Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Talking Plastic Jesus

Every once in awhile, when I'm straightening out the children's section, I find a lovely little surprise that keeps me in a state of perpetual amusement for the rest of my shift. The Veggietales finger puppets and the armor of God certainly worked well for this, but last Friday I found something new to try not to giggle about. Jesus is now his own talking action figure, with glow in the dark hands and a Focus on the Family Storybook. And did I mention he talks?

There's a sticker on the box that says "I Talk: Try Me." Now, it's never good when I see a sticker that says try me, since I have to try it. The American Idol Barbies in Walmart were just awful... But anyway, I was expecting an array of two or three short sentences. "I am Jesus." "I have performed many miracles." "I died and rose again." "What Would I Do?" But no, He starts talking for 5 full minutes about the time He turned water into wine. He provides the background for the story, introduces the characters, the whole bit. I didn't let him finish, because I had to get back and watch the cash, so I don't know if he tells any other stories. As an added bonues, Jesus is fully poseable and you can add to your collection by buying such figures as Mary, Noah, David, and Esther. Although personally I'd just as soon wait to hear the real ones tell their stories in heaven.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Board Game Party...Christian Version

Some sections at work lend themselves to good-natured mockery far more readily than others. One of my personal favorites has the be the Christian board games section. You would not believe the games- whether they be Christian versions of *gasp* secular games or Christian originals- that have come through our store. Here are some of my personal favorites:


I naturally had to mention this one first. When I envision the epitome of cheesy Christian board games, Bibleopoly immediately comes to mind. In fact, it is so wonderfully cheesy that I fully intend to own it someday. It can go between Bible Mad Gab and Refraze: Christian/Gospel Edition. Honestly, there is not much I can say. I feel like the best thing I can do to help people fully appreciate this game is to quote bibleco.com:

"Bibleopoly quickly became one of the most popular Christian games of all time. It is a very unique game that challenges all ages and is sure to make your next party or gathering a huge hit for both young and young at heart! It's not only about winning in this game, it's about helping out your fellow competitors!
The object of the game is to be the first player to build a church in one of the Bible cities. In Bibleopoly, you cannot win by destroying your opponents; you can only be the winner by assisting your fellow players. This act of cooperation is what allows you to gain the things necessary to build your church and be a winner. Bibleopoly is great fun for the whole family!"

I should point out that Bibleopoly also lends itself to another fun game: trying to guess apects of the game without ever having seen it and see how many times you guess right. I did pretty well at this game if I do say so myself. Jerusalem and Bethlehem are indeed Boardwalk and Park Place, and you tithe instead of paying income tax. I was, however, wrong about jail. It's not hell or purgatory, you just spend time in forced prayer and meditation. I suppose in hindsight that really shouldn't have surprised me.

Apples to Apples: Bible Edition

I'll be honest, this one is slightly lame. I'm still slightly bitter against real Apples to Apples to tell the truth. Last time I played, the adjective was Visionary and I submitted Martin Luther King Jr. thinking I had it in the bag. Instead, my cousin Jeremy got it for his submission of the word Fuzz because the eight-year-old judge had no idea what visionary meant...but I digress. This game could have had potential, but its makers went a little sappy on it. The adjectives are all along the lines of Wonderful and Amazing, and the nouns are things like Heaven, Bible, Jesus. So the judge is usually faced with a rather difficult decision. Honestly, the winner isn't necessarily the person who comes up with the best words, just the one who is lucky enough to draw Jesus most often.

Settlers of Canaan

My coworker "Jake" tells me this board game is based on Settlers of Catan. I had never heard of this game and was hoping that Christendom was at least making baby steps toward creating its own board games instead of just coopting secular board games. But I suppose this is great news for all the many fans of Settlers of Catan who were concerned about the game's secular content. They now have a fully Christian alternative. This game spans the time period from Joshua's conquest of Canaan all the way to the time of King Saul and King David. Each player represents one of the 12 tribes of Israel (if I ever play I so call Manasseh) and contributes to building the wall around Jerusalem. Whoever adds the most bricks to wall earns victory points, which grant a special rule-breaking power (might this be slightly unbiblical?). I'm not sure how you eventually win.

So that's it. A sampling of the lovely Christian boardgames that grace Christian bookstores near you. Personally, I'm holding out for Bible Cranium.