Turmoil in the toybox!

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!

Comments (24)

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I was so surprised to see this post this morning! Thank you so much and you're welcome!

This is something my husband and I talk about a lot because he was a victim of this book. The pastor at his church (which is now our church) extolled the virtues of this book in one of his sermons and his mom went nuts over it. He could no longer have the Care Bear that comforted him in the hospital and other toys that he had been playing with.

The quotes from the book also remind me of some of the quote this same pastor would say about Harry Potter, like kids would rather do witchcraft because it would get them what they want, etc It's a moral outrage thing. Don't get me wrong, I like my pastor, but I wonder where he gets his info sometimes.


As Ridiculous as some of these stories may sound, we as Christians must not be equally as ridiculous to assume that all of mankind has good and pure intentions (even those who claim to do so) because we learn in the bible that the enemy is cunning. We must also be "wise as serpents", although, with this wisdom we must exercise balance because we must also be "as gentle as doves". I agree that too much time is spent in trying to pick out evil in all aspects of media and social popularity, but we must be careful in trying to entertain ourselves with things that put us, or our children, in spiritual compromise. For example, Harry Potter is a very imaginative story, yet it is nonetheless a story that fancifies wizardry (i.e. witchcraft). Not to say that we should burn all the Harry Potter dvds and books in the world, but we should regard these themes with the same descretion as nudity and gore. Personally, I try to avoid any story that glorifies witches and wizards, because these type of tales are influential and leave you rooting for the hero, or the wizard, witch, or even demon as we see in shows and movies such as Hell Boy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed, and Harry Potter. Remember: NARROW is the path...........
Oh man! I was helping out with a youth group retreat a couple years ago, and someone found this book on the bookshelf in the common room. We gathered around and took turns reading it aloud... everyone thought it was hilarious. Well, hilarious, and horrifying at the same time.

~Q
I've actually kept a copy around and am holding it in my hand right now. Wonder if I should put it on ebay
Oh, one more thing: there was a great (earnest, not ironic) folk/prog-rock (!) album that went along with this book: Dennis Preston's "Toys from Hell." I picked it up from True Tunes (RIP) back in the day. Preston has a myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/dennisp... and he does some pretty awesome art that believe it or not even tops that awesome Terror in the Toybox cover.
The book is real. Some friends of mine have a copy and showed it to me. Apparently the parents of my one friend purchased it after a church event where they got the author in and it sent them a little loopy. I've read a couple of chapters - I had to stop because I was banging my head too hard against the desk...

The biggest joke on my friend's copy is the ribbon on the cover that tries to over-do the book's success by saying, "Over 100,000 copies in print" (I think that was the number). The key being that it makes not mention of how many copies were SOLD.
Dave Benoit, an anti-rock preacher and culture warrior from the 80s had a lecture and cassette series on this very subject. We saw him speak several times back in the day in Waukesha, WI. He-Man, the Smurfs, Care Bears, it's all in there. He's still around these days, here's a youtube clip linking magic the gathering to 'brutal murder' -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
I don't understand why there is a mocking at these men. They are clearly showing that there is depictions of witches and warlocks in a kids cartoon. This is alarming and christians should not let their children watch such things. I believe there is a LARGE amount of occult now in television programming. To quote paul washer "many of the things you watch on tv, God hates." I encourage anyone to watch this video by paul washer with almost 1 million views on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
My kids heard about this one when they took Bible classes at a Christian school. They aso saw an evils of Disney video. I expect the Enemy of our souls loves this sort of diversion. Nothing like scaring Christians into circling the wagons even tighter to keep us isolated and out of culture.
i actually read this book several times as a kid...along with peretti stuff...it didn't stop me from playing with or watching smurfs, carebears, rainbow brite, etc...

my other fave was a small book that detailed all the evil-ness of every heavy metal/hard rock band out there... wish i could remember the name of it.

 

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