Culture At Large

Turmoil in the toybox!

Andy Rau

In the discussion thread about Christian urban legends yesterday, commenter jennabee25 called to my attention something I somehow tragically missed out on during my childhood in the 80s: Turmoil in the Toybox, apparently a Christian book exposing the sinister occult truths behind He-Man, the Smurfs, and, uh, the Care Bears (!).

I thought this sounded too good to be true, but a bit of googling turned up at least one clip from a TV show about the book. This disappointingly short clip shows us the horrible truth behind Voltron:

Yup, there's witchcraft in Voltron all right, as the clip shows—although neither of the Concerned Christians in that clip seem to notice that the witch is a bad guy. Look, I can see why a parent would not like their young child exposed to the possibly-scary-for-kids He-Man monsters (He-Man was on the list of verboten TV shows in my household when I was a kid), but the Care Bears? If that's the level of discernment and scholarship they're bringing to bear against the Gummi Bears and Rainbow Brite (two other targets), I think my childhood memories are safe.

Here's a blogger who claims to have actually read Turmoil in the Toybox, and quotes this sobering passage from the book:

There is another case where a mother and her young son were in the car and they just had a near collision. Understandably, the mother was upset. So, the little boy put his hand on his mother’s lap and said, “Don’t worry, Mommy, He-Man would have saved us.”

Once my father was ministering at a church and he mentioned my ministry. Briefly he also mentioned He-Man. After the service, a little boy was seen in the parking lot running in circles while holding his He-Man figure in his hand. He kept repeating, “He-Man has more power than Jesus. He-Man has more power than Jesus.”

I... I just don't know what to say to that. 'Fess up—have any of you read this book, or seen the entire TV show excerpted above? Can anybody confirm that this was real, and isn't just a parody? The book looks like quite a steal for $.01 at Amazon. Thanks, jennabee (check out her blog, too), for pointing out this curious artifact of the evangelical 80s!

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