Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Saints as Action Figures, Part I

Lesa Bellavie of The Magdalene Review linked an article from the New Yorker called The Saintly Sinner, by Joan Acocella. While I am always interested in articles about Mary Magdalene, it was this particular paragraph about saints that caught my eye and made me laugh out loud:

A religion, in order to succeed, must offer a little fun: stories, symbols, rituals. The Catholic saints, however ill-founded their biographies, are a vivid group, each with a certain kind of hair and a certain hat, and accompanied by a lion or a dragon or something else interesting. They are like a collection of dolls or superheroes, or like the Hindu pantheon—full of color and variety.

It's true! We need our dollies or [hem, hem, important dignified coughing] action figures. While one can find certain saint statues, they're more for display than for play. The Seattle-based novelty store, Archie McPhee, does its best, but I shall humbly submit a few additions to the collection. It was Hitman J who introduced me to the ridiculously addictive Mini-Mizer and gave me cause to dream of action figures of my own.

1) Starting off the grand opening of Saints and Spinners Action Figures is none other than Mary of Magdala, known to many as the patron saint of hairdressers, glove-makers, and penitent sinners. As an action figure, the Magdalene is depicted here in her role as the Myrrhbearer:



2) Caedmon of Whitby, about whom I wrote recently, gets a whole tableau to make up for the lack of saint medallions commemorating his contribution to English poetry:




3) Lucy of Syracuse is often depicted with her eyes on a plate, and yet with both eyes in her head. With a little tweaking, I was able to come up with the appropriate symbolism (and of course, the eye-patch is a nod to my own daughter's early adventures with her eyeball, when we thought patching the strong eye might help the PHPV eye):



4) Lawrence of Rome, the patron saint of chefs, was roasted alive on a gridrion over a slow fire. At one point, he allegedly said "Turn me over; I'm done on this side!" If anyone deserves a "Good Sport Martyrdom Award," it's definitely St. Lawrence:



Let me make one thing clear: had I been in St. Lawrence's position, I definitely would have complained.


To be continued...

8 comments:

Tony said...

Lawrence of Rome definitely gets the prize

Lesa said...

Yay, Mary Magdalene! I definitely think that Archie McPhee needs to carry MM action figures. Punching dolls too!

galetea said...

You ought to check these out. :)

HitManJ said...

Too cute!

I never thought about that...Lucy's eyes are on the platter, but also in her head. I'm visualizing the staind-glass window from church...hrm...

Lone Star Ma said...

Adorable. I've seen a Jesus action figure before...I think it's by the same people who make that librarian one.

Nonny said...

That is actually a really good idea. I think there would be a definite market for those. Not in Lego form, but the whole action figure idea. Very cute.

Lady K said...

That cracked me up! GREAT idea!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed these little creations. I like the Accoutrements line of action figures (and yes, I do have the librarian action figure with push-button "Shsssshing" action). Lucia has a Beethoven action figure, and she just loves it-- Beethoven plays the piano and has tea parties with the other dollies all the time. I think that a line of dolls such as Galetea posted is a bit too "smoochy" for my taste (and I'm guessing, for hers too). We need to have fun, after all.

I have a few more action figures, which I'll post tomorrow. And then, I really will have to rein myself in.