hit list.” One source would only say that the line was tentatively being called, “Bull’s Eye” and featured contemporary leaders such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, ailing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and French Prime Minister Jacque Chirac. Robertson declined comment.
Industry insiders speculate that games, room decorations, and other products seeking to capitalize on high profile news stories will soon flood the market. FaFaFu’s “Truth in Tragedy” toys will be available in mostly Christian bookstores and retailers in February.
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